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5 ways to tackle teacher shortages

Rest assured, everybody is working on solutions

Yes, pay is important, but it’s not the only way to avoid vacancies in the classroom

If you’re an administrator, the good news is that your colleagues across the country have developed several strategies to retain top teaching talent and recruit new educators. If you’re a teacher, the good news is that district leaders across the country have come up with several strategies to retain their top talent and recruit new educators.

Here's a look at some of the most successful solutions:

1. More planning time: This step is at least as important as pay in maintaining teacher morale. Successful principals and administrators are building time into the school day for teachers to map out lessons and design engaging projects.

2. Collaboration: Teachers also appreciate the opportunity to spend some of that planning time brainstorming with their colleagues. Talented staff wants dedicated time to share their ideas.

3. Team-teaching: More districts are extending that collaboration with new models that, for instance, put multiple educators in open-plan classrooms that serve larger groups of students. These teams consist of teachers, subject experts, other specialists, paraprofessionals, and student teachers, among other educators.

4. Autonomy: You trust your teachers, right? They will seize the opportunity to organize instruction that best suits their classes, rather than following rigid blueprints.

5. Leadership opportunities: Whether they aspire to become administrators or not, teachers will feel deeper connections to their schools if they are included in making decisions that have building-wide impact. Those who do want to climb the K-12 ladder should be steered toward PD in leadership and given more responsibilities.

How is your school or district maintaining an energized and ample staff? Please share your strategies on Facebook or Twitter.

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