The last few years have certainly been a tumultuous time for most Americans, and although there are improvements in our freedom, there are still challenges ahead of us. One such challenge is a growing increase in teacher shortages across the US. Some states may not be affected by it as others, but there is a definite decline in the ratio of teachers to students, and for some schools, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep the classrooms open.

Why There are Shortages

Teacher shortages are not new by any means when the pandemic hit. There has been a steady decline in the number of teachers coming into the field compared to the demand for years now. As teachers retire, there’s demand to fill those spots that most schools just aren’t seeing. And of course, with the pandemic hitting classrooms and becoming a constant battle, this also drove a lot of teachers away. There were a lot of factors in those decisions, such as how to teach students remotely and what to teach that became an issue, but also the safety of the teachers and students in returning to the classroom, with or without masks. Adding these factors into an already highly demanding job that typically doesn’t pay great, and a lot of teachers were more than frustrated. 

Where There are Shortages

Although the shortages are not hitting every state, there is a top ten of states that are seeing a massive decline in the number of teacher roles being filled. And these numbers are only continuing to decrease. One of the top states with the lowest number of teachers is Nevada, which is seeing over 400 open teaching positions in the state, leaving nearly 12,000 children without a teacher. California is also struggling in keeping teachers, to the point where many are teaching with provisional staffing permits and some teachers have substandard credentialing. The state was already seeing a large decline in incoming teachers before the pandemic, and the shutdown only increased the shortages the state was facing. Other states noticing a significant shortage are: Washington, Indiana, Arizona, Washington D.C., Hawaii, Virginia, Montana and Nebraska. These states are pulling out all the stops to bring in new teachers, including higher salaries, incentives, and moving relocation costs to bring the teachers where they’re needed most. 

Although it’s hard to say if these teacher shortages will continue or not, there is an immediate need of teachers right now to help continue your children’s education. Whether you live in one of these struggling states or not, a teacher shortage can affect any community, town, or state. Rally with any friends you have that may be a teacher, and see what you can do to help your local community come together for teachers. 

Katie Kyzivat

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