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Fewer young people becoming teachers; schools could be short-staffed in years ahead

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Posted: Monday, February 7, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 6:09 am, Tue Feb 8, 2011.

Ever since she was a little girl, Chelsey Ligocki has wanted to be a teacher. The 2009 Lodi High School graduate is not swayed by the budget cuts hitting education or the possibility she might be laid off when she finds that perfect job after graduation. Apparently she's in the minority. A number of recent reports paint a cautious picture of the future of teaching.

Baby Boomers are retiring, and college students appear hesitant to step into those roles due to decreasing salaries, increasing layoffs and a less-than-welcoming teaching atmosphere. And, with student enrollment expected to begin to rise again, some predict there could be a teacher shortage in the next few years.

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Welcome to the discussion.

2 comments:

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:51 pm on Mon, Feb 7, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    From my perspective one of the best arguments in this article is the following:

    There're a lot of people locally who would be great teachers, who leave in the first and second years because of working conditions," Heberle said, ticking off a list of requirements imposed on educators by mandates under No Child Left Behind, such as rigorous benchmark testing that she feels adds extra burden to teachers.

    Teachers I talked to told me that the joy of teaching had been significantly reduced as they knew how to get the most out of the students educationally, but because of mandates and strict supervision to control exactly when, where, and how students were taught, creativity was/is stifled as was/is the quality of education. That to me is the part that needs to change.
    I think this notion that teachers in general are paid far under what they should get is not only false, but significantly diminishes the ability to attract new teachers. George Neely, stated he is concerned with retention and creating what he termed "job satisfaction" in the district. I think he is right and that should be a focus of the district. In addition, this message does not go unnoticed and parents who influence the decisions of their children are less likely to support their child’s consideration to be a teacher. I know the take home pay is low to begin, but when you add in a superior retirement system as well as benefits, it is fair.
    In my opinion, if teaching becomes fun again and the joy of helping children grow and flourish in the school system, there will be no teacher shortage in my opinion. How could any student like Chelsey Liglocki turn down that kind of opportunity?

     
  • Victor Halsig posted at 12:17 pm on Mon, Feb 7, 2011.

    Victor Halsig Posts: 1

    That there "will be" a teacher shortage in coming years is not "news." We have had such a shortage for about 30 years and, as the writer points out, we are now doing many things to exacerbate the situation. I retired from teaching in 2009 (took the incentive and ran), miss my students like crazy, and don't miss all the red tape at all. Folks, the problem is not seniority (read "old people who are burned out"). The problem is that administrators have always had a REAL problem filling teaching positions and they were forced to hang on to many who were inept in the classroom JUST TO FILL THE POSITION. Now, there is no job security (check out LAUSD and the ACLU), the job still pays poorly in terms of the education required, and is one of the most stressful jobs available in the USA. I might consider going back to my classroom, but I absolutely do NOT want to be the principal. Too hard to find good teachers out there, and it is going to get MUCH worse.

    Great article-well written - honest reporting.

     
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