Dr. Hans Andrews is Distinguished Fellow in Community College Leadership. He was President of Olney Central College in Illinois. He also taught business classes and worked as a counselor in two secondary schools. He is also the President of Matilda Press: Matildapress.com/news.html
Dr. William Marzano is the leadership teacher for the Aurora, Illinois, Chamber of Commerce. He was formerly an academic administrator at Waubonsee Community College in Illinois and a teacher of Psychology at Illinois Valley Community College. His Ph.D. degree was completed at Illinois State University in Curriculum Development.
A shortage of certified full-time teachers continued to exist during the 2021-2022 school year around the world. The outlook for the next several years looks no better. There are few countries that appear to have changed their mode of operation in seeking an increase in the supply chain of new teachers entering the field.
The universities and four-year colleges have been the main sources of teacher candidates for many years. These sources, however, have had major declines in students entering the education pipeline at these colleges for several years.
The cost of obtaining a university education has grown beyond the reach of many individuals who previously might have enrolled in a teacher preparation degree program. In addition, costs incurred in obtaining of a teaching degree has put has created large loan debts.
The present authors had an article published in 1990-91 titled Meeting Looming Faculty Shortage: Development From Within. This opened new thinking as school districts that started reaching students to consider teaching and encouraging them to return to their home schools to teach. The providing of financial support was encouraged.
This program has been implemented in numerous school districts around the U.S. and has become one of the important movements in trying to attract more candidates into teaching careers in recent years.
Short term ‘fixes’ being utilized around the globe
Ontario, Canada: A partial solution is an ‘Emergency Measure of a Temporary Certificate ‘ to let students in education programs start teaching after completing a third or fourth semester of their college program.
Toronto, Canada: Two hundred ninety staff who were not vaccinated were granted temporary exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccination mandate.
Uncertified supply teachers* were allowed to teach all year long rather than a limited number of days as usual.
Fewer retired teachers have made themselves available during the pandemic due to their ages.
United Kingdom (U.K.)
The U.K. began a program in 2008 called Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS). This program provided a way for many other persons to enter teaching. The Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) was the normal entry and a 4-year bachelor degree program is required for this status. Over 24,000 had achieved the QTLS status since the year 2012. Those in this program have now been given the same pay and status as those in the QTS sector of education.
Teacher shortages were reported in 2021 in half of the school in Australian remote areas and three-quarters in the ‘very remote areas’. Teachers surveyed in 2020 asked for lighter workloads to help retain teachers.
Across the country there were 38 percent of teachers in the secondary schools teaching outside of their normal fields of expertise. This included math, science, English and technology areas of study. In Queensland 282 principals answering a survey listed mathematics teachers and technology teachers as the hardest to find and attract.
Unqualified teachers were teaching math and science classes in 79 secondary schools and only 36 principals reported having fully qualified math and science teachers.
A number of short-term fixes are in place in the United States.
The short-term answer to teacher shortages in India . . .India was identified in 2015 in a UNESCO** report as the country, second only to Nigeria, having an ‘acute teacher shortage’. The recruitment of teachers required to meet their need at that time was second to Nigeria. They were listed as needing to recruit 370,000 new teachers at that time!
Why were teachers leaving classroom in Australia? Short-term contracts were a major concern. In addition the stress and what teachers referred to as ‘poor conditions’ for teaching.
The state of New South Wales are looking for 11,000 new teachers over the next ten year period and over 200,000 more students were expected to enter the NSW schools over the next 20 years.
*Full-time status teachers
** United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization
Time to move to solid and creatively proposed ‘long-term’ fixes
We are proposing a number of ‘long-term’ fixes that will help each and every school district and state to improve the growth of future teachers. We are also presenting the baccalaureate degree completion shifting to more ‘community colleges’ or other teaching institutions where there are diverse student bodies already enrolled.
The costs for students at these institutions are considerably lower and within range of thousands of more students. In future years these students will be coming teachers close to their home school districts. In all likelihood many will more likely fill the teacher openings in the areas they live and may already have family support available. School districts should be supportive of these students and seek them out as they progress to teaching degree status.
The ‘long-term’ fixes we are proposing are defined here along with internet websites easy to reach and view:
Grow Your Own Teachers: https://growyourownteachers.org
At Grow Your Own, they support racially diverse individuals who have a desire to become teachers in their own communities.
Educators Rising: https://educatorsrising.org
This program is cultivating a new generation of highly skilled educators by guiding young people on a path from high school through college and into their teaching careers.
Community College Baccalaureate Association | CCBA: https://www.accbd.org
This association promotes affordable access to community college baccalaureate degrees as a means of helping closing the nation’s racial, ethnic and economic gaps and shortages of professionals in fields with continuing short supply.
Scaling Education Pathways in Illinois (SEPI). https://news.siu.edu/2019/05/052919-teachers-start-grant.php This is a new program sponsored through Southern Illinois University.
It is time for educational institutions around the world to try ‘new ways’ to stem the teacher shortages that have been leading to a ‘crisis’ in so many states and countries. We feel that the suggestions made in this article should help to quickly stem these shortages. We have learned that the present system of preparing teachers cannot turn out the number of teachers need now and into the future years.