{ "media_type": "image", "post_content": "How might our nation reconcile its “dire” teacher shortage? How would you do it, given the opportunity?", "post_id": "60c153cb4f3086002a3024a6", "reply_count": 112, "vote_count": 6, "bowl_id": "5c751b9f2f6b98001bc666f8", "bowl_name": "Teachers" }
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I would phase out public education. It’s a broken system with no incentive systems. But going to a fully private system with subsidized support for the poor would improve the system over the long term by rewarding states, districts, and schools that find success in any of a myriad ways. As long as we pretend that the current system should be protected because it gives an equal opportunity, then we hamstring the ability to fix the problems that we all know exist. It’s a big problem, and would require a big solution that we can’t get to anytime soon. The teacher part of the problem is not even a problem. There are many good teachers that are held back from what they could really achieve because of the schools they are keeping afloat with hero duty. The biggest culprit if there is an enemy at this point is either the unions or the legislative system being tied to education and listening to the union lobby. To tough to tease those two apart. You asked my opinion and plan, and that’s my starting points. It doesn’t matter, because this behemoth of a system isn’t going to change based on our efforts. We are on the slow slide to technology replacing the classroom teacher. Maybe a decade, maybe a generation. It is only a matter of time before students stay home and learn from a computer because it’s cheaper, easier, and quieter than teachers.

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California (LA) recently announced that they will increase teachers, nurses, and mental health workers in their schools (they were required to defund the school police in order to fund all).

After reading the posts I have come to several conclusions: 1. The system does need to be torn down and rebuilt. 2. The system needs to look at the needs in 5-10 increments so it can channel students in specific career paths. 3. The unions still need to be kept, because that is what keeps the employers, private or state, honest in their dealings regarding salary, class assignments, duties, etc. 4. The schools need to become more conservative and not let the parents and students run the schools. Parent's complaints get more time and reaction then they deserve. 5. Vocational classes need to be brought back, which include those classes for the 21 century. 6. Teachers need to be put into a different light. Very few students want to be teachers and we all know the attrition rate is pretty high in the first five years. There are a variety of reasons- pay, daily responsibilities that never end, contact time with parents that is more prevalent now, then ever before, dealing with student and parent behaviors, etc. Let us not forget the physical structure of buildings that are 50+ years old and need to be retooled for the 21 century classes.

likesmart
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Change expectations. Why am I expected to call parents about everything? My parents didn’t have the internet to check my grades, attendance, and discipline record at any moment. Yet teachers didn’t call about everything. Now they have that information at the tip of their fingers and I am expected to used my meager prep time to call my 90 students’ parents. Switch back to a disciplined system that doesn’t follow the customer service model. While students and parents should have a voice they can be driven by their emotions which rarely results in good decisions. While they may have their child’s best interest at heart, maybe they need what we teachers are suggesting.

likesmarthelpful

AMEN!

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Pay teachers at a rate commensurate with other professionals with similar education requirements. Then ensure they have all the resources needed to do their job. It will be shocking how fast the shortage comes to an end.

likesmarthelpfulfunny

Yes, agree with this statement. ☝🏽

Start by only selecting the best and brightest to go into the teaching profession. Pay teachers at the same level you pay other professionals with specialized training. Equip schools equally. All schools should have the same resources and quality facilities. Make sure class sizes are no more than 20:1. Create a robust social safety net so that schools are not tasked with the added burden of addressing societal problems in addition to educating the masses.

likesmart

Pay them good salaries and show them respect.

likeuplifting

Yes! R E S P E C T.

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It will take a cultural shift—Americans need to learn to value teachers and education. Once they do that, monetary rewards follow.

likeuplifting

Do you think that way of thinking is not in other professions? More for less? Thats in any and all helping professional!

More so than pay, teachers need more TIME. Either decrease student contact minutes per teacher, so they have more time for planning, prep, meetings, etc. OR decrease the duties other than instruction that teachers must fulfill. OR, at the very least, increase the compensation, so teachers are paid for ‘overtime’ for work they complete outside of contract hours.

likesmart

Sign on bonuses, increase pay, bonuses to returning teachers.... money!

likeuplifting

We need to do something to keep the people we already have, as well. Not just a one time bonus. A bigger salary bump if people stick it out after 5 years. Then ten, twenty, and even thirty.

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Respect. Finland doesn’t have a teacher shortage, and never will. It is a highly respected profession where only the top 20% of the class are excepted into education programs. When teachers contact a parent, the parent KNOWS and trusts that the teacher wants the best outcome for their child, and the parent supports the teacher. Teachers aren’t paid much more than here (national average), but it is commensurate with what doctors are paid. Admin supports the teachers. They teach 4-5 hours and have 3-4 hours of prep time. When testing week rolls around, there are cops everywhere, enforcing the noise levels around the schools…. Respect is key. It will never happen here.

likeuplifting

Awesome contribution @NJES1 - thank you!

