At two recent school board meetings, the father of a Howard Elementary School fourth-grader demanded to know why the district hadn’t managed to find a teacher for his daughter’s class.
The teacher left in August, soon after school began, and the void has been filled with subs — and chaos — ever since, he said.
How are these kids supposed to learn without a teacher? he asked.
This week, the fourth-graders at Howard might have bid farewell to their last sub. A permanent teacher officially started yesterday, school district officials reported. To put this chronic problem in context, here are some numbers from a Human Resources report:
From Aug. 1 through the end of November, 68 classroom teachers headed for the hills. About half cited personal reasons, which could mean any number of things; 20 percent said they were dissatisfied with their jobs; 12 percent went into private industry; 7 percent decided to retire and 3 percent were fired, or “released.” A handful didn’t give a reason.
To make matters worse (or rather, more complicated), more students showed up on the first day of school than expected. More teachers needed to be hired because of the larger-than-projected enrollment.
HR hired 70 people between August and November, but 31 vacancies remained as of Nov. 28.
Chief Services Officer Laura Moran said she hoped to take a new approach this fall, possibly by hiring a number of certified teachers as substitutes and then giving them permanent positions as they become available.
Why do you think people to wait until August (or later) to quit? What incentives, if any, might sway people to retire or resign earlier in the year?
image from Simone Hudson’s Web site at flickr.com