Nobody Wants to Teach Anymore
It’s getting pretty bad.
Schools are resorting to all kinds of last ditch measures. They’re planning to hold classes three or four days a week. They’re hiring teachers from outside the country. They’re recruiting military vets. They’re letting college students with no training into the classroom. They’re not going to be interns. They’re going to be in charge of everyone’s kids.
We’re not just talking about K-12 schools, either. The shortages have started hitting colleges so hard that, once again, they’re talking about increasing class sizes and upping our loads.
Nobody wants to teach.
Almost nobody respects teachers.
Teacher shortages have been a long time coming. They’ve been losing us for a solid ten years now, maybe longer. The solutions to every year’s teacher shortage makes the problem even worse. The teachers who stay wind up doing more work for less pay. We grind up our souls, and we’re rewarded with post-it notes and chocolate bars.
More teachers get fed up.
Everyone secretly thinks they can teach because they watched Mr. Holland’s Opus. They don’t know the first thing about teaching.
They wouldn’t last a week.
There’s a long, long history of Americans undervaluing teachers. They’ve never paid us a living wage. For most of the 19th and 20th centuries, it was seen as women’s work, and therefore constantly trivialized. Nobody even understands what teachers do. There’s times when politicians and administrators even promote the notion that teachers should work for free, because it’s “not about the money.”
When I tell someone I’m a teacher, they don’t say anything along the lines of “thank you for your service.” No, they usually talk about how much they hated school. They complain about your summers off.
They don’t know the word pedagogy. They don’t understand the difference between outcomes and objectives.
Most Americans don’t think teaching is a real job. They think schools exist in order to warehouse children while their…