A nationwide shortage of teachers that began developing in the past several years is accelerating. While all states have teacher shortages, a handful are worse off than others. They include California, Nevada, Washington, Indiana, Arizona, Hawaii and the District of Columbia.
Teacher shortages concern educators because larger class sizes result in students receiving less individual attention. And classroom sizes continue to increase across the country—due to teacher shortages and rapid population growth.
Against this backdrop, teachers making an effort to earn specialized certificates and advance their knowledge of classroom technology tools will find no shortage of job opportunities.
Why Is There a Teacher Shortage?
Studies show a shortage of about 112,000 teachers nationwide. These shortages occur when schools cannot find enough teachers in specific subjects to fill the available job openings. The reasons why this happens vary from district to district. However, certain issues typically cause most shortages.
The Learning Policy Institute reports some of those reasons include layoffs that occurred during the Great Recession that caused thousands to leave the profession, the rapid growth in student population and fewer people entering teacher preparation programs. Some teachers have also left the profession because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The shortages have hit all teaching areas, but especially in subjects such as mathematics, science, special education and bilingual education/English language development. “There just aren’t enough teachers. There isn’t a big pool to pull from,” Charles Prijatelj, the Altoona Area School District superintendent in Pennsylvania, told NBC. “Retirements are through the roof and people are leaving the profession even more than they were due to all the havoc from Covid. It’s dire.”
What States Have Teacher Shortages?
Research from the Economic Policy Institute estimates that nationwide the teacher shortage now has reached about 118,000 unfilled positions. The institute projects that by 2025, the shortfall of teachers will reach 200,000. They call the nationwide teacher shortage “real, large and growing, and worse than we thought.”
The biggest shortages are happening in California, Nevada, Washington, Indiana, Arizona, Hawaii and the District of Columbia. A searchable database kept by the U.S. Department of Education offers a breakdown of teacher job openings by state. California, for example, lists a statewide need for K-12 teachers in special education, mathematics, language arts and science teachers. At the elementary school level, the state needs core subjects teachers.
The database shows these trends repeating across the country. Nevada needs support staff and K-12 teachers in English as a Second Language and Special Education. Indiana needs 5-12 science teachers and K-12 ESL, arts and music and world languages. The shortage has become so widespread that President Joe Biden has included $9 billion in his American Families Plan to fund training for teachers.
The Advantages of Becoming a Teacher Now
Because of the shortage, those entering the teaching profession now will have no trouble finding job opportunities, no matter in which state they reside. And for both new and veteran teachers, expanding your skill set can lead to better job opportunities.
Fresno Pacific University’s online continuing education courses prepare teachers for the modern classroom, allowing them to earn the professional development credits needed to maintain their license. Courses such as Teaching and Learning Online also educate teachers on using the latest tech tools and platforms in their classrooms.
Educators who commit to continually expanding their skills make great candidates for the best teaching jobs. For those who want to help address the teacher shortage crisis, completing a 100% online continuing education course will help them achieve their goal.