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It's Back to School season! But you may have noticed that many of your teachers aren't coming back to school this year. First of all, don't take it personally. You're not alone. There's a national teacher shortage crisis. (Although others have pointed out, there's not a shortage of highly qualified teachers. There's just a shortage of teachers willing to keep working under demoralizing conditions for low pay). Whatever you want to call the problem, a teacher shortage, teacher exodus, or the U.S. education system's come-to-Jesus moment… the fact remains you need to fill vacancies and fast for the coming school year.
You may have heard that some states are finding new approaches to fill classrooms. Some states are easing or removing testing requirements. Others are trying to expand the pool of candidates in other ways. For example, Florida has invited military veterans to serve their country as teachers. It might not make a lot of sense at first glance, but dodging bullets is a pretty useful skill in U.S. classrooms these days!
Some people argue that changing or removing qualifications to become teachers will do little to solve the teacher vacancy crisis. These solutions, they argue, undermine the value of education and do little to address the root problems of the teacher vacancy crisis. But these people don't have empty classrooms to fill this year, and you do! So with that in mind, here are more creative ways to solve your teacher vacancy problem.Creative Solutions to Your School's Teacher Vacancy Problem Click To Tweet
Why it could work: Ms. Brunson is well-known for her work creating the beloved, Emmy-nominated comedy Abbott Elementary. It is clear from watching the show and from her remarks to the media that she respects the importance of education. She also seems to have a decent understanding of the challenges facing educators.
Why it might not work: Ms. Brunson seems to think it's okay to consistently leave whole classes of kids unattended.
Ms. Brown's Class Pet
Why it could work: S'mores the hamster was well-liked by almost all of Ms. Brown's fourth graders last year. Unlike other unconventional candidates, S'mores has already spent a full year in the classroom with students.
Why it might not work: She's a hamster.
Last June's Student of the Month
Why it could work: Tyreke has excellent attendance, gets along well with others, and follows directions well. His end-of-term report card stated that he is a "natural leader" and "a pleasure to have in class."
Why it might not work: Tyreke is only ten years old, and his 9 pm bedtime might get in the way of late-night lesson planning and grading. In addition, according to one of your teachers, he's "kind of a know-it-all."
Roomba Robot Vacuum
Why it could work: Edtech! Or something like that.
Why it might not work: Roomba's not great at respecting people's personal space. May sell students' data.
The cast of NCIS: New Orleans
Why it could work: Why should schools stop at recruiting military veterans? It's worth considering the expertise of people who played military personnel on TV. The show has a respectable 6.8 out of 10 rating on IMDb. Most of the cast have been looking for work since the series became the first NCIS show in the franchise to be canceled.
Why it might not work: Scott Bakula probably isn't available, and really who else would you really want?
Why it could work: Former United States Secretary of Education!
Why it might not work: No other experience in education. She may try to privatize your school.
Members of Moms for Liberty
Why it could work: They are very passionate about education and very confident that they know what kids should and should not learn.
Why it might not work: There's a decent chance they participated in the January 6th insurrection.
Why it could work: This is an incredibly hard-working, dedicated, caring group. They already know some of the most important necessary skills, such as holding their bladders for hours at a time and integrating the latest education jargon into their vocabulary. They also possess strong pedagogical skills and content knowledge.
Why it might not work: They will likely demand sustainable working conditions and fair compensation.
We hope you find these suggestions helpful. With the start of the school year around the corner and teacher vacancies at an unprecedented level, it's time to get creative! Remember, all you need is a warm body. Good luck!
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