Sunday, August 3, 2008

Teacher Shortage: Could It Be a Myth?

I wonder because veteran teachers have such a hard time finding work . Are there really so many teacher applicants that districts feel that there is no problem with rejecting competent proven veterans of the classroom?

I appreciate Christine Denman, the district administrator who admitted to what is a dirty secret in districts all over America.
Hi - as a district administrator, I can definitely give you some of the reasons you are not getting interviews. Many districts are not considering anyone with more than 5 years of experience because they have to pay more. I was directed by our school board not to consider anyone with more than 3 years experience! This, in the long run, may not be the best practice because you have to provide alot of inservice training in many cases.

Over the years, many administrators have told me of the same policy, usually in confidence. “Between you and me and the lamppost,” they begin. I first heard of this short-sighted policy 13 years ago from a member of a district hiring committee.

Veteran teachers traditionally have provided most of the inservice training on a daily, informal basis. After years of turning away veteran teachers, schools are learning how shortsighted they really were. The baby-boomers begin retiring, some of whom are being encouraged to retire early to make room for cheaper teachers, leaving a gaping hole in the teaching staffs of many schools. There are a lot of novice teachers, the old warhorses are retiring, and there is a shortage of mid-career teachers to carry on the traditional mentoring of novices.

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