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Fewer people pursuing careers in education does not help Louisiana’s teacher shortage, experts say

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 5:32 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 26, 2021 at 6:54 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana State University professors say hypothetically, they can turn out 100 quality teachers, but at the end of the day, the state needs a thousand. However, only so many people are wanting to make a career in education nowadays.

“Parents used to be the number one people that were deterring young people from becoming teachers, now it’s teachers and that is a hard thing for us to work with,” said Richard Baker, who is the associate director for the school of education at LSU.

Baker put out two surveys for principals and superintendents, along with teachers, asking them about some of the major issues in the school system. The two biggest concerns were salary and working conditions.

“Then if you are going to tell me if I have a bad year or I get a group of students that are really tough to work with, not only am I going to lose my job, but I am going to lose my license to do that job,” explained Baker.

Baker added that it’s the rules and regulations from the federal and district level that sometimes make it harder on teachers, and the pandemic did not help either.

“You have politicians or non-educated professionals who are making decisions for classroom teachers without even coming to them for advice,” said Larry Carter, who is the president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and School Employees.

Carter said between the mask mandate and virtual learning, puts added pressure on teachers.

“The pandemic has exposed how valuable teachers are to society. How they are to those kids. That when we saw teachers and students not being able to be in the classroom, that was hard for a lot of teachers,” added Carter.

As more are choosing to leave the classroom, school districts will have to work harder to find the teachers who are willing to teach those who will become our future.

Here are a few schools that are looking to hire if you are interested in teaching in the capital region:

If you are seeking support or counseling from the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and School Employees, click here.

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