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Teacher Shortage Areas

Posted on February 23rd, 2012 in Certification Map, General Interest, News and Politics, Teachers | 101 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.