(Apologies if this is long, perhaps you can just cherry-pick the parts that are interesting to you...) By all accounts, it seems there is a worldwide shortage of qualified physics teachers. It has been claimed that this shortage is due to low wages, poor working conditions, lack of support from administration (and policymakers) and maybe a few other reasons I'm forgetting. To take an example from above, jobs in industry pay better than a job in education. I know that teacher salaries can get to be quite high in Canada and some regions of the US (~$75,000, with experience), but this may be low compared to jobs in industry. However, I have a hard time believing that salary is a major factor preventing qualified applicant from entering the profession, as starting salaries for assistant professors are not much better than those for new teachers (and you don't need +4 years PhD and +2 years of post-docs to be a teacher). Also, some jobs (such as programmers or engineers) may start at similar salaries as starting teachers (I have a friend who just started work as an engineer who is making the same salary that I would if I started work as a new teacher). In addition, one of the main reasons schools are having a hard time retaining teachers is due to attrition; teachers who are quitting mid-career to pursue other (more lucrative?) careers. However, my opinion is that the main reason for the shortage of qualified teachers is the lack of prestige in the position. Teaching may not provide the opportunity for physicists to solve interesting and challenging problems and learn new technical skills (such as programming), whereas a job in industry or academia may provide these opportunities. This is arguable, but I can see no other reason why so few would pursue a stable, relatively stress-free environment with a good wage, such as teaching, while so many would pursue a stressful, low pay profession with no guarantees that you will have a stable in 5 or 10 years, such as being a graduate student. This may be a sensitive issue, but assuming that the lack of prestige is a major reason for the lack of teachers, I'll leave a few thoughts for discussion... Are there any changes that can be made to persuade more people to choose physics teaching as a profession? Perhaps allowing for more creativity in experimental design by teachers, as well as more substantial experiments or projects. This idea may coincide nicely with a project-based curriculum, where the students have a large, experiment-based project to complete during the course for credit, although many curriculums compact so much material into a single term it may be hard to work on anything for longer than a few days. I'm not proposing doing anything outside the capabilities of a high school; however, performing experiments that take 2 or 3 weeks to design, implement and analyze (as opposed to an hour or two) would give teachers the opportunity to guide the implementation of a cool problem, and give the students a better idea as to how science is actually done, instead of mindlessly following a series of steps to obtain the desired result. Perhaps well-done projects could be submitted to an educational journal (e.g The Physics Teacher), or to a science fair (which could count towards course credit). This obviously doesn't address all of the issues involved, but it would satisfy the curiosity that got many people into physics in the first place. I'm sorry, I got a bit rambly and disorganized, but I wanted to throw some ideas out for discussion. I am also kind of establishing my own educational philosophy, and I sometimes am very dismayed about what I would be getting myself into if I became a teacher (rote memorization! Undisciplined students!, etc.) So, to summarize:What would you change to encourage qualified applicants to teach high school physics? I propose more opportunities for teachers to be involved in solving interesting problems (through student-based experiments). Maybe this isn't a novel idea at all, maybe everyone's been doing this for 30 years already...my high school physics education was abysmal, so I wouldn't know...if there are any current teachers out there, perhaps you can enlighten me?