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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

To fix the teacher shortage, rethink the job

Teachers of Tomorrow looks at the teacher shortage, which is especially acute in special education, math and science. Experts offer advice for recruiting and retaining more teachers.

Jaime Casap, Google’s chief education evangelist, calls for giving teachers room to experiment, as well as more money.

Teacher Shortage Areas

“Rethink how the job is done, so that teachers spend less time on low-value things they do poorly (making copies, passing paper, watching students use tablets) and more on high-value instruction (mentoring, coaching, small group facilitation), suggests AEI’s Rick Hess.

Teachers care more about working conditions, such as “supportive principals and a safe and stimulating environment,” than salary, writes Richard Kahlenberg of the Century Foundation. Improving working conditions would reduce teacher turnover.

Fordham’s Richard Pondiscio also wants to rethink the job by giving teachers a sound curriculum and “first-rate instructional materials,” so they can focus on “teaching, examining student work, developing relationships with kids and parents.”

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