I read with great heaviness an article this morning, "Where have all the teachers gone?". In short, the article goes on to explain the shortage of teachers facing Pennsylvania. There was a statistic in the article I found staggering: Pennsylvania issued 25.212 teacher certificates during the 2012-13 school year. That number fell to 8,615 for 2014-15 school year.
I have been following a recent teacher strike in the western part of the state. As I read the article and the subsequent comments below the article, one comment stood out to me. On reader noted, "They should fire all of the teachers (at said striking school district). There are a ton of teachers our there looking for jobs that could replace these ones." Simply put: this is not true.
Although I believe we have excellent teachers in our current workforce, my fear is for the future. If we keep going at this rate, our candidate pool stands to dwindle considerably. Although I can conjecture as to why the interest has tremendously waned, I would love to hear from would be candidates as to why. If we, as both a commonwealth and nation at large, are to continue to be the best, we must train up our next generation of teachers and leaders. If not, we stand to royally fail our next generation of students.
I recently had a conversation with an assistant principal. As we discussed his future and the future of education at large, I asked him what his greatest fear is in becoming a head principal. His answer shocked me. He stated the thing that gives him the greatest pause is that as the current elder generation of teachers retires, who is going to replace them?
Reading articles and statistics like the aforementioned affirms my fears and concerns of fellow administrators. This trend must be reversed. The central question is: HOW?
I would love to hear your feedback. Or, if you are a college aged student thinking about education as an occupation, what are your thoughts?