With the ongoing employment crisis in the US, the public education sector exemplifies this the most.
A story from CBS News details how the teaching profession is trying to recover from the pandemic.
"I think it would be difficult to overstate how difficult it is to be a teacher right now," recently retired science teacher Scott Sherburne told the outlet.
At 55 years old, Sherburne would’ve had a little more enthusiasm for his job left before considering retirement. But COVID changed what it meant to be a teacher, and the increased responsibilities it required left him taking an early retirement.
On a large scale, CBS mentions a nationwide survey published back in April, that better describes the fuller situation.
The survey conducted by Frontline Education asked “almost 1200 school and district leaders” across America if their area was experiencing a teacher shortage. Two out of three responded yes. Moreover, the breakdown of where this is happening is 75% of urban areas feeling the heat, while it’s 65% for rural, and 60% of suburbs.
Survey respondents said the following reasons were at play:
- “A lack of fully qualified applicants”
- “Salary and/or benefits are lacking compared to other careers”
- “Fewer new education school graduates”
The most difficult position to fill is Special Education teachers, but substitute teachers are a close second.
Principal Karen Bingert at Hillsborough High School in New Jersey told CBS that 56 staff members in her district have retired or are planning to. On the one hand she believes this teacher shortage was a long time coming.
But on the other, Bingert says:
"I think the pandemic was certainly perhaps the last straw. That line between personal and professional has been completely blurred as a result of the pandemic. And I think for some people, it was just enough to do it.”