Creative Answers to the Shortfall in Teachers

April 04, 2023 by Mark Tweedy, Data Storyteller at OneScreen

HL7 Classroom

Part I: New ways of handling the shortfall in teachers

Educators have always found novel ways to overcome the many obstacles to learning. You could call that their superpower. 

You might even call the widespread teacher shortage in America the kryptonite for schools and district leaders. Just like all the other challenges they’ve faced, however, this has just made them more creative. 

Arizona represents a common and more traditional approach to the problem. With 9.6k open teaching positions for the 2022-2023 school year, education leaders filled 41.7% by hiring non-teachers with “alternative methods” of qualification. 

In addition to the issues around alternative qualified teachers, a significant percentage (31.6%) of the open teaching positions were filled by long-term substitutes who lacked specialized knowledge of the subjects they were hired to teach.

Despite these creative solutions, 2.6K positions remained unfilled, with Arizona educators in every role pitching in to keep students on track with their learning goals. 

Meanwhile, a rural school district in North Carolina has come up with another answer - remote learning between schools. 

“If we can work with teachers synchronously, we’re no longer bound geographically.” 

-Dr. Michael Sasscer, Superintendent Edenton-Chowan Public Schools

Sasscer launched a virtual teaching program, where one teacher manages two classes at the same time - 150 miles apart.  

Interactive flat panels, originally purchased by schools for remote learning, are finding a new purpose in virtual teaching as the fundamentals of education changed. 

In Georgia, a school featuring  virtual classes is now dealing with the opposite of a teacher shortage. 

“Anytime there’s an open position, [our human resource officers] are inundated with applications.”

-John Johnson, Teacher, Cobb Online Learning Academy

The same was true for the Lowcountry Connections Academy in South Carolina where they received more than 1,000 applications for 4 openings. 

Other schools are using interactive flat panels to supplement the teaching efforts of their existing staff. Teachers can create customized lesson plans that incorporate videos, interactive quizzes, and other engaging activities. 

In the end, the classroom technology not only helps to keep students engaged, but it also frees up time for teachers to focus on tasks like one-on-one instruction or small group activities.

Take a look at what the next generation of interactive flat panels can offer schools facing a range of challenges.

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