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The NY Times looks at a new trend ... A shortage of teachers

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Baron Scicluna, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    When the Great Recession hit, teachers were being laid off left and right. Now that schools are looking to hire again, surprise, they can't find enough qualified teachers. And the number of students enrolling in teacher prep programs has dropped considerably in places such as California.


    Makes you wonder how they're going to make these jobs attractive enough for new recruits?
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Weird that pay and benefit cuts, much bigger classes, and huge increases in needless testing would lead to such a decline.

    Teachers must hate kids.
  3. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    But we're going to lose doctors due to Obamacare.
  4. SpeedTchr

    SpeedTchr Well-Known Member

    Local school board just passed another teacher pay hike ($50K to start with a bachelor's) and building more schools to accommodate growth. Having to turn away applicants, as usual. It must be a geographical issue.
    sgreenwell likes this.
  5. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    From the cities mentioned in the story - Providence, Oklahoma City, I think they might have said Oakland, CA too - and the focus on bilingual teachers, I'm assuming it was an inner-city thing. I'm in the 'burbs of Rhode Island, and one school said they had 400 applications for an open kindergarten job.
  6. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    It definitely is not an issue everywhere. The schools around here are choosing from 200-plus applicants for every tenure-track job.
  7. X-Hack

    X-Hack Active Member

    I'm not seeing evidence of a shortage around here -- that's for sure. The town where I teach HS social studies -- an affluent Boston suburb -- gets about 400 resumes for every opening. The town where I live and my wife works -- where the north side is middle-class to upper middle-class and the south side is working class with some public housing too, and with a massive population of ELLs -- also gets at least a couple hundred resumes for each opening. It's extremely competitive in almost every district in Eastern Mass (though maybe not as competitive in some of the really horribly run districts like, say, Lawrence). It's still probably a little easier to get a job teaching special education, math or science than, say, HS social studies or English, but full-time jobs in decent districts are very hard to come by. Especially because towns still haven't budgeted to replace positions that were eliminated during the recession. That's also why I had two sections of 30, two sections of 29 and a section of 28 last year. I'm not complaining -- I love what I do and I think too many teachers are way too whiny and have no perspective on how awful things can get in the private sector (thank you, journalism, for giving me some perspective). But those kinds of numbers can make the job a pretty crushing grind. A lot of my friends from my journalism career and from my (very brief) legal career prior to that talk about how jealous they are of what I do and how they plan to take up teaching "when they retire" as if it's a hobby and not a job. I explain that when I give out a homework assignment that takes 5 minutes per kid to grade -- and I assign it to three sections, or 90 kids -- we're looking at 450 minutes of grading time. Then when it's term paper time, which take a good 20-30 minutes per kid to assess and provide feedback, we're talking 35-40 hours of grading time at home at night or on weekends in addition to grading everything else that's coming in every day. That's when I get a lot of "Oh -- I never thought about it that way." Of course you didn't. All you know about what teachers do is what you saw them do in the classroom. That's only a small part of the job.

    That said, if I left, there would be 400 applicants who would kill to take my place. And they'd be absolutely right to feel that way. Grading and meetings aside, it's an awesome career. I started in my early 30s, regretting that it took me so long to figure out that it's what I should have been doing all along. But I also probably wouldn't be half the teacher I am -- and certainly wouldn't be working where I am, and with a very good-paying regular freelance gig for my old employer on the side -- if it wasn't for my other experience.
  8. Neutral Corner

    Neutral Corner Well-Known Member

    Shortage in Alabama. Big shortage in Kansas - what a surprise.
  9. X-Hack

    X-Hack Active Member

    Yeah -- I can't speak for other states. Teachers in Massachusetts are treated a lot better -- not perfect, but definitely better -- than most other places and our schools perform a lot better as well, usually ranked at or near the top in national rankings for whatever that may be worth. I doubt it's a coincidence.
  10. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    What's always amazed me is how some Catholic schools pay their teachers crap and yet the kids still excel.
  11. JohnHammond

    JohnHammond Well-Known Member

    Hint: Look at other factors besides teachers when assessing why students are successful.
    93Devil and X-Hack like this.
  12. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    The poorer paying districts in my state have a shortage, the ones that pay well have 100s of resumes for every opening.

    I suspect that's true in most places.

    Also of note, a new school district was formed in my town off of a larger, county-wide district and the jobs were not going to pay as well.

    School Board president asked if they were there for the money or for the kids and most said money and skedaddled.
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