Andy Drotos Ph.D., executive dean for the
In a recent University of Phoenix College of Education survey, more than three in five K−12 teachers cite mentorship programs that support teachers in their first few years of teaching as key in retaining talent. Forty-six percent of those survey respondents also indicate teacher induction programs designed to mentor and provide professional development as a way to grow the teacher talent pipeline.
Drotos says while the teacher shortage can be attributed to many things—including baby boomer teachers retiring and insufficient resources—helping mitigate the teacher shortage begins with providing them with resources to seek coursework for recertification and to stay current in their field with the latest knowledge of how students learn. The same K−12 survey found that just one-third of teachers say they have significant training in standards and assessment preparation and curriculum development.
Supporting Teachers and Districts in the Changing Education Landscape
Drotos added that districts need to become savvier with their resources to support their educators during this critical time in their career. “The first few years of a teacher’s career are vital to his or her success. We need to create an environment where teachers are provided the training and mentoring to boost their confidence and effectiveness in the classroom.”
According to the same survey, some skills for which K−12 teachers say they are interested in pursuing more development include:
• Technology in the classroom to embrace the latest development in technology and software applications
• Addressing student behavior issues with the skills necessary to effectively manage classrooms
• Curriculum and instruction to help in curriculum analysis, design, development and implementation
• Teacher leadership that utilizes collaboration, mentoring and inclusion as a way to initiate and sustain change in their school community.