September 28, 2022
As with many industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, staff shortages are having a major impact on schools across the country.
The urgent need for teachers existed long before COVID-19, but retirements and resignations, many of which have been accelerated by the pandemic, have heightened the need for educators.
“We went through it before the pandemic, but now I think a lot of teachers who were nearing retirement and thought they were probably going for a few more years decided not to retire.” City of Sacramento for the Unified School District.
A shortage of replacement teachers is adding to the crisis by making it difficult for full-time teachers to take time off. Her Pia Wong, Associate Dean of Research and Engagement at the Sacramento State University College of Education (COE), said this is new to the school’s response to absences due to her COVID-19 strain and to educators pursuing professional development. He said it affects ability.
Wong says these challenges can cause or exacerbate burnout, causing educators to leave the field.
Strongly aware of this problem and its growing impact, Sacramento State University is a key source of education and training for the local teaching hierarchy and is working to create solutions. The COE’s second annual substitute teacher fair is one example of how the shortage is being addressed.
Mr Wong said of the event: “Last year, there were horror stories of schools where children had to sit in the gymnasium because (their) school had three to eight classrooms without teachers.”
A fair held at the Harper Alumni Center on September 23 invited recent graduates and seniors to connect with their local school district. Wong said his 362 students of various majors registered for his two-hour event.
“As you can see from the attendance numbers, this is a huge deal for us,” said the director of human resources and labor relations for the Twin Rivers Unified School District, one of the 11 school districts that attended the fair and one of our partners. One David Robertson said: “It’s great that more people, especially graduating undergraduates…can take our place in our school district.”
In addition to providing paid jobs, vicarious education can influence participants to further pursue teaching careers, according to fair organizer Wong.
“If we improve this year by year, we have the potential to offer more people paid experience and career exploration,” Wong said. “And if we’re smart, we’ll snap them and put them on the truck they want to ride.”
The substitute teacher fair is another way Sac State supports the community.
“Connected to this is Sac State’s anchor agency,” said Jenna Porter, chair of the COE Teaching Credentials Division, referring to Sac State’s efforts and their impact on cities and regions. “We are trying to work with our partners in all districts to help them.”
Wong said last year’s event was held out of desperation to fill work. Her goal this year is to help universities enhance participant follow-up and help participants navigate the process smoothly.
COE Dean Sasha Sidorkin said: “So we are happy to help.”
Valeria Miranda, a fresh graduate in psychology from Yuba College who transferred to Sack State University, wanted to attend the fair and get extra help with her application.
“I went through a bit of the process with Sacramento City Unified, and I was overwhelmed,” Miranda said.
Miranda, who worked as a tutor and recently joined a Pathway Fellow research program, said she wanted to become a substitute teacher so she could gain experience working with children and earn an income while working to become a school psychologist.
In addition to the substitute teacher fair, the College of Education recently received state funding to establish and support teacher training programs.
“Teacher residency programs are a very specific type of program that research has shown to attract more diverse people to education and improve their retention in the profession,” Wong said. rice field.
A residency is a one-year placement in the same classroom, where student-teachers can see how things are going, as opposed to the traditional approach, where student-teachers typically move from classroom to classroom and work with multiple teachers. You can get a richer understanding of how it evolves into A full school year, Wong said.
Last year, under U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona’s call to action, California announced a multistate partnership with the U.S. Department of Education to appropriate $350 million from the 2021-22 state budget for teacher training grants.
Sac State’s COE worked to secure some of these funds and, along with school district partners, received hundreds of thousands of dollars to support programs and pay student teachers. These grants allow student teachers to earn a living wage ranging from her $20,000 to her $25,000 for the duration of their training, Wong said.
“This keeps them from giving up for a year and allows them to pay for that year,” she said.
Sack State University’s educational credentials program has seen fairly steady enrollment numbers in recent years, Wong said. The university is working on additional residency programs and offers several specialized study programs for full-time teachers to help you stay on track.
The residency program is promising, Wong said. Because it supports collaboration between school districts and colleges in establishing what new teachers should know and be able to do.
“That dialogue is very important,” Wong said.
For Miranda, teacher shortages are nothing new. She said it was clear that something was wrong when she was growing up, especially when her teachers went on strike.
“Teachers do a lot outside the classroom,” said Miranda. “Just being a tutor was hard, because you have extra time and everything else to do for high school in the summer.”
Miranda said the solution to the teacher shortage starts with better treatment of teachers.
“I think we need to thank our teachers more,” said Miranda.
In addition to representing its alumni and senior students, Sac State is ranked 5th for Best Undergraduate Education among Western Region Universities by US News & World Report.