Before the COVID pandemic, there was a legitimate shortage of teachers in most states, with school districts concerned. It was a combination of teachers choosing to leave the field and more young people deciding to pursue a different major in college rather than education.
Moreover, once COVID happened, it sped up the process. We have entered “The Great Teacher Resignation,” where educators call it quits because of stress and low pay.
Teachers are in a hurry to leave the profession in some areas; they are walking out of the classroom mid-year and not worrying about its penalties.
“I have been working with teachers just a little over 25 years. I have never seen a period like we have gone through, particularly this year, but last year,” Paul Tapp, an attorney for the Association of Texas Professional Educators, said. “The thing we are seeing now that we did not see before was the teacher saying, ‘OK, I understand I will be sanctioned, and I do not care.”
With such shortages across the board, and knowing we do not want to shut down schools in the near future because of a lack of teachers, here are a few possible solutions to solve the teacher shortage (that do not include raising salaries and reducing class sizes).
Lifetime Teacher Certification
A few states already do this, but teachers often have to renew their teacher certification after so many years in states like Illinois. In Illinois, it involves completing professional development hours and paying $50 every five years so they can still teach in the classroom. Just make lifetime teacher certification licenses rather than create more hoops for educators to jump through. Then if a person wanted, they could always reenter the teaching field, even after being retired. Something like this will allow districts to search for potential candidates in the classroom.
Reduce the Cost Associated with a Degree in Education
With such a shortage of educators available, perhaps earning a degree in education is less costly. Colleges could offer these degrees at half the price of others. After all, if there are no teachers, this will eventually affect colleges and universities.
Just like some apprentices learn trades such as electricians, welders, and plumbers, schools should start hiring apprentices who could become teachers themselves. They would not attend college classes as they would be continually learning on the job. After four years as an apprentice, they could take over a classroom and teach themselves.
Make Full Early Retirement a Possibility
Police officers and firefighters can receive standard retirement benefits after completing 20 years of service and at least 55 years old. In each state, educators have much more difficult retirement conditions. For instance, a teacher with ten years of service in Illinois will start receiving $6,600 annually at 67 years old for their retirement. To put it simply, teachers need many more years of service and have to be many years older to receive full benefits.
Do not Let Your Students Fall into Summer Learning Loss.
As educators and parents, we often fail to prepare our kids to keep learning, even during the summer months. The tragedy is that if they do not, they will likely experience the dreaded summer learning loss. Instead, use the summer to strengthen their skills. Contact iAchieve for a professional tutor to help them improve their weaknesses in every subject possible.