Teacher Shortage - what are your thoughts?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by akconnel, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. akconnel

    akconnel Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    18

    Nov 29, 2018

    I have been reading with interest every article I can find on the teacher shortage across the country. I was wondering what you all have any predictions where we are headed.

    I personally think it’s going to get a LOT worse before it gets better, because any solutions that would actually address the reasons teachers are leaving are things the government is either unwilling to do or cannot afford to do, like reducing class sizes.

    I have a (probably unpopular) opinion that one of the big issues is the increasing integration of special education students that in the past would never have been in a regular classroom. It has added so mich more stress on the classroom teacher. The inclusion model of having a special ed teacher in the room has not worked as far as I can tell, but maybe that’s because I haven’t had any good ones.

    What do you all think will happen down the road? I suspect the solution politicians will implement is to just make it so anyone off the street can be a teacher without any certification. I also think that is why there is an increasing move towards boxed curriculum. Just prepackage everything so any warm body can do it and then it won’t matter if someone is trained or not.
     
  2.  
  3. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,232
    Likes Received:
    1,177

    Nov 29, 2018

    I miss the days when K-3 classrooms in California were capped at 20:1. My first year teaching, I had 18 students all year long. It was wonderful. As a first year first grade teacher, I felt fortunate to have such a small, manageable class.

    Fast forward to now: the first grade teachers at my site have 26 students in every room. Additionally, the number of behaviorally challenged students we have in our schools each year steadily increase. Looking back on my 14 years in education, I lovingly refer to my first few years in the classroom as the glory days.

    I haven't seen a teacher shortage in my area just yet, but I'm sure it's coming soon.
     
    mrsf70, Ms.Holyoke and otterpop like this.
  4. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Messages:
    13,859
    Likes Received:
    1,696

    Nov 29, 2018

    Our grade 1-3 classes are hard-capped at 20. There are "guidelines" for other grades, but no firm caps. Most of the grade 4-8 classes in our school are sitting anywhere between 28 and 32; having a third of the class with behaviour issues, learning differences or ESL is not uncommon.
     
  5. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2015
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    68

    Nov 29, 2018

    I dont think that your opinion about the increase in inclusion is unpopular for many. But I think that it is missing some insight. The problem isnt inclusion, its inclusive practices that dont provide any or very little help for gen ed teacher. Kids with autism and other issues are basically just thrown in the deep end and we are told that its not sink or swim, its swim or swim with failure not being an option even though we dont even have enough arms to possibly keep the kids thrown in afloat.

    I think that another problem is that teachers in many schools have had all of their authority and autonomy taken away. These leaves many with no way to enforce discipline while we are being turned into cogs in the education machine. In short we are put in a hard to win situation and then we arent allowed to do what we know is right, which is demoralizing, then we are demonize in the court of public opinion while living just a hairs breadth above poverty. Who is going to keep coming back to that.
     
  6. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,313
    Likes Received:
    1,672

    Nov 29, 2018

    We have a bit of teacher shortage in my area. The salary wars helped a bit, but some schools in more rural areas are still desperate for teachers. I think the state did a lookie into what was going on. It was a combination of salary, not feeling supported in the classroom, and the culture of teacher ladies having babies and leaving the classroom and male teachers not feeling they can support families.

    I feel teaching as changed significantly from what is used to be. We are no longer just teachers, and I think inclusion is a big part of it. In theory, I'm not against inclusion if it is indeed the right move. But it's so hard for it to be the right move! A few months back I read a blog of articles defending inclusion and why it should work and how to make it work... and I don't know any schools that were following everything on the how to make it work list.

    Last year at least half of my class had some sort of issue, and it was hard!

    I feel that because it's difficult to fund support systems, teachers are being encouraged to multi-certify, which may technically give the teacher knowledge but likely not any practical applications in the classroom.

    And of course there's the pressure of data this and data that... and I like data.

    I think schools will fight the teacher shortage by trying to control, for better or for worse, as much as they can. I agree we will see far more boxed curriculums to meet the needs of data demands.

