Thursday, January 13, 2022

Teacher Shortage

Recently I was asked about the reasons for teacher shortage and lack of interest in the teaching career. Did I think it was salary, class size, or lack of admin support?

I don’t think salary is the reason for either problem. I think teachers go into the profession in order to help others and the need to make a difference, They go into the field knowing what the salaries are going to be. Of course, everyone would love for their salaries to be higher but if you want to be rich, you don’t become a teacher.

I also don’t think class size is the reason people aren’t interested in a teaching career. When I went through teacher training, we learned how to manage a class whether we had 2 students or 40. Classroom management is a big deal in teacher training.

I think the main problem with teacher shortage is the negative media attention that educators get. We hear about all the terrible teachers who are doing bad things and are caught. We hear about the administrators who are doing an awful job and administrators are former teachers. Like any profession, there are good people and bad people that are in it and need to be weeded out.

But we don’t hear about the wonderful things that educators are accomplishing. We aren’t showing how teachers are making a difference. We aren’t advertising what a fulfilling career that a teacher is. I don’t regret a single day that spent teaching because I know I helped many students be successful in their lives. I know this because former students have come back and let me know this.

Another problem is that we are losing teachers faster than we are gaining them. We are losing teachers because of burnout. We need to be mentoring new teachers and helping them avoid burnout. Instead, new teachers are given the worst students and given extra duties because they are the newbies. We pile on paperwork and regulations without helping them learn how to manage their time. No new teacher is ever taught how to manage their time efficiently. We teach them how to do many things and expect them to do 48 hours worth of work in a 24 hour day! So, new teachers skip meals, work through the evenings and weekends and stop having a real life. How are we surprised that they burn out quickly and leave the teaching profession?

What do you feel is causing the teacher shortage and lack of interest in the teaching profession? Please share.

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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