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Steven Singer is a veteran teacher in Pennsylvania. In this post, he offers five ways to slow the teacher exodus.
As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, schools across the United States are on the brink of collapse.
There is a classroom teacher shortage.
There is a substitute teacher shortage.
There is a bus driver shortage.
There is a special education aide shortage.
The people we depend on to staff our public schools are running away in droves.
It’s a clear supply and demand issue that calls for deep structural changes.
However, it’s not really new. We’ve needed better compensation and treatment of school employees for decades, but our policymakers have been extremely resistant to do anything about it.
Instead, they’ve given away our tax dollars to corporations through charter and voucher school initiatives. They’ve siphoned funding to pay for more standardized testing, teaching to the test, and ed tech software.
But the people who actually do the work of educating our youth. We’ve left them out in the cold.
Now with the smoldering pandemic and increased impacts on the health, safety and well-being of teachers and other staff, the exodus has merely intensified.
We need a popular, national movement demanding action from our state and federal governments. However, in the meantime, there are several things our local school districts can do to stem the tide of educators fleeing the profession.
These are simple, cheap and common sense methods to encourage teachers to stay in the classroom and weather the storm.
However, let me be clear. None of these can solve the problem, alone. And even ALL of these will not stop the long-term flight of educators from our schools without better salaries and treatment.
To read his five proposals, open the link.