    I also think we will also see community responses. I think homeschooling, charter, and private schools will increase as community and even teachers get exasperated and go off to do their own thing.
     
  7. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,255
    Likes Received:
    456

    Nov 29, 2018

    We are seeing an increase in enrollment in our district's online school. Students have many online options in our area. We have a major teacher shortage to the point that our district has our own alt cert plan, and it is totally free! The only requirements are a college degree and passing Praxis I.
     
  8. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,638
    Likes Received:
    356

    Nov 29, 2018

    The England and Wales are also experiencing a severe shortage of teachers. (Scotland and Ireland have different systems).This has been creeping in for about 10 years. First we had a Government that denigrated teachers at every chance it got. The Minister for Education described us as 'The blob' This was followed by an 8 year pay freeze. Targets for recruiting new trainee teachers have been missed for at least the last 5 years. Changes to how schools are managed. Lots of Academies (You call them Charters) that can set their own rates of pay and hire and fire on a whim. They are also not required to hire qualified staff. A sustained campaign to get rid of older, experienced teachers who are generally on higher salaries. So we are now in a situation where in most subjects there are now shortages. Almost 50% of High schools do not have one Physics specialist! All STEM subjects are desperate, English and languages likewise. 40% of new teachers quit in the first 3 years. The Government refuses to do anything to reverse this despite there now being 300,000 qualified teachers who are not in the classroom and 100,000 trained teachers who have never been hired! If all of our schools were fully staffed there would be about 450,000 working teachers.
     
  9. akconnel

    akconnel Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    18

    Nov 29, 2018

    Wow! I knew England was experiencing the same thing because I've been reading about it online. It even sounds like it might be a bit worse over there. And by worse I mean further along. I do believe it will get that bad in the United States. We are just creeping up behind.

    Has anyone else noticed an overall decline in the behavior of kids? This year has been the worst for me in 15 years. The kids either don't know or don't care how to act in a class. They cannot even conform to the simplest norms like not shouting out in class and not getting up whenever they want to move to a different seat.

    A friend of mine told me she noticed the kids' behavior is getting worse every year and I agree. I believe strongly that part of the reason for this is the technology. I know this sounds harsh but I believe any parent who gives their kid a smart phone is part of the problem. Harsh or not I won't back down on that point.
     
    Ms.Holyoke likes this.
  10. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,638
    Likes Received:
    356

    Nov 29, 2018

    In the UK we have a thing called OFSTED. They inspect schools, trash them and then expect things to improve. However the main way schools are judged are on exam results. Schools are penalised if they exclude pupils and so kids can be very extreme in behaviour and are not shown the door. This only encourages normally good kids to copy and this then leads to more teachers giving up. I am currently subbing in a school where a new teacher walked after less than 2 months in the job because of the extreme behaviour of the kids. 4 weeks in and I am starting to see improvements, I have 3 weeks left. In the new year they will have another teacher who, hopefully, will have the resilience to face them down and get some work out of them.

    It's not often that we are ahead of you in anything! LOL
     
  11. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,561
    Likes Received:
    737

    Nov 29, 2018

    It's interesting that both you and YTG pointed to 14-15 years ago as the point at which things started to get worse. 15 years is a generation -- what we are seeing is a new generation of kids raised by a newer generation of parents. I am not shocked at students' behaviors when I look at the behavior of grown "adults" today -- teachers, even, on phones, ignoring the speaker, interrupting, etc. at staff meetings, parents who are rude and inconsiderate of teachers, people going off in public and shouting obscenities -- society at a whole has seemingly lost its basic decency, so we can't really blame our students for modeling what they see.
     
  12. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,561
    Likes Received:
    737

    Nov 29, 2018

    As far as inclusion goes -- this year in particular my school decided to conduct an "experiment" by mainstreaming students into college prep English classes who had previously only ever been in sheltered RSP English classes. I have several students who are on the spectrum or have significant cognitive disabilities who are suddenly being asked to read Shakespeare, annotate poetry, participate in academic discussions, when all they have done previously is read a text and answer questions (if that...). I have no aides in the classroom. I have to say that some of these students are over-performing in the truest sense of the word -- but I will also say that it has been a Herculean effort on my part to help get them there.
     
