Study finds teacher shortages due to public perception of career; former Springfield teacher agrees

Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 11:47 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Teacher shortages have impacted schools across the country and here in the Ozarks. A study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) looked to find out why.

The GAO did this study after the pandemic escalated the issue of teachers leaving the profession, fewer people being interested in education, and schools struggling to hire. According to the study, public perception is one main reasons for recruitment and retention issues. Also, a lack of support for current teachers ranks high.

The study broke it down even further and showed the cost of becoming a teacher compared to how much they make. It also highlighted negative school workplace culture.

One former Springfield teacher says the negative perception makes teachers’ efforts seem small, especially when schools rely so heavily on numbers to measure success.

”Kids come in, and they are already below level,” Erin Ross says. “And we’re trying so hard to get them to level. There’s the pressure of you having to do this, and then 2020 hits, and all of the kids are so far behind. We were already having a hard time trying to get them caught up where they were at before. How do we do it now?”

She says the pressure on numbers put on teachers doesn’t help either.

”If the numbers aren’t saying what they want them to say, then obviously the teacher is a terrible teacher, right? They’re not doing anything,” she adds. “I think if more parents and more people in the community actually like stepped into the school and watched what teachers are doing, it’s incredible. The things they’re doing, especially during these times when it’s super rough, is amazing.”

For a link to the complete study’s findings, click HERE.

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