There’s a Teacher Shortage in The US. What’s Happening?

Teachers are one of the most critical professions in shaping today’s youth into tomorrow’s leaders. 

After conducting accurate research on the matter, its experts observed that teacher shortage is a problem that accentuates bigger issues: the widening of the societal gap and the teachers’ dissatisfaction with their profession. 

Teacher shortages are real, maybe not as dramatic as the media have reported, but it’s happening. US Bureau Of Labor Statistics reports that in July 2022, there were around 270,000 fewer school workers than in January 2020.

Some states are experiencing a more severe shortage, which has been going on for over a decade. The situation worsens in underprivileged communities, usually rural and suburban areas serving minorities.

While well-paying suburban schools attract candidates more easily, it contributes to an even larger widening of social gaps in an already divided society.

Politics in the Way

Although the pandemic worsened the situation, teacher dissatisfaction with the profession has been going on for over a decade. Data shows that 55% of teachers plan to quit their careers earlier than expected.

So, what are the causes of such statistics? First, teachers need more professional authority, but the State constantly introduces new regulations on what and how to teach. Low salaries mean teachers’ efforts and work are not recognized. Finally, the lack of proper resources is frustrating, and overall benefits must increase.

In 2022, young professionals value flexibility and autonomy in what and how they teach. Unfortunately, the current education system restricts innovation and leaves teachers with less power. The profession is not respected and doesn’t look appealing to young people. Moreover, it doesn’t provide the flexibility and freedom other jobs offer.

Teachers Desperately Wanted

The government should improve the situation by impacting salaries and benefits. And while some schools are attracting teachers by offering higher paychecks and bonuses, other underfunded districts are getting more creative. What about a 4 days-week? 25% of the districts will have a shorter day schedule this fall in Missouri. This practice is familiar in New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, and South Dakota.

Some states are implementing more dramatic measures. In Arizona, for instance, a new law makes it easier for teachers without bachelor’s degrees to gain classroom experience. In Florida, even more drastic measures grant military veterans access to temporary teaching certificates.

In today’s world, each profession overgoes an evolution. Teaching is not an exception, and now is the right time for it to start evolving. Fewer restrictions – giving the teachers enough input to direct them but leaving space for being creative and making them decide the best way to teach their subject.

Source: Skillhub.

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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.