The holiday season is upon us and believe it or not this is also the college application season. A teacher shortage is upon us and school districts across Long Island will be looking to hire a highly qualified, diverse staff to meet demand. So high school seniors, enjoy the holidays, volunteer when you can and consider becoming a teacher. Your community needs you. LongIslandTeachers.org, teacher leaders in the community.
Below are some examples of how current teachers were inspired to become educators as highlighted in our Teacher Appreciation week ad campaign. Click here to read more.
"Its Teachers’ appreciation week and Long Island Teachers want to thank all educators for their hard work and dedication. This is Cordelia Anthony from Farmingdale High School. I appreciate how my third-grade teacher Mrs. Rodriguez made me feel welcomed when I first came to this country. It’s because of her that I became a teacher, So I encourage young people to get into education. You can touch so many lives just like Mrs. Rodriguez touched mine."
"During this Teachers’ Appreciation Week, Art educator Katie Kleinpeter from Port Jeff Station, has a story to share. I will never forget Ms. Diana, my High School art teacher in Center Moriches. She encouraged me to stay in her art class even though at first, I wanted to drop out. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I loved art and that it needed to be a part of my life. Because of her inspiration, I am now proud to call myself an art educator. Now it’s our turn to pass along teaching to the next generation."
In Nevada, the teacher shortage is so acute the superintendent launched a “Calling All Heroes” recruitment campaign by dressing up as Clark Kent and zip-lining over a street in downtown Las Vegas. In California, lawmakers are considering giving teachers a series of tax breaks, including a state income tax exemption, if they remain in the profession more than five years. In the Midwest, districts are putting up billboards in neighboring states and offering hiring bonuses to entice out-of-state teacher applicants.
Here in New York, the situation is not yet that dire, but the storm clouds are swirling.
As baby boomer teachers retire, and more and more teachers leave the profession for other reasons, enrollments in teacher education programs are plummeting.
The ominous numbers, included in a new fact sheet prepared by NYSUT’s Research and Educational Services, are telling:
- More than 50,000 active State Teachers’ Retirement System members are older than 55, according to the 2016 NYSTRS annual report. Within the next five years, TRS projects more than one-third of the nearly 270,000 active members could be eligible to retire.
- The average age of teachers in the state is 48.
- Since 2009–10, enrollment in teacher education programs in New York has decreased by roughly 49 percent — from more than 79,000 students to about 40,000 students in 2014–15. Anecdotally, teacher education programs report those numbers have declined further in the last two years.
- An estimated 10 percent of New York teacher education graduates are leaving the state for employment elsewhere, with many blaming the state’s cumbersome certification system.
- Eleven percent of New York teachers leave their school or profession annually, according to a recent report by the Learning Policy Institute. Those numbers go up for early career teachers and those working in high-poverty areas. About 55 percent cited professional frustrations, including standardized testing, administrators or too little autonomy. About 18 percent cited financial reasons and job insecurity, according to LPI.
- The U.S. Department of Education estimates that 1.6 million new teachers will be needed nationally between 2012 and 2022; LPI estimates the nation will need about 300,000 new teachers per year by 2020.
- SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher predicts New York will need more than 180,000 new teachers in the next decade. Aside from filling the thousands of vacant positions, many districts are looking to restore teacher positions and programs that were cut during the Great Recession. A New York State School Boards Association analysis found that the number of public school teachers decreased by nearly 11 percent from 2006–07 to 2014–15.
- At the same time, the federal government projects New York‘s student enrollment will grow by 2 percent by 2024, with high-need school districts experiencing the largest increases.
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