  13. akconnel

    akconnel Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    18

    Nov 29, 2018

    And I bet you that once your administration sees it happening, while they may acknowledge in passing the huge amount of effort you've put in, they will see it as working so you should be able to do it every year and so should the other teachers. Kind of like "See, that teacher is making it work. We can go further with this."
     
  14. akconnel

    akconnel Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    18

    Nov 29, 2018

    Excellent point!!! But I do think the technology has made us all less considerate as a society. There is a phone coming out in a few months that does nothing but text and I want to purchase it. Or I was even thinking about going back to just using a flip phone. I don't think smart phones have had a positive impact on us as a whole.
     
    GeetGeet likes this.
  15. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Nov 29, 2018

    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  16. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,275
    Likes Received:
    103

    Nov 29, 2018

    This is happening in my former school. I’m pretty sure I picked a good time to retire.

    Over the past 15 years I also noted a big decline in respect and willingness to, you know...work.
     
    GeetGeet likes this.
  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,967
    Likes Received:
    1,121

    Nov 29, 2018

    Tell me about it. This year, we had record numbers of enrollment and average class sizes at my school ballooned from 19-21 per class to 30-35 across all grade levels. Basically, we were slammed at the last second before the school year started and that has never happened before as class sizes are normally capped at 25.

    I think the lowest in all of my classes is 30 this year and the highest is 35.
     
  18. Geologygirl

    Geologygirl Comrade

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2009
    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    58

    Nov 29, 2018

    We have many more autistic kids being mainstreamed also. Normally I am all about inclusion, but after experiencing a student throw them selves to the floor screaming and crying over being asked to fix a mistake on a paper I feel unqualified and untrained to meet the needs of kids like this by my self. I think if the sped kids can handle being in a classroom bring it on, but if not they need to have supports in place including paras to help the kid succeed. If not, it is not fair to that student or the other 37 to 42 kids in class .I also think class sizes are way to big, and the rise of lawnmower parents are all reasons for the teaching crisis. I should note I teach high school.
     
  19. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Messages:
    1,864
    Likes Received:
    607

    Nov 29, 2018

    As a first year teacher, class size and the emphasis on data is my main issue. I have 33 kids in two of my classes and it is a lot, even without kids with IEPs. It's scary to know that we do not have a cap. I am hoping to eventually find a job in a district with a class size cap. I teach in an urban school and I know that suburban schools in my area do not have such ridiculous class sizes. Inclusion classes in my school have a cap of 25 with two teachers, at least for Math and English classes.

    I'm also frustrated by the emphasis on data with the lack of resources. If schools are so focused on data, I would honestly prefer a curriculum if it is high quality and we have the freedom to make changes. We only have a pacing guide at my school and I am teaching to a test that I have never seen! It is difficult to make your own resources all the time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  20. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    4,400
    Likes Received:
    1,046

    Nov 30, 2018

    I teach ONLY students with autism and I find it insane to think one of my students would ever be placed in a mainstream class. Maladaptive behaviors can occur at anytime in the classroom and sometimes for unknown reasons. This is why my students are placed in classrooms that have no more than 6 students (however, note I am in a private school). In public schools some autism classrooms have up to 12 students but certain kids can't function in a classroom that has too many students. I know people think that if "regular" students model good behavior the autistic students will learn from that but honestly some will never be able to because their behavior isn't usually a "choice" rather than a response to something that occurs over which they have no control. Behavior modification can occur with these students but it but from what I've seen it is a slow process. In the meantime, regular education teachers are stressed out and the regular education students are affected negatively.
     
    Geologygirl likes this.
  21. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,845
    Likes Received:
    1,455

    Nov 30, 2018

    The scariest thing about this is that once class sizes go up, it becomes the new norm and rarely do they go back down.
     
