WSU Newsline: Teacher shortage not unusual problem
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The current teacher shortage in America is not significantly different from those faced throughout our nation's history, according to Sharon Iorio, dean of Wichita State University's College of Education. Although the challenges are many, Iorio is optimistic that the need will be met.
Announcer: The current teacher shortage is hardly unique, according to Sharon Iorio, dean of the College of Education at Wichita State University. In fact, in the history of our country, teacher shortages from time to time have always been present.
Iorio: "There are three major reasons for the teacher shortage in America today. One is simply the growing population — more people in America, more need for teachers. Another is the retirement of the teachers who are of the baby boomer generation. Many teachers came into the field in the 1960s and early '70s and are now ready for retirement."
Announcer: Iorio says a third reason for the teacher shortage can be attributed to the number of teachers who leave the profession in the first five years of their career. However, Iorio says she's optimistic that the need for more teachers will be met. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.
Sound bite #1
Iorio says the current teacher shortage is not unique. The sound bite is 11 seconds and the outcue is "always been present."
Iorio: "The issue of teacher shortage is not unique. In fact, in the history of our country, teacher shortages from time to time have always been present."
Sound bite #2
Iorio looks at the reasons for teacher shortages in the past. The sound bite is 18 seconds and the outcue is "in high schools."
Iorio: "The changes and demand for teachers changed with the history of the nation. Originally we were preparing students for an eighth-grade education, but as the demand for high school education increased, then the demand for teachers increased to fill those courses that were being taught in high schools."
Sound bite #3
Iorio says one of the problems today is retaining teachers in the profession. The sound bite is 23 seconds and the outcue is "of their career."
Iorio: "Statistics show that there are actually enough teachers being produced by American colleges and universities to fill the need of teachers each year who retire. The problem is the teachers who graduate and begin to teach do not stay in the field. A large percentage of teachers leave the field within the first five years of their career."
Sound bite #4
Iorio explains what is being done to address the retention problem in the teaching field. The sound bite is 30 seconds and the outcue is "proven to be helpful."
Iorio: "To help the retention problem, pay increases to boost retention in urban, inner urban, inner city urban areas and in rural areas are being used. More importantly, a mentoring system of assigning an experienced teacher to a new teacher to help that teacher move through the first few years of their career has been proven to be helpful."
Sound bite #5
Iorio says one difference between America and some countries is America's commitment to teach all children. The sound bite is 42 seconds and the outcue is "all children."
Iorio: "America needs to concentrate not only on bringing more teachers to the field, but bringing teachers with expertise to the field. Many people read stories that American teachers, compared to those of other countries, or the standards that American schoolchildren meet are not as high as those in other countries. When we read those stories we need to take into consideration that some of the other countries to which American schoolchildren are compared do not teach all children. And in America, which I totally support, our mission has always been a belief that all children can learn and a mission to teach all children."
Sound bite #6
Iorio says she's optimistic that America will meet the need for more teachers. The sound bite is 23 seconds and the outcue is "need can be filled."
Iorio: "I am optimistic that the need for more teachers will be met in this country. I think it is important that the need is raised on political agendas, especially during an election year, and that the need is addressed. But there are many people who are interested in teaching children, and the need can be filled."