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Um, why would we make it EASIER to get a teaching license? If you don’t know your stuff, you shouldn’t be educating our youth unsupervised... I DO think there should be more of an ‘apprenticeship’ approach to teacher education, and that young ‘pre-teachers’ who are working on this ‘apprenticeship’ should be compensated at a living wage, similar to beginning tradespeople...

likesmart

First the teacher needs a living wage.

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So I see two arguments on here; hire the best and the brightest and lower standards for obtaining a license.

likehelpfulfunny

One of those is in the realm of possibility, the other is logistically impossible to realize.

helpful

I am not going to lead with pay. I understood that this was not the highest paying job when I started. There is also the point that I am in one of the higher paying districts in my area. I started with several years of experience I had started, outside of the US, teaching A/AS Economics. I also have an MBA, all that put me on one of the higher start tiers in the pay scale. I will agree with the need for fewer classroom hours. As it stands, teachers are expected to be here before 7 am and remain working until 4 pm, however, 5 pm is the norm. In addition to that, showing up on either Saturday or Sunday for about four hours is also an expectation. Much of this time is spent dealing with changes that we, the teachers, had no part in making. An area that needs to be stressed is the very word “stress.” There is nearly no unwind time with the long hours. That is combined with toleration for student behaviour that should be inexcusable. A decision was made, again, not by the teachers, to go with a very “lite” discipline model. The teachers are then held responsible for classroom management. Further, the environment created is one that is very hard, for any but the most focused students, to learn in. This is reflected by our drop-in assessment scores, relative to the rest of the state. There is another retention issue that I see. I see many young teachers arrive in this rural area when they are first out of college. While it is easy to target these people for recruitment, the retention is poor. It is easy to see what is happening. First, as mentioned, these new teachers are arriving in a very low discipline school which is very different from the schools they attended. Second, these new teachers are leaving college, where they enjoyed one of the most social periods of their adult life, and are suddenly in a place with few if any opportunities for a social life. I frequently point this out to new teachers as I encourage them to go to the movies and engage in other activities together (not with me though, I am a soul-sucking force of un-fun). The teachers that hurry back to their apartments so they can log into their games, allowing them to socialize with the friends they left behind are frequently miserable here. I am not saying that people shouldn’t play games with their friends and reinforce established relationships. However, when it is the sum of their social contact then we are failing to meet their needs. Back to the policy ideas in the article. I agree something needs to be done to reduce the student loan burden. The current forgiveness of $5,000 after five years isn’t enough. It does nothing to relieve the burden of new teachers who, in addition to so many other stressors, and suffering the most under the burden of paying for their education. However, also in the article, calls for increased “diversity” concern me. “Diversity,” is often code for “let’s get rid of the middle-aged white men.” We need to ensure there are no barriers due to gen

likehelpful

Teachers are being required to complete manual/rote task that technology can now provide more efficiently than humans are able. Family communication and Culture: I utilized a state/PD provided app to communicate with parents because they willing and rapidly engage (like phone text). It will also operate in the families preferred language. They the communications were too numerous for me to manually capture and duplicate in the districts SIS system (I use for more formal communication and documents). Short story- evaluation points! Attendance: Goggle automatically captured district attendance during the pandemic - by the minute- when students joined G-Meet. Yet we were required to manually enter (duplicate) this into the districts SIS system each and every class period. This is only one isolated instance among a multitude of “nickels and dimes” on time, productive , efficiency and morale. My AP/VP who is credentialed in EdTech did not answer my question - Why? I may have understood the rationale, had she responded. Perhaps manual labor is less expensive than updated tech. However, we loose instructional time and preparations which may be more costly to student achievement. Particularly when your teachers may not be working the “extra” voluntary 50-80 hours a week, during a pandemic, to bridge the gaps.

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“Minutia” - how one of my colleagues also labels all.

Money would help a lot.

likeuplifting

Pay that is fair. and on par with the private word. Pay off student loans for those entering and staying in the field so much per year. Switch to MERIT PAY. There is no desire to improve if there is not money attached especially since most states are doing away with pensions.

smart

I don’t care if the pay is fair, but I’m all for merit pay. I would be rich.

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Curve the Teacher’s Praxis test and let new teachers teach. It holds so many people back in Virginia and raises too, especially sped and high risk individuals.

helpful

Um… do you know how curving works? That means guaranteed failures for the lowest.

likehelpful

How about paying Teachers what they are worth??? What other career has the amount of education that Teachers have? And work the hours we do? That is paid what Teachers are given? None.

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Teacher and para's need a raise for all the stuff they go through & deal with. Ther would be no jobs/professions (careers) without teachers. Teachers and para's are expected to teacher with little supplies or support.

I have been told that Texas does not require a teacher license, only a degree is required, and with relatively decent teacher pay!

That is only for some CTE classes (eg. Welding). Classroom teachers can get an emergency certification while they are going through an Alt Cert program. We do have to have our “license”.

helpful

Our needs are indeed multifaceted!

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