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President's Post

How We Stop The Teacher Shortage And Encourage The Next Generation of Educators

What can be done to mitigate the ongoing problem of teacher and school staff shortages?
North Dakota United President	Nick Archuleta speaks into microphones at a press conference. Behind him there is a glimpse of the American flag and the North Dakota flag.
Published: February 20, 2022

I believe when last I wrote, I ended on a teaser regarding the ways that we can restore the prestige of the teaching profession and what can be done to mitigate the ongoing problem of teacher and school staff shortages. I was on a meeting recently with Linda Darling-Hammond who suggested the following seven steps in what she called The Road to a Strong Profession: A Marshall Plan for Teaching.
1) Recruitment: “If you teach, we will pay for your education.” TEACH Grants and National Public Service loans that are fully repaid with service.

2) Preparation: Universal access to preparation that focuses on learning and development, with a full year of clinical practice in partner schools that instantiate equitable, culturally responsive practices. Utilize state and federal funding for partner schools, residencies, and teacher education renewal, coupled with strong accreditation and program approval requirements.

3) Mentoring: All beginning teachers are mentored by expert veterans. Provide matching grants to districts and mentor training to support universal, high-quality mentoring programs for beginners.

4) Professional learning: Readily available professional learning throughout the career. Provide funds for professional development attached to standards ensuring sustained, collegial, content-rich, job-embedded approaches, including regular collaboration, and learning time.

5) Leadership development: Career pathways that enable the sharing of expertise. Ensure proactive recruitment and training for teacher leaders and principals focused on the support and improvement of teaching and the retention of teachers.

6) Compensation: Competitive and equitable compensation with Federal tax credits for teachers, scaled to reward teaching in high-need districts and state school funding reforms like those in CT and NC that prioritize equitable investments in teachers.

7) School Redesign: Schools designed for personalized and supportive teaching and learning. Regulatory relief and grants to design relationship-centered schools with wraparound supports that support personalized teaching.

Now, to be sure, these suggestions are not universally embraced and may or may not have applications here in North Dakota. However, I believe they provide a jumping off point in a necessary conversation about how we stop the teacher shortage, restore the prestige of the profession, and encourage the next generation of young men and women to choose education as their passion and profession.


Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education & Public Services

With more than 11,500 members across the state, NDU supports equal opportunities for success for ALL North Dakota students, and respect and support for all educators. NDU members are teachers, community college professors, speech pathologists, bus drivers, secretaries, retired educators and student teachers.