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What does it mean to have a teacher shortage? This isn’t just an issue in Utah.

It is

happening in the whole United States. The issue is keeping the teachers in the classroom. Why

is it an issue and how can it be fixed? I am in the classroom every day. I’ve experienced what

teachers go through with students, paper work, etc. Teachers have a huge responsibility. This

paper is going to explain data I’ve collected regarding Utah’s teacher shortage.

What does it mean to have a teacher shortage? “According to 34 CFR 682.210(q)(8)(vii),

“teacher shortage area” means “an area of specific grade, subject matter or discipline

classification, or a geographic area in which the Secretary determines that there is an inadequate

supply of elementary or secondary school teachers.” (Cross, Freddie) This is a national wide

issue. Teachers are leaving because of the extra work that is put into teaching, they are being

burnt out. If the school districts are low on teachers. What does that do to the classroom sizes?

“Each year, about 12% of teachers leave the profession, and almost half quit within the first five

years. Enrollment in teaching programs at Utah’s colleges and universities has declined. School

districts are increasing class sizes, utilizing less-qualified teachers, recruiting from out of state,

and searching for money to increase salaries.” (Envision Utah, 2016.) Being a teacher doesn’t

supply enough income to pay the bills.

Many people would think that teachers leave the position because of the pay. “There are

no simple answers why Utah educators leave the profession, but a subset of teachers who

answered a University of Utah survey identified emotional exhaustion, stress and burnout as key

reasons for moving to a different school or leaving altogether.” (Marjorie Cortez, KSL) Teaching

has many different responsibilities. Teachers may deal with behavioral children, unhappy

parents, paperwork, meetings, supporting students emotionally and academically.


How can we help new teachers stay in the profession? I see firsthand what it’s like to be a

teacher. Every day, month and year is different for teachers. I started digging deeper into this

topic how teachers can receive more help. I found an article about Peer Assistance and Review

Program. “The Salt Lake City School District has been piloting the Peer Assistance and Review

Program during the past two years and has provided one-on-one assistance to more than 60

teachers. During the program's initial two years, the district has retained 80 percent of its new

teachers.” (Jacobsen, M.) Teacher can use the resources of other employers that have experience.

Mentoring helps new teachers with ideas and confidence.

Teachers need more funding. Funding is an essential part to get materials to teach. Being

a teacher there is a lot of planning, for lessons and parent meetings. Teachers may even use their

own funding for their classroom. Teachers’ salaries aren’t good to begin with. In the article, Utah

teachers need help stocking their classrooms (Sarah Martin) It discusses ways to get the

community involved with funding. The communities should be more involved by helping the

teacher.

An article called, Addressing the Importance and Scale of the U.S. Teacher Shortage

gives seven good recommendations to help maintain teachers. The first one is Dedicated state

level funding, establishing data system. Designing stronger leadership systems, leadership

preparation programs, crating sustainable teacher career pathways, grow you own programs in

high need schools, and lastly, ongoing professional development and mentoring. All those

examples are great ways to help teaches stay in the profession. The data collected for this

research paper has helped gain a better understanding why there is teacher shortage, and who is

affected by this. It gave solutions to the issue and explained that salary isn’t the only issue. Using

this research, as a community we can help support teachers and give them the best resources.
Work Cited

Cortez, Marjorie. “Stress Burnout among Reasons Why Teachers Leave, Survey
Says.” KSL.com, 27 Jan. 2018, www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=46246007.

Jacobsen, M. (2015, July 1). Mentoring program designed to help new teachers | Deseret
News. Retrieved September 24, 2018, from
https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865631808/Mentoring-program-designed-to-help-new-
teachers.html

Cross, Freddie. “U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary


Education.” Teacher Shortage Areas, Aug. 2016,
www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/tsa.pdf.

“SUPPORTING GREAT TEACHERS.” The Utah Teacher Initiative, Envision Utah,


2016. Are students getting the necessary help if the classroom sizes are increased?
Martin, S. (2018, August 14). Utah teachers need help stocking their classrooms.

Retrieved September 24, 2018, from https://www.good4utah.com/news/local-news/utah-

teachers-need-help-stocking-their-classrooms/1369287337

Castro, A., Quinn, D. J., Fuller, E., Barnes, M., & University Council for Educational
Administration. (2018). Addressing the Importance and Scale of the U.S. Teacher Shortage.
UCEA Policy Brief 2018-1. Online Submission. Online Submission. Retrieved from
https://libprox1.slcc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric
&AN=ED579971&site=eds-live