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Teacher Shortage Areas

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 in Certification Map, General Interest, News and Politics, Teachers | 73 Comments »
Teacher Shortage Areas

Photo by cybrarian77

While many prospective and veteran teachers alike have suffered from the economic recession, especially in states where there have been mass layoffs, major turnover will soon occur, with more than 1 million teachers getting ready to head into retirement. The National Center for Education Statistics estimates that student enrollment in elementary and secondary schools will rise from 55 million to 58 million between 2010 and 2019. Given these factors, future teacher shortages are inevitable in many geographic areas. Read on to learn more about the job market for teachers in the coming years.

Geographic Areas
Typically, teachers are in demand for urban and rural areas. Each year, the U.S. Department of Education issues a report listing the designated high-need areas in each state and U.S. territory. According to Monster, the following areas are presently in particular need for qualified teachers: Wichita, Kansas; Georgia (11 percent of current teachers are not certified); St. Louis, Missouri; Fall River District, Massachusetts; Blane County School District, Idaho; Maryland; Mississippi; Yuma, Arizona; Dallas, Texas; and Salt Lake City, Utah. Some of these areas even offer tuition reimbursement and other recruitment incentives. New York City and the state of Florida are both promising areas for prospective teachers.

In-Demand Certifications
Specific subject areas are in demand in almost every geographic location. Mathematics, science and special education teachers are in the greatest demand. With a boom in non-English speaking students, bilingual and ESL teachers are also greatly needed. Additionally, minority students represent at least 40 percent of the U.S student population, and those numbers are expected to rise, yet most teachers do not represent minorities. Therefore, minority teachers are in high demand.

STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teaching is a promising field, due to lagging math and science scores amongst American students. According to 2009 numbers, American high schools students were ranked globally at 23rd in science and 31st in math. The country has overhauled math and science standards in an effort to compete globally. The Obama administration has taken additional measures to find highly qualified STEM teachers with its “STEM Master Teacher Corps Initiative.” According to Education News, Obama’s plan is to begin with 50 teachers in 50 sites. The number of teachers will be increased to 10,000 in four years, and the “master teachers” will receive a $20,000 stipend, in addition to their salary, in exchange for their services. There has never been a better time to become a STEM teacher, given the increase in engineering and computer-related professions in the country.

Advanced Degrees
Since some high-shortage areas have been forced to hire teachers without certifications or to instruct in areas outside of their certifications, preference is given to teachers with a Master of Arts in Teaching, a Master of Education or a similar graduate degree. Having a master’s degree can also equate to higher salaries and more leadership opportunities. With the federal push for highly qualified teachers, a master’s degree certainly gives candidates better opportunities. As the veteran teachers, who have delayed their retirements due to a lagging economy, prepare to exit the profession, new teachers with advanced degrees will be the first hired.

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  • Hugh Vballz

    Instead of being a pessimist, look at things in introspect. Maybe you weren’t that effective of a teacher as you’ll like to believe.

  • Optimistic

    I’ve read every single post on here, and I think that yours are the most pessimistic. Stop feeling bad for yourself because you are Native American; many schools welcome minorities over WHITE people, because it brings diversity into their schools. You need to get over yourself, if I was your interviewer your attitude is why I would not hire you, not because of your race. Many people of every race and gender have a hard time getting teaching jobs, and you constantly complaining it is because of your race is not going to help you get a job.

  • unemployed too

    I agree with you. I have a MAED and MS Credential (CA) and have been unemployed since 2009. I have lost my home and had to move to a hotel with my children but I am still applying and hoping for a position. I changed school districts the wrong year and lost my tenure.