  22. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,967
    Likes Received:
    1,121

    Nov 30, 2018

    I’ve already spoken with my administration and they assured me that they had no recourse as so many students enrolled before the schedule could be restructured at the start of the year. Going forward, they said that they are going to offer more sections of some of my classes (AP Stats and AP Calc BC).

    The good thing is that since I’ve been delegated to teaching the more advanced classes — at least, as of late — that I *should* have smaller class sizes in the future.
     
  23. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1,485
    Likes Received:
    1,026

    Nov 30, 2018

    Well, that depends on how big the class sizes are at Los Altos, or whatever this was called.
     
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  24. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,232
    Likes Received:
    1,177

    Nov 30, 2018

    ...and with him being the newbie, they'd probably give him all the lowest level classes!
     
  25. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,967
    Likes Received:
    1,121

    Nov 30, 2018

    True that.
     
  26. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    5,277
    Likes Received:
    745

    Nov 30, 2018

    Exactly! I have kids who need instruction on a preprimer level, have no help for the kids or with planning from a sped teacher, and am expected to create materials on their level in my spare time. I am trying my best to take care of them, my ELLs, my 504 kids, kids with discipline issues, and regular ed kids at the same time with no help.
     
  27. akconnel

    akconnel Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    18

    Nov 30, 2018

    Take your situation, which is the new norm, and add the facts that districts are cutting benefits, salaries are not keeping up with inflation, and states are trying to diminish pensions. That is why there is a teacher shortage. I’m curious what things will look like 20 years from now given the path we are on.

    I think one of the other users nailed it when he/she wrote that they will lean more on boxed curriculum to reduce the impact of turnover and also lean more on internet resources for teaching.

    In short, the quality of teaching will decline significantly because while the public would certainly like to have good teachers, they don’t want them enough to pay for it.
     
  28. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2015
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    68

    Dec 1, 2018

    I agree that they will bring in more and more under qualified teachers, sweet people who want to make a difference and think, "How hard could it be?" then they will hand them idiot proof scripted curriculum's.

    But, It wont work.

    Why? because every boxed curriculum I have seen or piloted has holes in it. Some have holes you could drive a truck through. Inexperienced/under-educated teachers wont be able to fill those holes. These scripted curriculum also dont give give very good info on differentiation or what a teacher should do when 1/4 of their class comes in 2 years below grade level and cannot access the curriculum on grade level. They might have little things, like below level reading passages and teacher instructions to use sentences frames and clozes for low learners but that isnt enough for the very very low kids we get.

    They also tend to be very dry and boring and include a lot of group/partner work. To make boring lessons and group work a positive learning experience in the class room you had better have strong management cause its gonna be trash can fire in 3..2..1... But you see thats another hole for these new inexperienced and under-educated teachers that they use to replace solid educators.

    So they will find that their pithy band aide solutions and short sighted tactics to "fix" the teacher shortage will fail. Then and only then, and only after a lot of students make their way through the schools without getting a proper education, will the real changes come.
     
    readingrules12 and Backroads like this.
  29. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Dec 1, 2018

    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
    futuremathsprof likes this.
  30. ssgirl11

    ssgirl11 Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    72

    Dec 1, 2018

    Reading these threads, I've found myself shaking my head aggressively in agreement at each one.

    I'm a second year middle school social studies teacher. Last year, we had no inclusion, but I did have a special ed class, with a co-teacher. I didn't mind that class, and they were able to learn the same material as my other classes, even though it was at a slightly slower pace.

    This year, my school is almost full inclusion, and since social studies is not a tested subject, I have lost my co-teacher. I now have a class of 8 students, who were in all pullout classes last year. I find it impossible to teach without being interrupted, I cannot do group activities with them because they will not stay on task, and I have significantly watered down the curriculum. Even with the watered down version, they still don't seem to understand it. It's frustrating to me because I feel as though I am bending over backwards with trying to be effective and it doesn't seem to be working.

    I've also seem more laziness and disinterest than I ever have, and it only seems to be getting worse. It seems like it's both an institutional and generational thing.
     
