Monday, July 21, 2014

Superintendents Speak About South Dakota's Teacher Shortage....

And I bet the legislature will do nothing during the 2015 session even though there's now little doubt that there is a shortage and that low pay is part of the problem.


Anonymous said...

if there is such a shortage, why am I continually meeting people who were trained to be teachers but ended up doing something else, because they didn't have the coaching skills the schools wanted? It seems like the schools are really looking for coaches, not teachers.

Kal Lis said...

The supes and principals are the ones doing the hiring, so I am gong to have to defer to them on applicants.

As for the coaching, I'm not sure how many people don't get hired. I have had former students tell me they would teach but didn't want to coach. As the conversation goes on, they talk about making far more money doing whatever profession they have taken up. Much but not all, of the "I would teach but can't coach" may be a rationalization.

Further, there seem to be fewer student teachers coming out each year. Our department used to have two a semester and refused to take more. Now it seems as if we get one a year. I don't think they're running away from coaching.

To be fair, I would bet that administrators and school board members get far more angry phone calls about a coach than they do a teacher who doesn't coach. Having grown up and taught in towns having a population under 500, I can say that the local sports teams take on an outsized importance in residents' minds.

I would be willing to engage in the discussion of removing non-academic activities (I'd keep debate, theater, and music) from the school, but I'm skeptical that it would help kids learn more. This Atlantic article, however, does make a compelling case based on a Texas town.

Some responses are here.

Unknown said...

As a former teacher and school board member, I'm a little concerned about the term 'continually.' Filling coaching positions is a concern, but we looked at the teaching qualifications first, then begged for coaches from the current staff if needed. In talking to school administrators, I've heard nothing about being sure candidates have coaching qualifications; they need teachers. There IS a shortage.