    I substitute teach now. Substitute teachers need union protection too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cloveless3 Crystal Loveless

    Pamela, you must rise above this. Stand tall. Stand proud. Stop blaming others, even when you believe you have the right. From reading your posts, I conjecture that the reason you are having such difficulty getting hired is because bitterness and anger ooze out of you. It does not make you an attractive person. Racism does exist, but it is not anywhere as prevalent as you seem to believe. Living in Texas, I can tell you that school districts grab up minorities before anyone else, and no one would dare call someone a racist name or treat someone negatively because of the color of their skin. I realize there are a great many false rumors about racism in the south. They are false. It’s not that it doesn’t exist, of course. To an extent, it exists everywhere, and every race is a potential victim and culprit. But hiding behind it, exaggerating it, and blaming it on all of our problems, is never advantageous. If you are, in fact, facing racism where you live, then beat it by being a bigger person than it. Drop the obsession. Focus on forgiveness and respect towards others. If you do, you will see a dramatic shift in your life. And I really do believe it would even culminate in the job you truly desire. People will also see that change in you, and then you will rise and inspire. Currently, the ugliness that people see in you, Pamela, goes far beneath the skin.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shmagaw Shawn Magaw

    In Maine, we are onlu getting 4 applications per math teaching position. Assume there are 10-20 openings per year, those are good odds.

  • Jeremy Naranjo

    Wow, what a bunch of negativity. People unwilling to move. If there is no teaching shortage why does TNT programs exist in many states trying to recruit people into teaching. Giving them jobs teaching without the education classes? Right now my school district is trying to hire a Principle, Assistant Principle, HS Math, Middle School English, HS English and multiple elementary teachers. Dallas and Ft Worth are both hiring. Apply there and move. Texas has not state income tax besides. There are a lot of teachers but many quit the job within 5 years. So, lots of people floating around with the credential but uninterested in the work any more.

    I can tell you from experience. I know many people working now in Education that didn’t originally. And people that studied education that quit. Just want it and move.

  • emma

    I am really shocked by your attitude. Honestly I would not want you teaching my children or anyone’s children the way you talk about students. Hooting and howling? Really? Growing up, I spent my elementary years in an urban setting and I can tell you urban children are not animals, as that is what you are describing. In your above posts you mentioned issues with urban settings, rural setting and suburban settings (as they are mostly made up of white students) Seriously where could you teach? In a bubble? You are dreaming of a teachers utopia that I gather no teacher has encountered. With every demographic, there will be challenges. The key to being a good teacher is not being a whiz in your content area, but being adaptable and being able to successfully teach the area you know by getting on the students level and treating them as people, albeit young people, in need of direction. I have found quite a few of your posts offensive, and racist, yes minorities can be racist too.

  • kate

    Get a Master’s Degree to make $36,000 per year? No thanks! That’s the starting pay in FL and no raise in 7 years. No way you’d ever pay your loans off. I live at the junction of 2 counties, Volusia & Brevard. Both have shortages of ESE and Language Arts. The high stakes testing has made Language Arts teaching a misery. I am certified in that but prefer to teach computers. The kids can still have fun in that class, but they learn a lot too. In Palm Bay they advertise tons of positions every week from elementary to high school, band, art, etc.

  • daspheebs

    This is incredibly disheartening – as I am going into my dream of teaching. Initially it was going to be teaching High School History, but with in the last week of doing research I got slapped in the face with, that is just not an option. Also, your statement of the 3rd grade teacher on medications – sucks. From a personal standpoint, that teacher on medications has every right to teach as you do. So now what do I do? Teach English? Probably not. Thats saturated as well. Instead, I am going to be getting my credentials in subject areas that I really know nothing about, and move back home to Arkansas to teach. Everyone on this thing is well, a wet rag, there are jobs, but something each and everyone of you taught us in school – keep trying. Maybe you all should do the same thing.

