As school started this fall, regular news articles appeared about the nationwide teacher shortage. In fact, the news articles are still appearing, as I woke up to this one just the other day.
The hows, whys and speculation regarding the shortage is tracked by many experts and policy leaders. In fact, if you want more information, check out the American Association of School Administrators (aka the School Superintendent Association). They have a helpful article on the matter.
You can also talk to school leaders like Dave Slothower with the Calhan School District. Educational leaders like Slothower are living the story that exists within the data and they are having to find quick but long-term solutions. He made big news for receiving approval and implementing a teacher apprentice program in his school district.
The Calhan story and solution are particularly interesting because Calhan is a small, rural district with lots of get-up-and-go attitude about getting things done. In his case, Slothower decided to meet the issue head-on.
Calhan established a two-year apprenticeship program to attract those with prior teaching experience. During the apprenticeship, they take eight education courses through the University of Colorado while teaching in the district. At the end of the two-year program, they walk out with a degree and are marketable for a full-time teaching position. Districts like Calhan are filling and supporting the pipeline for teaching talent.
“We are a small, rural district so we cannot wait for applicants to come to us,” stated Slothower. “Having an apprenticeship program allows us to grow and invest in our own talent and it allows the apprentice to feel like they are supported and like we are investing in their success. That’s important because their success means student success.”
So, what is your district doing now and how are you preparing for the future?