Growing up, Liz Stepansky, the daughter of two schoolteachers in small town Illinois, thought teaching was the way to a stable, meaningful life.
"My dad would have students that would come back and visit him even years after they had graduated high school," she said. "And to see him develop relationships like that, it seemed like a pretty important job. I liked that."
After graduating from college in 2008, Stepansky, now 33, decided to follow in her parents' footsteps, and was ecstatic when she landed her first job as a public middle school teacher in South Carolina.