Today, while conducting my daily job search, I came across an article discussing future teacher shortages. Approximately 1/3 of all teachers are baby-boomers. These are the teachers in their mid to late 50s - early 60s that have been teaching for 30+ years (God bless them). Not only will they be retiring soon, creating a shortage, but college students are now more likely to choose other careers than teaching. This was their explanation why:
"Teachers are expected to manage the classroom, be experts on Aspergers, Autism, ADD, ADHD, ODD, Truancy, OCD, Talented and Gifted, Dyslexia, Mental handicaps, Physical handicaps, Depression, Social Phobias, Anxiety, English as a second language, Sexual abuse, Physical abuse and Drug/Alcohol abuse while maintaining control, teaching lessons so that all can understand, build the students' self-esteem, remember who is on what program, make testing and curriculum modifications, keep students safe, monitor for harassment, communicate with parents, fulfill local standards and benchmarks, keep students focused, keep track of who did not do homework, listen to parents blame them for all of their child's failures, document behaviors, attend meetings before and after school, stay positive, and attend in-services announcing more to do. It is a wonder so many continue teaching long enough to qualify for retirement."
This describes my exact frustration with the teaching profession. I get immediately defensive when people accusingly ask me why I don't like teaching. It is not the "teaching" that I do not like. I LOVE the teaching. I LOVE the students. I even enjoy some of the challenges listed above. I miss the fun activities and excitement they get when they finally grasp a concept! I miss seeing them grow and change through the year and becoming an important role model in their lives. Luckily, for me, the positives really do outweigh the negatives (most of the time) ;)
So I've been subbing a lot lately in the hopes to impress a principal enough to hire me... however, NO public schools are hiring due to the economic crisis; especially in Michigan. My friends that have jobs are scared that they may not next year. I have a good chance at scoring a charter school job next year, but am being PICKY! With all the frustrations and challenges that come with my profession, I'm at the point in my life that I don't want to have a job just to have a job... I really would love to teach 4th or 5th grade. I've always felt called towards the older elementary kids, but have always been placed with the younger ones. Here's to hoping something comes up... I'm still waiting for that up and coming teacher shortage!