Education is facing a crisis that is just beginning to get to the critical stage. Fewer and fewer young people are choosing the education field at a time when retirements are increasing. Recruiting teachers, especially for specific content areas, has become extremely challenging. Colleges of Education are seeing a significant decline in young people wishing to pursue a degree in education.
USD 113 is no exception to this issue of retirements exceeding our qualified applicants. We have been advertising and recruiting for several teaching positions for several months now without inquiries that are serious about teaching in our district.
Specific subject areas are the toughest to fill, such as Science and Language Arts, but we have also seen a noticeable decline in applicants for broader areas of licensure such as elementary education.
If we don’t find a way to elevate the profession to encourage young people to identify it as an attractive career, the future is very uncertain. Online education has a place, but is no replacement for quality in-person teachers.
USD 113 is fortunate to have great teachers committed to our kids, communities and schools. Let’s hold the teaching profession in high esteem in order to retain those teachers and encourage our young people to consider a career in education.
The teacher shortage that we are experiencing now is just the tip of the iceberg. The next severe social crisis that our country experiences just may be the result of an inadequate supply of young teachers along with an accelerated retirement rate from career educators. Who will teach the next generation?