Teacher Shortage?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by labrys71, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. labrys71

    labrys71 New Member

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    Jun 25, 2019

    I was told again and again by other teachers as I went through school that there is a shortage of teachers - especially elementary. I was thinking in my head that I would be able to start the fall of the next school year after I graduate - I graduated end of December 2018.

    I have so far applied to 18 jobs that are within 30 - 45 min from my house. I applied to 2 positions in the district I completed my student teaching in, where my husband works and where ALL my certified recommendation letters are from. I received an interview for one position that I didn't get...the other was not only in the grade level but the school I did my student teaching in...I didn't even get an interview for that one. I felt super cheated...the school, grade level...and not even one chance.

    I have so far received 3 no-thanks emails without an interview. I interviewed for a position at the school I attended k-12 at and graduated from(3rd generation even), and they didn't offer me anything either.

    I still have 11 jobs I applied for that I'm waiting on...but 10 of those are from the same district I got a "no thanks" email from today so if they've already completed interviews I'm not sure I'm going to get even a chance there either. I just feel so demoralized. How am I supposed to get any experience if I can't even get hired? I've been told to not sub, that schools aren't really going to hire their subs as full-time over people that are from out of district because the one thing a school IS in need of is subs.

    Thankfully it's not a financial crisis, I have a good paying job - I'd actually be taking a paycut to be a teacher. But I want to be...I've worked so hard working full-time, having 2 kids at home and doing full-time school for the last several years to be told no again and again and not even be given a chance I'm just getting really down about it.

    I seriously don't believe this teacher shortage...70+ people are applying for one position. I have gotten my hopes up so much for every interview I DID get(I've had 3), so it hurts so bad to have your hopes crushed. I don't WANT to work in my current field for another year and the closer it gets to the fall the more and more hopeless I feel. Is there any hope or should I just prepare to not have a job?

    I was told by a co-worker who has a niece who just graduated, interviewed in a district I just applied for(her dad was the super though for several years in that district)...first interview and she was offered the job. Even though I'm happy for her to not have to go through the stress of not knowing for half the summer if you'll have a job...I'm jealous too. First job she applied for, first interview, and she got the job...so I guess there is some hope but I've received 2 no's today in an email so maybe that's why I'm sad.
     
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  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Jun 25, 2019

    Your first sentence says it all, and that was where you were misled. But a little searching online should have revealed the truth. There is a gluttony of elementary teachers and the market is way over-saturated. I’m not saying you can’t get a job, but it is very difficult to acquire elementary jobs as they have so many applicants for each position. The same thing is true for history teachers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
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  4. labrys71

    labrys71 New Member

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    Jun 25, 2019

    Yes, my husband is a history teacher. He's going on his 6th year, but his district has been having a lot of issues and he'd like to leave eventually but history positions simply don't open very often.

    I've noticed a lot of job postings for k-6 but...like you said, a LOT of people applying to them all. I just discovered the position I applied for in the school I did my student teaching they shuffled someone over from a different building and opened a 5th grade spot there instead. The other issue is it's so hard to know if a school already has someone in mind but they had to post publicly first...so you never had a chance anyway. I really want to be a teacher...I have for years but was talked out of it a long time ago by other teachers.

    Here's to hoping I get a chance - otherwise I may be just trying to do my Masters instead this next year. I'm doing it in K-6 Mathematics, so maybe that'll give me some boost.
     
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  5. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Jun 25, 2019

    Regarding your comment about there being a teacher shortage, there is for the following subjects:
    • ELA
    • Special Education
    • Foreign Language
    • Physical Sciences (Chemistry and Physics)
    • Middle School Math
    • High School Math (Full Single Subject Credentials are preferred over Foundational ones)
    Notice elementary teachers are not on the list; though, *male* elementary teachers are highly sought after because there are so few.
     
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  6. labrys71

    labrys71 New Member

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    Hmm, my state requires separate certification for middle school even though my degree was K-8 - but if I get my Masters I could adjust that to 5th-8th and do middle school Math if worst comes to worst....
     
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  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I thinking getting a Masters in Math 5-8 is better than K-6, as the former would make you more employable. Middle school math teachers are very hard to come by in many districts where I live as the select few math teachers who apply want to teach at the high-school level.
     
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  8. labrys71

    labrys71 New Member

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    The school I'm doing my Master's through has a Masters for k-6, middle or secondary. They also have science too for all those levels which I've considered but mostly I was thinking because math seems to be the subject most struggle with it would at least be a point in my favor to have a specific degree for it. I really would like to work with 2nd-4th graders, personally. I've coached youth sports for years and those are my favorite ages to work with.
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Jun 25, 2019

    There is certainly no shortage of elementary teachers. I don't know why someone would tell you that. I suppose it's possible in some very select locations that have difficulty getting any teachers, but keep in mind those places have those difficulties because they're extremely difficult places to work and they treat and/or pay their teachers poorly. I think the job market is more open than it used to be in many areas, but still definitely no shortage for elementary classroom positions. Admins around here like to whine about the applicant pool, but it's more like now we get 50 applicants for a position when a few years ago we would get 300. Better odds for applicants, but not great and certainly nothing resembling a shortage. Areas that have stronger unions/pay better are going to be getting way more applicants than we are too.
     
