A new report from PDK International, a professional association for teachers, indicates that most parents and teachers don’t want their kids to become teachers.
“We ask parents whether they want their children to become teachers and when we started asking that question in 1969 there was good support from parents for having their children enter the teaching profession,” she tells CNBC Make It. “But when we asked the same question in 2018, for the first time, a majority of parents said they did not want their children to become teachers.”
“This year, when we asked teachers whether they wanted their own children to follow them into the profession, a majority of them said they did not,” says Richardson. “We do see a shift over time. As the teaching profession has become a lot more difficult, we’ve seen a lot less interest in the part of both the public and on the part of teachers in encouraging others to follow them into the profession.”
This report comes amid a growing national teacher shortage that has impacted Tennessee. In fact, Tennessee leads the nation in the number of inexperienced teachers in classrooms. This should come as no surprise to policymakers. As early as 2009, studies have noted Tennessee’s challenges with attracting and retaining teachers. Specifically, the Appalachia Regional Comprehensive Center noted:
Since 2009, Tennessee has identified shortages in the overall numbers of K-12 teachers needed for public schools as well as teachers for specific subjects. There is a critical need in the state for STEM teachers, as well as shortages in high school English, social studies, world languages, Pre-K through high school special education, and English as a second language.
It’s also worth noting here that Tennessee lags behind the rest of the country when it comes to the rate of teacher pay raises:
Average teacher salaries in the United States improved by about 4% from the Haslam Promise until this year. Average teacher salaries in Tennessee improved by just under 2% over the same time period. So, since Bill Haslam promised teachers we’d be the fastest improving in teacher pay, we’ve actually been improving at a rate that’s half the national average. No, we’re not the slowest improving state in teacher pay, but we’re also not even improving at the average rate.
Teachers are leaving. Students aren’t entering teacher education programs to replace them. Parents are telling their kids NOT to become teachers. It’s almost like there’s a full flown crisis and all lawmakers want to do is pour more gas on the fire.
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