How can the US overcome the present teacher shortage?

 

In a recent New York Times article, several letters outline the possible causes for the present teacher shortage. School districts with the highest percentage of historically underserved students will suffer the most. Schools will now have to empower teachers to avert the continued teacher shortage.

According to the article, many educators believe that low pay, lack of respect and support, and high stakes testing have contributed to the teacher shortage.

Low teacher pay will not offset the present high student debt that many teachers face. Student-loan debt in the United States totals $1 trillion which has eclipsed the amount that people owe on credit cards. The average borrower who graduates from a public or private institution owes approximately $25,250. When the loan is not repaid, the U.S. Education Department can turn borrowers’ names over to federal prosecutors, who in turn hire private law firms to retrieve their money.

In a recent incident, 58-year-old Linda Brice, a first grade teacher in Los Angeles had defaulted on $3,100 more than three decades ago. The law firm Goldsmith & Hull, that represented the federal government, withdrew $2,496 from her bank account and seized a quarter of her wages, which amounted to more than $900 a month. This occurred after a chief federal judge ruled in her favor and submitted a judgment where she should only pay $25 a month. Teacher pay coupled along with student debt is having a tremendous impact on the teacher shortage because many perspective teachers may choose an alternative occupation to avoid student debt circumstances that are detrimental.

High stakes testing and lack of respect and support are a product of systemic changes that avert empowering teachers which now contribute to the teacher shortage.

How does empowering teachers avoid the teacher shortage?

  1. Enhances job satisfaction – It’s frustrating to a teacher to know what’s right, but feel powerless to do anything.  Giving teachers some decision-making ability will decrease frustration and improve teacher retention.
  2. Raises expectations – When a teacher is empowered, that teacher has higher expectations. When teachers expectations are raised, teachers will rise to extraordinary levels and can become the catalyst for growth.
  3. Increases the quality of work – In organizations that provide employees with the freedom and flexibility to make a difference, employees feel empowered to deliver high quality work. Schools that provide teachers with the freedom and flexibility to be empowered will deliver higher levels of quality work.
  4. Increases collaboration – As teachers are empowered and treated as vital components of the school, they gain self-confidence in their abilities to positively influence the school. Teachers with healthy levels of self-confidence and self-esteem are more willing to share information with others. They feel comfortable exchanging ideas and collaborating with other teachers in an honest and open manner. These behaviors promote teamwork and active involvement in support of school and district wide goals that could not be achieved with a disjointed, non-connected workforce.
  5. Increases productivity – Teachers who are granted the power to take charge at work feel an increased sense of responsibility, accountability, and ownership for their work. They will work diligently to meet deadlines and school goals. They will feel energized enough to do what it takes to get the job done and to do it right. All of these reasons fuel an empowered teacher to be more productive, providing better performance results for the school.

The additional benefits provided to teachers through teacher empowerment include increasing teacher job performance and competence, improved morale of teachers, increased knowledge of subject matter, teaching strategies, methods, techniques and pedagogy, and finally resulting in higher motivation among students as well as higher levels of academic achievement. All in all, empowering teachers creates a positive environment which will ultimately eliminate the present teacher shortage.

Related Articles

School Districts Scramble Amid Teacher Shortage

The Teacher Shortage

W.Va. Education Association president calls teacher shortage ‘a crisis’

 

Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.

www.positiveracialrelationships.com

PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012

 

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Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology

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“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.

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“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools”

~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President

 

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About Classroom Racism Exterminator

Racism is a menace and so we’ve been taught for ages which is the primary need for a diversity expert. However, even in this modern society of today where we see a lot of colored celebrities performing on stage with huge fan followings and of course an Afro-America President for the USA, we are still in a phase where racism exists in all its brutal glory and has been eating away at the society like a plague. Classrooms, are one of the most affected areas where color differences and racism exists to its extremes. Even after decades of progress and a lot of communal efforts at bridging the gaps between colored students, white students and teachers, it is sad to say that the disparities still exist and are just as pronounced today as they were back in the 1950s. Colored students, even in the likes of New York City, are attending under resourced schools or have been significantly isolated and made to be unequal in regular schools. Even if the teachers are well-intentioned, perpetuating the structural racism that has taken deep roots into the fabric of our education system is a tough task and make the need for a diversity expert imperative. Teachers need to recognize the biases that exist within the classroom and also take conscious measures to address them and their own biases of course. James Baldwin once said, “it is your very own responsibility to change this society, if you think of yourself as an educated person.” Dr. Derrick L. Campbell took this quote very effectively and straight to the heart and thus this Classroom Racism Exterminator happened. Classroom Racism Exterminator is an initiative that will teach you about your duty and moral obligation towards eliminating racism from the classrooms. This is where and how you will learn about what you need to do to produce a better society that is free of biases and disparities amongst the blacks and the whites. Because we understand how classroom biases and conversations about racism are difficult and how teachers and students almost avoid the topics altogether, we have put together a range of effective methods and products to help address the problem at hand and talk meaningfully to counter issues related to race and racism in the classroom. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell understands that it takes a lot of courage to talk about race and racism and that racial issues need to be viewed through a very critical lens that can understand and attend to the pertaining aspects of racism in the classroom. And therefore through this website we have made a conscious effort to eliminate racism from the classroom and make the educational system equal and beneficial for all. We know and we understand that there are no words that can actually describe how racism feels. There are cases and everybody tends to deal with it in their own manner. Some might lash out verbally or others might just withdraw into shells. Whatever the case, people don’t talk about it openly and teachers don’t really make a conscious effort at addressing the issue. We don’t really know if our children or if the youth is learning to be educated or become racists in their classroom. Our program is focused on helping children of color and regardless of their race, their full potential. We want every student to be able to recognize and reach their full potential so that they think of themselves as responsible citizens of their country and not regard themselves as worthless human beings. Here you will find motivational books and flash card games, all of which have been designed focusing on eliminating racism completely from our classrooms. The books and the games have been consciously designed keeping in mind the American society and educational system. It is a small effort on our and Dr. Campbell’s part to help this society become a better place to live in. A little about diversity expert Dr. Campbell Dr. Derrick L. Campbell the driving force behind Classroom Racism Exterminator is a dynamic figure and a constant source of motivation for us. He has a Bachelors of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology, Math Education, a Masters in Education Administration and also holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Dr. Campbell is a well known personality throughout the nation. He has lectured at various events including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference and a lot of local churches. He is a personality well dedicated towards eliminating the plague of racism from our classrooms and helping every child recognize his/her true potential not the color of their skin. He realizes how a child would feel if he/she was made to think they are worthless human beings. Diversity expert Dr. Campbell is compassionate and related to the experiences and therefore this initiative is a constant and continual effort to eliminate racism manifested in us, completely from the classroom and from our society.
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