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BLOG: Where Have all the Teachers Gone?

Change in our schools is coming! There some good news and bad news; in this blog we will talk about that.

It wasn't too many years ago that there was an abundance of new young teachers coming out of the colleges and universities looking for a future in education. Those days are over, and education is in for some real challenges ahead.

The pipeline  of teachers in our colleges and universities have fallen by more than 40 percent. In 2003–04, the state of California issued 27,000 new preliminary teaching credentials. In 2009-10, the state only issued 16,000 credentials.

So what does this mean? It means that students in colleges and universities who wanted to become teachers are starting to look elsewhere for jobs. They've given up on the education profession.

The median age of teachers in the USA K-12 is 42 years of age, according to the national Center for Education Statistics, with 33 percent of the teachers 50 years or older. When these teachers retire there will be few to replace them.

So what is the solution?

The solution will be a multifaceted approach, with colleges and universities changing the way they educate teachers, allowing them to get him involved in the student teaching process earlier, providing them with mentors while they're still in school and helping to create pride in the profession.

Not only do the colleges and universities, who prepare our teachers, have to change but K-12 education itself needs a real facelift. We must gain a greater use of technology for both students and teachers. We must break down the "bricks and mortar" mold of having one teacher in a classroom for every group of 35 to 40 students.

Orange County schools are up for this challenge. We already see in our overregulated and underfunded schools, some of the most innovative and exciting things going on in classrooms throughout the country. I will talk more about this in the future.

— Bill Habermehl is the recently retired superintendent of the Orange County Department of Education.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

bizworldusa October 03, 2012 at 09:22 AM
Seeing as there are lots of laid off teachers, teacher shortages won't be an issue for a very long time....... Regards, <a href="http://www.bizworldusa.com/">Bizworldusa</a>
Connie October 25, 2012 at 04:35 PM
I am looking for a teacher to tutor my kid at home. Can you please pass on the information to whoever is interested? Please email me at Conniemelvillesan@gmail.com. Big thanks!
Lawrence (Larry) McCook October 25, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Connie, I served as a Legislative & Advocacy Rep for two schools for six (6) years in Rancho Santa Margarita and can help you locate a teacher. In which subject does your child need tutoring and in which city do you live? Larry
Connie October 25, 2012 at 05:56 PM
I live in Newport Beach. I am looking for a phonics and reading teacher. Experience and credential teacher only. Can you kindly communicate through my email conniemelvillesan@gmail.com? Thanks so much for your prompt respond.
Maria Brophy February 16, 2013 at 12:37 AM
I see a growing move towards home-schooling via virtual school. That could be one contributor to less students in the classroom Our son was bored with public school and had trouble focusing in the classroom. This year we tried San Juan Capistrano USD virtual school and he's thriving. He's even learned the value of setting daily goals and managing his time for efficiency. The best part: he finishes his school day hours before everyone else, so there's plenty of time for his science experiments, as well as playtime with other kids. And, he still gets one-on-one time with his teachers, live, when he needs it.

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