Attracting qualified teachers and staff
A majority of school districts in Pennsylvania report that staffing shortages are one of the most significant challenges facing public schools. In the District, class size is increasing putting greater pressure on teachers, causing some to leave the profession. What ideas do you have for attracting qualified teachers and support staff to address these shortages?
Actually, Carlisle has one of the highest teacher retention rates in south central Pennsylvania. This is a testament to our district's good reputation and our teachers feeling respected and supported.
But, when teachers hear school board candidates accusing teachers of “grooming” and “indoctrinating” students, or bashing our schools by intentionally spreading disinformation about student test scores, it demoralizes teachers and pushes them to look elsewhere for work, or leave the profession all together. That’s not right.
Our ideas for attracting qualified teachers:
1. It starts by trusting and respecting teachers, not harassing and threatening them with culture war chaos.
2. We must offer them competitive compensation and provide the resources and support staff they need to manager their classrooms and help each child grow, thrive, and succeed.
3. We should explore ways to create a welcoming pathway for career-changing professionals (retired military, technical trades, etc) who want to move into teaching and put their skills and professional experiences to use helping our students succeed.
4. We should continue Carlisle’s strong, 2-year mentor program for new teachers to help introduce them to the district and support them in early stage of their career, particularly with developing classroom management skills.
5. And most importantly, we must foster a respectful environment by having a school board that values teachers, and involves teachers in curriculum development and problem solving.