Staffed Up is a monthly series examining school staffing best practices and solutions for teacher recruitment and retention. Catch up on other installments here.
As education leaders explore ways to retain and recruit teachers, we asked two classroom educators — one who still teaches and another who recently left the profession — what can be gleaned from their professional journeys for those drafting solutions now.
More than half of public school leaders said they felt their schools were understaffed going into the 2022-23 school year, according to a survey of 904 schools released in September by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.
Emerging data shows that though the teacher shortage may not be uniformly concerning and widespread across the U.S., it’s a pain point for many K-12 leaders. The NCES data also shows high-poverty schools, schools with 75% or more minority students, and urban schools all expected a higher number of teaching vacancies than other schools for the 2022-23 school year.
Both teachers K-12 Dive spoke with shared that they were worried about efforts to retain and recruit educators in the future.
For former Georgia special education teacher Monique Clay, districts should “make teachers feel like they’re being heard” when they’re handling student behavioral problems. Current New York City ESL teacher Elana Rabinowitz, meanwhile, suggests districts consider providing semi-regular sabbaticals to educators.
You can read more about why Clay left the teaching profession and why Rabinowitz continues to instruct in our complementary Q&A interviews below.