As the years go by, especially in the last couple of decades, teachers seemingly do not receive the honor that they once did in education. To put it simply, educators are not as highly looked at by the public as they once were. This just seems to be the way that society is heading at the moment.
I mention this because it goes hand in hand with why there is a teacher shortage in many regions of the globe currently. Teachers expect not to receive the best pay in the world. It comes with the job. But if you are not at least respected in the job field that you enter, then why would you want to jump in and commit your life to it?
Low pay and sometimes blatant disrespect is not a way to increase the number of college students entering into the education field. It is, in fact, a recipe for disaster as it has been shown to affect people’s preference for even considering being a teacher. So the real question is how do schools go about overcoming the teacher recruitment problem and what can they do to retain these teachers once the climb on board?
The Challenge Is Real in the United Kingdom
According to the 2018 numbers for the Education Policy Institute, the schools in England are facing a severe shortage of teachers. Because of the lack of staff and qualified personnel, class sizes are getting out of hand and courses are being taught by those lacking the proper credentials.
How Do We Fix the Problem?
Not long ago, teachers were considered the pillar of their community. There was no career more respected than being an educator. And they didn’t just educate the children in their classes, but they were considered the region’s wisest and most trusted individuals that could offer guidance to all. Unfortunately, times have really changed since then.
However, there are still things that the government can do along with school administrators to ensure that we do not face such teacher shortages or experience a flurry of teachers leaving the profession after only a few years.
Raise the Salary
Public schools usually have to jump through hoops to receive funding from the government as standards and regulations are set by politicians that have never set one foot in the classroom other than perhaps for a publicity photo. The funding, of course, is garnered through our tax dollars and, for some reason, the government is in charge of handing our own money back out for these purposes. In my own personal view, perhaps the worst thing that ever happened to education was handing the keys over to the government and career politicians.
With all of this said, the funding that is provided to public schools is meant for several purposes, including teacher salaries. If you want the brightest and the best to consider a career in education, then the pay has to be comparable to what they could earn in other white-collar career fields. Maybe the salary does not have to be nearly as much as what a doctor could earn, but when there are accountants fresh out of college earning twice as much as an educator that has a Master’s degree and ten years in the profession, then this is a sign that things need to change drastically at the highest level.
Teacher Tuition Waivers
In many areas, college is entirely paid for by the government for college students pursuing a career in special education. This is another area where teachers are in demand, so to interest more college students in this field, their schooling is paid for. In the near future, this should be looked at for anyone taking classes in education. As a way to make certain they will not just receive the degree and then teach one year and leave the field, perhaps guidelines could be in place where it is mandatory they teach at least five years otherwise they have to pay all of the money back.
Set Limits to How Many Students Can Be in One Classroom
Every single year, teachers are at the mercy of administration. They are unsure whether they will have a class of 20 students or 30 students. It all depends on how the budget is perceived by the school board and administrators. Rather than leaving it at a guessing game every year, there needs to be regulations in place guaranteeing there will not be more than 20 students per classroom. And if the school has no choice but to add a couple of more students to the class, the teachers should be compensated for each additional student over 20.
Less Standardized Exams
According to a recent student about American public schools, there are 112 mandatory standardized exams a student will take from kindergarten to 12th grade. Once again, this is in place because the government has made it part of the requirement of receiving school funding. What they don’t tell you is that the government has basically billion-dollar contracts with these companies that create the exams. Because of this, teachers are unfairly receiving their own grade on how well their students perform on these test.
Unfortunately, it is all part of the scam of education. It is right up there with the “big five” textbook publishing companies that continually put out new editions year after year and charge hundreds of dollars per textbook. It appears everyone is out to make a dollar in education and they are allowed to, of course, except for the actual teachers themselves.
These are just a few ideas on how to recruit more professionals into the field and how you can safeguard against losing them in merely a few years. Nevertheless, until the government backs out of regulating education and hands the money over to the school districts themselves to basically operate like a real business, teacher shortages are going to keep on being a common problem for almost all schools around the globe.
1- Why the teacher retention crisis could become a school leadership crisis
2- Top challenges I face recruiting teachers
3- Teaching crisis – could TV shows be partly to blame?
4- Fixing the teacher recruitment crisis
5- Teaching professionals staffing crisis in our schools