    GeetGeet and futuremathsprof like this.
  31. akconnel

    akconnel Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    18

    Dec 1, 2018

    I actually have decided to leave education. These are my last couple months of teaching. I kept hanging around thinking it would get better. I tried different jobs and even different states. I realize now that not only is it not getting better, it is gradually getting worse. I had several friends who left the field and they all say you couldn’t pay them enough to go back now that they see how much better it is outside of teaching. I already know that’s the case. I left for a few years then went back because I missed the kids and wanted to make a difference. I was shocked at how much worse it had become in just a few years. I tried to stick it out but I just can’t anymore. This job is like beating your head against a brick wall while everyone chastises you for not beating it harder and faster.
     
  32. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,967
    Likes Received:
    1,121

    Dec 1, 2018

    Not necessarily. It could very well be a mixture as several listing in my area on Edjoin are requesting to applicants to teach everything from Pre-Algebra through AP Calc.
     
  33. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2014
    Messages:
    3,967
    Likes Received:
    1,121

    Dec 1, 2018

    What career are you going to enter into outside of teaching?
     
  34. Always__Learning

    Always__Learning Comrade

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2017
    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    281

    Dec 1, 2018

    FMP in the public system what you get hired to teach is often not what you end up teaching. Things change frequently, often days before a semester starts or even sometimes after the semester starts. Even if the contract is written such that changes can't happen to what you are hired to teach, things can change drastically by the next semester. In my experience, new teachers (including experienced teachers who are changing schools) usually end up with more of what YTG is suggesting. In fact, in my time in public education I can only think of a few new teachers who ended up with high level courses consistently - so I would say it is the exception rather than the rule.
     
  35. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Dec 1, 2018

    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
    a2z likes this.
  36. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,768
    Likes Received:
    1,693

    Dec 1, 2018

    I agree with so much of your post. I do have a comment about this though.

    I think part of the problem is we really don't know how to assess and evaluate for mastery anymore. Think of how many kids are passing but a few months later they don't remember the material at all - even with some prompting. Is that because we find ways to make it look like mastery has been achieved? For example, and I know not everyone does this, I've seen people quiz for reading comprehension in several faulty ways. First, the teacher read to the students. That is comprehension, but it certainly isn't reading comprehension even if they follow with their eyes. Second, I've seen quizzing for reading comprehension after a whole class discussion. Again, what is being assessed. I could find many more examples in many content areas how we don't assess the skills that are supposed to be assessed, and sadly some teachers don't see the problem with what they are doing. They truly think they are assessing reading comprehension. While a mastery based system will certainly help students be more sound in their skills, it would not solve problems like this. I could actually see more cheating of mastery assessment by not assessing what is supposed to be assessed when kids are failing to progress.
     
  37. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    2,407
    Likes Received:
    1,180

    Dec 1, 2018

    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  38. akconnel

    akconnel Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    18

    Dec 1, 2018

     
  39. a2z

    a2z Maven

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    5,768
    Likes Received:
    1,693

    Dec 1, 2018

    I think we would have a lot of analysis to do to determine if your statement is true. How much time is wasted teaching and re-teaching subject matter that is never learned in the first place?

    Ask just about any advanced student how much wasted time there is in school when things are re-taught or trying to get kids who are so far behind to attend because they have no reason to attend to content they can't possibly understand.

    So, I agree it may take more time compared to multiple choice tests and even worse scantron sheets and machines, but on a whole, would it even out?

    Think about it. We have kids writing entire essays when they don't even know what a sentence consists of. Then they have to be graded rather than grading small tasks as they build to larger tasks. There certainly is a lot less correction when kids are doing most of the work properly.
     
  40. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,232
    Likes Received:
    1,177

    Dec 1, 2018

    You’re seeing postings on EdJoin for math teachers for the 2018-2019 (current) school year?
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. vickilyn,
  2. RainStorm,
  3. SaraFirst
Total: 217 (members: 5, guests: 195, robots: 17)
test