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Teacher Shortage Areas

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 in Certification Map, General Interest, News and Politics, Teachers | 117 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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  • Sad Unemployed Teacher

    Little you say seems true. I read the KSDE job page daily. There is not one LA position within driving distance that I can even apply for. My last position in KS I had to drive 100 miles per day to get there. Wichita? They rarely post any LA positions. Had interview a year ago where they said they had 400 qualified LA applicants. Went to 1st interview. Went to call-back. Second choice. Am always second choice after several years of trying. I do not agree with your advice of coming to rural KS area. There are NO teaching jobs out here. Unemployed licensed LA teacher since 2009. Have been working in other fields such as case management. Those jobs left too. There are NO JOBS in rural Kansas. Luckily we live on a farm and can sell enough of our cattle each year to pay our farm loan and live out another year. We grow a garden, eat beef off our farm, and keep our mouths shut about the fake teacher shortage. Don’t believe the lies out there. I am ready to speak up as I am ready to face the fact that after $30,000, four year of my life going back to college for a 2nd BA degree & Graduate degree & getting a teaching license (been working on this plan since 2000 – so 15 years of my life wasted), the truth is – I doubt that I ever get a teaching job! My license runs out in 2020 and I don’t think I will reapply. I don’t even feel like the same person who was last in a classroom. Can’t wait to hear from the haters on here who say those like me are negative & don’t belong in a classroom. I loved teaching. Love the teens I taught. Those were such fun and rewarding days. I know that I am a teacher. They can’t take that away from a person. I think that principals have far too much power. They really hold the purse strings. They are over-paid and have forgotten what it’s like to actually be in a classroom. Am getting off-topic here. The point is, there is no teacher shortage. It’s a lie. Don’t come to Kansas if you’re told there are jobs here. That’s a lie too. If you do come, you better grow your own corn, lettuce, and cattle so you won’t starve. I still have 12 years until retirement age. I remember when I could go shopping for anything new. Do you know what it’s like to shop for clothing in thrift stores because you have to and not because it’s the in-thing to do? I do. Imagine many on here can relate. My daughter followed my lead and got into education. Thankfully, she has a position. It’s about all I can do to keep my mouth shut. It hurts a lot though to see her teach every day and I also long to be in a classroom. I am glad that she has a job and I do not. I could not take it if it were the other way around. I think there is age discrimination as well. Once you hit 50 (and probably even 40), your chances are even slimmer that you’ll ever see the inside of a classroom (in Kansas) anywhere in the USA. I do teach children literacy programs (unpaid). I buy their supplies myself, something that I won’t be able to do much longer. While walking through Walmart the other day, I heard a little voice saying, “Teacher! Teacher! It’s my teacher!!” I realized she was talking about me. That’s what hurts the most. I really do miss the classroom and see another year coming around. The school supplies are all in the stores once again. God bless you all. I just wish they would stop all the lies. Think of all those who are entering education programs in colleges this fall. How sad.

  • Brett Bothwell Ed D
  • Le Green Schubert

    Pamela, I understand why you might think its about white male. etc. However, all these aplicants are thinking they are not getting jobs because someone is dicriminating against them on the basis of whatever group they are in::
    -being young
    -being old
    -having gotten alternative certifcation
    -having no experience
    -having too much experience and higher rung on salary ladder
    -being white
    -not being white
    -being male
    -being female
    but the schools advetising “Get you teacher certification now and get a teaching job” (after going into thousads of dollars in debt) are simply pumping out more Certified teachers than are needed- to make a profit with taxpayer subsidies- as the graduates end up taking low paying jobs and unable to pay the student loans.

    1,000 aplications for a single teaching position in a low income, 90% Hispanic school district is not about the descrimination. By the way, I was asked in an interview, how I, as a white female, could be an adequate role model for black males. (and yes, I ansewred it as a valid concern)

  • Le Green Schubert

    Whare in Texas?
    Not San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi,

  • Le Green Schubert

    You have to also understand that a “shortage”, from the district perspective, is whether Ms Science teacher, having been hit by a bus on Monday, can be replaced by another Science teacher by Tuesday.
    Of course, that can only happen if there is a pool of unemployed, qualified Science teachers sitting at home, praying for a phone call.

