Teacher recruitment needs plan

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 5, 2008

Teachers in it for the money shouldn’t be standing in front of our classrooms.

And, in most cases, they aren’t.

It’s a historical fact that teaching isn’t a high-paying job. But, as history goes, we’ve always had teachers.

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So blaming an increasingly growing teacher shortage on salary isn’t fair.

Increasing teacher pay to equal physician pay simply won’t improve our educational system.

Sure, we work to make money, and teachers should be fairly compensated. They deserve raises, yes.

But raises aren’t going to solve all our problems.

Next year, 6,000 Mississippi educators will qualify for retirement.

With 2,397 classroom teachers already working on emergency licenses the teacher shortage is plain scary.

It’s time for Mississippi’s Department of Education and college and university system to join forces and tackle the shortage like a business would.

We need to market the teaching profession to high school and college students.

For years career day at the local high school has meant the local doctor, lawyer and businessman come in and talk about how great their jobs are.

The flaw in career day is that the teachers are organizing things, not appearing as guest speakers.

Our teens likely aren’t even considering the teaching profession.

In tight economic times, the state can’t easily provide as much money as we’d like for our teachers.

But we must continue to teach. It’s time to think out of the box and not just rely on history.