  • UnemployedMusicTeacher

    I’m an UNEMPLOYED music teacher. I wish my program had required (or even RECOMMENDED a second concentration OUTSIDE of music) if I had another certificate—I’d be employed. The Universities/our State legislators have SOLD us down the river. We’ll never have what the Boomers had. My state has RAIDED retirements. I’ll never enjoy what my parents had. The numbers of “unemployed teachers” are NOT accurate. They may reflect teachers who have been laid off, but I do not think they reflect those who are currently waiting for their first position. In my area, 500 applicants per job is typical. One desirable school in the area receives “over 4000 (unsolicited) resumes per year.” I’m being forced to RELOCATE for work. I may go mid-year, if I can get a contract, but certainly will take what comes down the pike.

  • Tentative Credential Seeker

    John, I am dying to know, did your math authorization lead to employment?

  • Pamela Kennedy

    Thank you. That’s why I stay in the Northeast – especially because of the “safety net” of some of the states for when you can’t find a job and while you LOOK. The South are all “right to starve” states. Starve and live in your car while you look for a job!

  • Pamela Kennedy

    So much for my even considering applying to teach Math at Choctaw Central High School – and that IS one of my Bands. This sounds like even they would prefer a “local” over “one of their own” with a New York State permanent Math teaching license. That and, I researched it and I’d have to use my PERMANENT NY teaching license to get a TWO-YEAR temporary one from Mississippi. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

  • Pamela Kennedy

    Understandable that you live in a hotel. As a SUB teacher that’s about the only place you CAN live. Everything else demands a “regular” paycheck and credit check and references. Where I am, even to get a lower “monthly” rate at HOTELS they require all that credit and reference and paystub checking.

  • Pamela Kennedy

    Well don’t tell me it’s not because of my race that I get invited to interviews for Math positions, then when they see me I can almost see their jaws drop, they hem and haw, and ask me “so what subjects are you qualified to teach, again” when they should have my Math teaching license copy right in front of them. Live with THAT and then tell me it’s ME who has the problem.

  • Pamela Kennedy

    I have stroke-level blood pressure from a lifetime of being a damn SPONGE to all of this. See my post below. Things like that are always happening to me and you can’t tell me it had nothing to do with “showing up with brown skin.”

  • Pamela Kennedy

    Right. I’m to blame MYSELF whenever I hear a student mutter under his breath “I’m not going to listen to no Nigger.” Yeah right. That was MY fault. And I should just keep being a SPONGE to all of this for the rest of my life. Right. Got it.

  • Pamela Kennedy

    Well you obviously haven’t been where I’ve been. Obviously not Oakland, CA or Sacramento, CA. And as a matter of fact there HAVE to be some places where the students are more respectful of adults in general and teachers than those two places. Of course, the places where I’ve been told I looked “too stupid” for Math were Rhode Island and that one was an adult; and Yuba City, CA. So thanks for your input as to why I suck as a Math teacher more than I did as a lawyer; once again, with both professions, the problem was getting people to listen to me and take me seriously.

    And as for ME being the one who’s being racist; I’M not the one who walks into a room, looks at me and says “are you a real teacher?…really?” the way some of these kids do to me. THEY’RE the ones being raised to obviously believe that no one but a white male is a “real” Math teacher. I wouldn’t want to live where people who would look at that scenario and blame ME, would be the ones making the decisions!

  • Bill

    I taught in the South for 15 years and most of my colleagues and supervisors were people of color. Perhaps your outdated ideas about southern stereotypes is the reason you are unemployed. Good luck

  • juli

    Jackson MS.

  • Mike

    As an engineering and banking professional, whose wife is also a teacher in Texas, we have just finished reading your posts, Pamela. I thought it important to let you know that your attitude, regardless of any academic or experiential qualifications you might hold, you would be considered UNQUALIFIED, based on your inability to work in groups.

  • Mike

    I don’t know what places you’ve lived, but in my 46 years in Dallas/Fort Worth, I have NEVER heard someone use that sort of language to another person! I am shocked to hear a former teacher use that kind of language, even in a rhetorical setting. In my opinion, someone with your attitude has no business being placed in a position of authority, much less a classroom.

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