  • Le Green Schubert

    I have 13 certifications including Special Ed. I have friends that graduated 8 years ago and hold Science and math certification that are still substituting. One science teacher is in high demand for long term assignments and works almost every day throughout the school year, but can’t get a permanent position because of the hiring freezes.
    I’ve mooved on to another induatry, but I try to share the truth about the teacher glut because it breaks my heart to see all the newly certified teachers each year that are not getting jobs, and are blaming themselves, Unemployed teacher is right.

  • West_of_I35

    The district I teach in needs 440 teachers, and this is 19 days away from the first day of school. Starting salary with a bachelor’s and no experience: $47,500 + $3000 bonus for completing the year + $480 bonus for each 6 weeks that no days are missed. Shortage very real around here and in this whole end of Texas.

  • West_of_I35

    Odessa, Texas

  • West_of_I35
  • West_of_I35

    Our district is recruiting in the Philippines, in Vietnam, in Malaysia, Russia, and many more places overseas as well as in all 50 states. MANY of my colleagues are people of color, and men of any color are 10% of the teaching force here.

  • West_of_I35

    Workbooks? Really? Okay, I guess. But teaching in college requires no certification of any kind, no education training of any kind. Hardly overqualified for public school teaching.

  • West_of_I35

    Better come to Texas, then. My MAEd brought me up to $72,000 this year, and I will get a $5,000 bonus for taking another section of students beyond the six standard, we are so short on teachers. This district has more than 400 openings right now just 2-1/2 weeks before students show for the fall.


  • Tommy Ogren

    The “teacher shortage” is not true at all, and the schools keep on posting this baloney so that more and more young people will get sucked in, then spend all their money going through super expensive teacher training. The schools love a glut of teachers, because then they can pay them less.
    Teachers are underpaid in all states, and in many areas, such as California, a new teacher will: 1. Be lucky to get a permanent job; 2. Will have so many kids in the classroom (worst in the US in this regard) that real teaching will be impossible; 3. Will be saddled with a huge amount of student debt (at high interest rates); 4, Will not be able to afford to buy a house and live anywhere close to where they’ll teach. 5, The school administrators will all get paid a great deal more than the teachers, and today there are more administrators than ever.
    The US doesn’t really value education, or kids for that matter, and it certainly does not treat teachers very well.
    “Teacher shortage?” A big lie.

  • TheSilverscuba22 .

    there is a shortage, in Texas if you are math, science or speak Spanish you can find a job NO problem.
    this is one district in Texas…..


    here is nother in Austin texas… http://www.applitrack.com/austinisd/onlineapp/default.aspx?Category=01+-+Teacher

    over 90+ jobs.. they start on Monday.

    dallas ISD has over 120+ teacher positions open

    they start the 24th

    please don’t run your mouth about something you know NOTHING about. just because you live in the crappy Mexifornia there are teaching jobs out there….

  • JMF

    Sorry that you feel that way. The south is a viable location for anyone who is a certified, highly qualified teacher. Metro areas are best for job openings. Color and gender are not the issue here in the south – it’s certified teachers who are willing to work in “right to work” states, meaning, you do not have a union to help you. I am in the Atlanta area and my district alone hired 250 brand, spanking new teachers. Demand is high, qualified applicants are low (and we are a really small county compared to others in the immediate area). Racism is an issue here, but having lived up and down the east coast, north and south of the Mason Dixon line – racism is everywhere, just more veiled in some areas. I detest racism myself, and fight it when I see it. However, having a chip on your shoulder won’t get you hired, no matter what color you are.

  • Tad Dickson

    Do you all actually believe all this B.S…. Teachers are unemployed throughout the entire U.S. And many have left the profession. You can not make enough to support a household, technology has made teaching a thing of the past, and will continue to do so.. Computers will soon take the place of the human teacher.. Once recorded, a lesson is a lesson. The basics can be automated… and your $100K spent on a diploma.. just went south.

  • Amy

    I live in Massachusetts and I have great advice for women just graduating with their teaching degrees and remaining unemployed or stuck being a substitute or a paraprofessional. Just go down south or out west! The high demand for teachers (and lower pay) will most likely land you a job. Work there for a couple of years and build up your resume, then move back home. It’s a win win situation. Just move where it’s a little more cosmopolitan (if you crave intellectual stimulation and the party scene) so you can have access to culture and not be bored out of your mind.