There are signs, ads, and pleads to come from everywhere! So many jobs available and workers needed. Then reports add to the list of help wanted with continued struggles with teacher shortages and now a principal shortage. What is happening?
Teaching is a profession in crisis. A March 2021 survey by Education Week found that 54% of teachers said they are somewhat likely or very likely to leave the profession in the next two years – a bump up from 34% in 2019. According to NASSP’s fall survey, 91 percent of principals were very or extremely concerned about student wellness, more than any other challenge (in comparison, mask mandates had about 51 percent very or extremely concerned). More than a third said there’s not adequate student services staff, like nurses and counselors.
A report released by the NASSP indicates: The top three factors most likely to cause principals to leave in the next three years are heavy workload (37%), state accountability measures (31%), and the amount of time and effort needed for compliance requirements (30%). You can read the entire report in the link provided. Also, a blog by the Wallace Foundation provides additional information on the warnings of the need to support education now.
I directly worked with the Wallace Foundation many years ago as a Principal. The support, skills taught, and direct feedback provided strong foundations to continue to build on, helping the school community I served to improve and grow. Along with them and the Illinois Principals Association's guidance, our continued success is reflected in students' achievement at our school. We need to continue to make decisions based on the data we receive to stop these anticipated shortages. Please also read this research on the impact of school leaders on student achievement and teacher retention.
We have solutions to the help wanted needs in our country. If you take a moment to think, I know you can come up with ideas. We stare so long at the problem we jump to a quick fix that creates another problem, and a long-term solution is available. Voice your ideas, opinions, concerns, and most of all, solutions to those we voted to serve us in Washington, D.C. We are independent thinkers and not group thinkers. We have our thoughts but are always open to listening to all ideas. Be the solution daily in a world that needs you.