Letters to the Editor: Pay educators more — a lot more — to fix the teacher shortage
To the editor: As a retired education professor, I read the article about the teacher shortage in L.A. with a combination of anxiety and dismay. I asked myself what I would do to fix this (if indeed it is fixable at all), and this is what I came up with.
First, teachers need support, support, support. Students with emotional and behavioral problems can be a daunting challenge, even for experienced teachers. A possible solution is team teaching, where two instructors are in every classroom, and no one is left alone to cope. Classroom management is a challenge even in “easy” schools, and in other schools it can be unbearable.
Second, increase teachers’ salaries so much that they would be willing to deal with all the problems of teaching. Pay them so much that school districts attract the best and most gifted teachers who could work elsewhere and get paid what they are worth.
Third, don’t provide just workshops; instead, provide skilled teachers who will work for at least one hour a day with every new or beginning teacher, as well as with any teacher, regardless of experience, who needs help.
Before any superintendent ignores these suggestions or says they won’t work, I say try them. What have they got to lose?
Diana Wolff, Rancho Palos Verdes
The writer is a professor emerita of education at Cal State Dominguez Hills.
To the editor: The teacher shortage has been predicted for many years. In 2021, the Economic Policy Institute estimated we had a shortage of 118,000 teachers, and by 2025 that number will increase to 200,000.
The reasons are obvious: low salaries, excessive workloads, angry and often hostile parents, persistent attacks by right-wing politicians and much more. In many states teachers can be reprimanded or worse for saying something that politicians have deemed illegal or offensive.
Fewer young people are even considering teaching careers, and for good reason. Why would anyone want to invest so much time and money to join a profession that is treated so shabbily and subjected to so much hostility?
Teachers have been placed in the crosshairs of the nation’s cultural wars, and they are doing the only rational thing. They are removing themselves from the line of fire directed against them and their families.
Dennis Clausen, Escondido