Who me? Yes, you!
News media platforms report staff shortages in many different areas across the country. Education is one of those areas where we see issues with deficiencies in many different positions and levels. Looking at the college enrollments also tells us students are not interested in entering into the field of education either. Soon we will see an increased level of shortages in principals as well.
How can we work to eliminate these shortages and begin to attract more people to the area of education? Education is a vital part of every country and the future of who we are as well. We need to build it up and not tear it down. If not you, then who can begin to help address this vital issue? We need you and every individual with children or not to be a voice in helping to build education back up. Who me? Yes, you!
Nearly 40% of secondary school principals expect to leave the profession in the next three years, according to NASSP’s recent nationally representative survey of principals. The survey also found that an overwhelming majority of school leaders are concerned about teacher shortages, educator burnout, and difficulties hiring qualified teachers.
We have an educator pipeline crisis in America that must be addressed immediately.
How dire is the shortage? How long have we had this issue? Many articles are written about this topic, but what do we know? In one of the articles, information is shared on how researchers collected data to create a national look at the issue. They attempted to get a comprehensive look but did not get adequate data from all states, but enough to have an overall assessment of needs.
We have had a decrease in highly qualified teachers in classrooms in certain areas for a long time. Some sites do not have issues in finding staffing, while others do. An indicator of why we continue to see a lapse in learning gains.
How can we retain the educators we have and attract new staff?
An article released at the end of September mentions six ways districts can utilize ESSER funds to support staffing issues. However, I am not sure I agree with all of them. You can judge for yourself. Once you decide to do something, you set a precedent.
- 1. Stipends, Teacher retention bonuses to teachers if they commit to this school year and next.
- 2. Strategically timed bonuses. Issuing bonuses to staff throughout the school year to keep motivation going is one way, and another is to give a bonus at the end of the year.
- 3. Classroom supplies. Teachers are known to spend their own money on supplies for the classroom. Providing them with money for classroom supplies would give them a boost.
- 4. Tuition and certification benefits. Helping staff to continue to grow by paying for classes and certification exams is a way to support staff and provide incentives to remain on staff.
- 5. Coaching and career development. Providing staff with coaching opportunities will provide them with support, encouragement, and opportunities to gain confidence. Many can utilize this as a way to continue to develop plans to further their career within the organization.
- 6. Housing support. Affordable housing is critical to retain and attracting staff. Being creative with having affordable housing on school property is a possibility. If you are a large unit district, maybe you can also work to collaborate with smaller unit districts near you.
There are many things our government can do to support education and facilitate positive educational changes and procedures to take for accountability. As citizens, we can actively look at the policies in place, those proposals made, and which candidate we want to vote for to make the decisions needed to make the necessary changes.
As parents and community members, we need to actively monitor our local schools to ensure they have all they need, are following through on what is needed with curriculum and discipline, and serve all. In addition, we need to volunteer where we can and provide resources where possible.