Can We Interest You In Teaching?

Frank Bruni has penned a piece highlighting the teaching shortages that have made the news around the country in recent weeks. The shortages are so acute in some places, both urban and rural, that teachers are being brought in who are not even fully certified yet.

After researching and talking with various noted education professionals, Bruni finds five key factors for why there might be a teacher shortage and what could be done to remedy the situation:

  • This is the obvious one, but that doesn’t make it not true. If college students look at the numbers and realize that they won’t be able to afford a house or pay for their family on a teacher salary, then they won’t go into that profession.
  • Teachers often have little say in the policies that determine their work life. And with so many changes taking place in education all the time, they feel even more storm-tossed.
  • Career Opportunities. Teachers want to know that there will be chances to move up in their profession, not just in terms of money, but in terms of positions that will give them more authority and a chance to pass on what they know to others.
  • Too often, state laws make it very difficult to transfer teaching certifications from one state to another, and this even goes for experienced and fully qualified teachers.
  • Teaching just does not hold the same cultural value as it does in many other countries in the world. Part of changing this might be to make it harder to enter the profession, as happened with the medical field, or it might also involve setting up more incentive programs to help teachers, who will be crucial public servants for decades to come, get started.

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