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Superintendents grapple with finding stellar teachers

E-School News – Laura Ascione

“Concerns around finding highly-qualified teachers and principals plague today’s district superintendents, according to a new Gallup poll. Two-thirds of district superintendents in a new survey said the quantity of new teacher candidates is decreasing, and 43 percent said new principal candidates are decreasing. Participating district superintendents tended to rate their districts as less effective at recruiting talented teachers and principals than they are at selecting, developing and retaining them, according to the poll.”(more)

What Can We Do About Teacher Turnover?

Edutopia – Desiree Carver-Thomas and Linda Darling-Hammond

“As students started a new school year this fall, far too many were greeted by substitute teachers and others who were unprepared for their jobs, as teacher shortages continue to hinder the ability of districts to find fully prepared teachers to fill all of their classrooms. This year, more than 100,000 classrooms in the U.S. are being staffed by instructors who are uncertified for their assignments and lack the content background and training to teach their classes. These classrooms are disproportionately in schools serving mostly students from low-income families and students of color. In some key subjects, like math, science, and special education, districts of every type and in nearly every state have been hit.”(more)

How D.C. Schools Are Revolutionizing Teaching

Education Next – Thomas Toch

“Eric Christopher is the kind of young, gifted, committed teacher that any principal would want to hire. A straight-A student from a public high school on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, he gave up a chance for an Ivy League education to take care of his sick mother and attend nearby Washington College, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 2006. He spent the next seven years at a public elementary school near his hometown, teaching the Spanish-speaking children of agricultural and poultry workers while earning a master’s degree in bilingual education. But opportunities to advance were mostly based on teacher seniority, the pay was low, and he was eager for a fresh challenge in a new environment. So, in 2013, he moved to the big city—Washington, D.C.”(more)

To develop teachers, look to other teachers

Education Dive – Autumn A. Arnett

“Researchers from Michigan State University this week presented the findings of a study that indicated half of early career teachers leave their schools by their fifth year, and one in four leave the profession altogether. Part of this can be attributed to a perceived lack of support by their principals, but another part is due to a lack of support and personal development that encourages persistence.”(more)

How to Shake the Blended Learning Blues

Ed Surge – Carly Nations

“When I interviewed for my current teaching position, my school’s 1:1 program was a huge selling point. To me it represent administrators’ commitment to bringing public schools into the 21st century, and to providing equal educational opportunities to all. When I entered the classroom, however, my relationship with the laptops got…complicated. I discovered the machines were at odds with much of what English teachers—myself included—hold dear. Even worse, the novelty of using technology every day seemed to wear off quickly for students. After less than a year in the classroom, I felt like a burnt-out teacher nearing retirement rather than a young woman fresh out of college. In order to get my groove back, I had to go truly blended, giving the laptops a backseat to literature. Here’s what I learned.”(more)

Outside the limelight, rural schools face challenges in finding, and keeping, teachers

Ed Source – Fermin Leal

“Walking through the hallways of Tranquility Elementary School, Principal Matt Kinnunen regularly pokes his head into classrooms to check on his teachers, especially the newer ones. He asks about their day, assists them with student lessons and offers advice. It’s part of a routine to help them feel valued and supported. And maybe that will keep a few from leaving the small, rural campus in California’s Central Valley, a region hit especially hard by the state’s ongoing teacher shortage. Kinnunen’s school is one of six that make up Golden Plains Unified, a 1,770-student district 40 miles west of Fresno that spreads across three tiny towns and 16,600 acres of mostly almond, raisin and cotton farms.”(more)