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  10. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Just remember that even though you may want to teach 2nd-4th graders (the above respondent said they get 50 applicants per position in their district and so it makes sense for a district to hire more experienced applicants than teachers just starting out), it may never pan out. Do you really want to risk not ever getting a job just because you prefer a certain grade level or grade levels to teach?
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  11. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    Yep, you both beat me to it. Depending on what region of the country you're in will determine the extent of teacher shortages. You definitely have them here, and yes, that includes elementary ed, but the shortage isn't as bad as middle school and secondary subject areas. We have much higher turnover at our middle and high school than at our elementary schools. We had our highest number of long term subs in the district last year, but they were at the middle and high schools.
     
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  12. Ms.Holyoke

    Ms.Holyoke Connoisseur

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    Jun 25, 2019

    There is no teacher shortage in MA.
     
  13. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    "I was told there's a teaching shortage.'' As well as everybody else in your class.
    "Shortage in elementary'' :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl: Yeah, no. There's a GLUT of elementary teachers.
    Welcome to the world. Nepotism and cronyism RUNS public education, especially in certain schools (rural, for example.) It's all about getting experience (be it working as a TA, sub, volunteering,) and/or networking. It seems if you know the right people you can just bypass the process (that the rest of us must go through) and go straight to the front of the line. It's not fair, but I've seen it happen time and time again. If you're not one of the lucky ones, you just have to put your time in and hope for the best. :)
     
  14. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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    Even that's not true and can be a detriment depending on where you are. Some districts still cling to old stereotypes that only women can be elementary teachers and/or that male elementary teachers are "shifty" and they don't trust (us) them. :roll::(
     
  15. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Jun 25, 2019

    I know that others feel otherwise, but there are shortages in some areas of the country. I’ve said it before, but in my midwestern state, we are seeing - even in elementary ed and social studies. Where we used to get dozens of applications, we now get a handful. My district is not a bad one to work in, but it is off the beaten path. Sometimes applicants may need to step outside of their comfort zone.

    As to hiring those who are known to the district through various types of networking, why is this a negative? Don’t businesses also hire those they know something about. Sorry, but I don’t see that this is so different from other fields. Many professions rely heavily on networking. Just my two cents...
     
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  16. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    There is a shortage of math and science secondary teachers here, but elementary teachers are a dime a dozen. There are some districts who are having trouble hiring teachers in general, but they are rough areas with abysmal pay.
     
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  17. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    It depends on the city/area that you are in. Some places in the US have too many teacher applicants. I live in the Phoenix area and many districts, and my teacher friends tell me all the time that they have a shortage of teachers in their districts. The largest shortage often seems to be in junior high or in high school math and science.
     
  18. geoteacher

    geoteacher Habitué

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    Jun 26, 2019

    This is not always the case. Not all areas experiencing shortages are abysmal places to work. While there are always some issues, I think I am in a decent area of the country in a district with good pay for my state. However, I am in a smaller area. The nearest city has about 50,000 people. The nearest large city is 2-3 hours away. Getting a job for some new teachers may mean moving outside of your comfort zone.
     
  19. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    But you are talking about an area that most people don't want to live in, so again, there is a specific reason that specific area has a shortage. My first job was at a fantastic school and I very much enjoyed working there, but was in a very isolated location with the nearest city being 2-3 hours away. I loved the school so much that I tried to make it work and stayed on a 2nd year, but I hated the location. I'm now in the city and the schools I've worked in have been significantly more challenging, but it's worth it to me to have a decent life outside of school. I loved my first school but would never go back to living there. They have trouble getting and keeping teachers not because the district is bad, but because like me, most people don't want to live there long term. Of all people, that type of location is especially not favorable to a single 22-23 year old fresh out of college.
     
  20. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Shortage is very misleading.

    Here we have a hard time finding math and language arts teachers, but we also don’t have those open very much. I know that when I was looking for a high school English position to open, it was ten years before a job opened. We used to have very little turnover in middle and high school, but a lot in elementary.

    Our elementary aides and subs were all certified teachers at one point because there were not enough jobs opening. Now, not so much. Secondary has too many social studies.

    It varies a lot by subject, state, and district.
     
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  21. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    Come to my district - we have a huuuuge shortage. At any given time of the year, we have 80-110 vacancies (although this does include cafeteria staff, custodians, etc), but I do know for a fact, we've had elementary positions filled by long term subs for the entirety of the school year. I'm talking pre-first day of school all the way to the last day of school. No one is applying for these jobs.

    And then you drive 2 hours north and those districts will get 200+ applicants for ONE position.

    It just depends on the area.
     
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