Monday, August 27, 2007

Staffing an issue in the States as well

Here is a story from the New York Times about the sorry state of teaching in the U.S. It focuses on the number of people leaving the profession, and the difficulty in staffing qualified teachers in math and science in particular, and even more so in low performing districts.

The retirement of thousands of baby boomer teachers coupled with the departure
of younger teachers frustrated by the stress of working in low-performing
schools is fueling a crisis in teacher turnover that is costing school districts
substantial amounts of money as they scramble to fill their ranks for the fall
term. Superintendents and recruiters across the nation say the challenge of
putting a qualified teacher in every classroom is heightened in subjects like
math and science and is a particular struggle in high-poverty schools, where the
turnover is highest. Thousands of classes in such schools have opened with
substitute teachers in recent years.
Teaching students interested in learning is a total joy -- the frustration of the discipline problems drives most people out of the business. Of my current crop about 3 in 4 are really there to learn within reason, and 1 in 4 are there to deprive the other 3 of that opportunity. I'm better than most at keeping that 1 in 4 on task, but it is exhausting and demoralizing to have to do so all the time.

Also, when I went into this field I was single, and I was being paid enough for me. I didn't look down the line so much. I don't have a big money complaint with things here now, but when I look at the salary guides for the states that aren't much better, and being aware how much more expensive things like housing and car insurance are there, plus all the other options that don't exist here that grab at your money, I wonder how I will be able to make it work. I could easily be one of those people who have to get out that are described in this piece.

I'd be curious to hear from my teacher readers if they expect to be in this profession 5, 10 or 15 plus years down the line.


marianas life said...

i expect to be in the profession as a career, but i don't know what aspect of the profession. i'd like to eventually prepare future teachers in science or work on education policy issues. i'm planning on starting my doctorate in Jan. in Sci. Education. Most days I'm fine here and would be willing to stay. I like to see things through and feel like we're making progress at Hopwood. But Doug's threshold for bullshit is lower than mine and his patience is running out.

Jeff said...

That's hilarious.

Betty said...

I'm in it for the long haul. I can't imagine my life without being in the field. For some of us teaching is like breathing. We keep doing it, regardless of the air quality!
; - )

Angie said...

I may be in this profession for the long haul, but when is enough enough? I've been here almost seven years and teaching all together twenty-nine years. This is the worst that I have ever seen it!