Saint Louis High School has been running into a recurring problem. On average, SLHS loses a teacher every school year. Also, I’ve noticed that SLHS struggles to find teachers to fill the various positions that get left unoccupied.
With this recurring phenomenon, many questions rush to the minds of staff and students at SLHS. Those questions vary from: are students driving away good teachers or is the teaching profession becoming obsolete due to the push toward online learning/schooling?
“I think that the teaching profession has been attacked by politicians over the past several years. Benefits have been reduced, requirements have increased, and more pressure has been put on teachers to solve the woes of our society,” according to dean of students, Mr. Hemker.
High school principal, Mrs. McKittrick also voiced her opinion on the subject. She said ” I believe there is a teacher shortage due to a variety of things. First of all, laws and sanctions imposed on schools by the State has caused teachers to feel buried in work, curriculum, proficiency levels and data. This certainly limits the time teachers get to do what they are so passionate about doing.”
Making matters worse, Hemker stated that budget shortfalls are another factor that may be keeping future teachers from pursuing that career. These prevent teachers from getting pay increases that will keep up with their living expenses. Also, college cost is another factor in why a college students wouldn’t take up the teaching profession.
“The cost of college education continues to skyrocket out of control. Some young teachers that have large sums of college debt are having a hard time making a living teaching while trying to pay off their debt. As a result, some young teachers realize that with the same amount of education they can do better financially in other careers,” Hemker added
Both Mr. Hemker and Mrs. McKittrick believe that the teaching will never become obsolete, but I beg to differ. Soon enough, everything in our society will become computerized. Already, schools are equipped with computers for each student, and I can only imagine what school will be like in 20 years.
Mckittrick’s outlook is more positive and she concludes,“ I do NOT believe the teaching profession will ever become obsolete. There are some non-traditional students who will benefit from self-paced online learning. However, for the majority of students being in a school that teaches not only academic skills but social, emotional, mental, and physical skills is essential to the growth of our young people.”