In this article, Zid Mancenido examines how high-achieving students are socialized to believe that they should not become K–12 classroom teachers. Research has well established that academically successful students are often disinterested in teaching as a career, yet there has been little attention to how this disinterest is developed through the process of career exploration. To address this gap in the literature, Mancenido conducts a narrative inquiry based on interviews with high-achieving recent college graduates and graduating seniors. He presents six representative vignettes to demonstrate how high achievers learn through explicit and implicit signals that teaching is not appropriate for someone like them. This process is social, with parents and peers playing a significant role in shaping beliefs. These findings suggest that policy efforts to recruit more high achievers into teaching may benefit from more focus earlier in the career exploration pipeline.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.