ROANOKE, Va. – There’s a big teacher shortage across the country and the pandemic has only made it worse, according to the Virginia Department of Education.
The latest data from VDOE showed that there were more than 1,000 openings across the Commonwealth. That number has only gone up over the last ten years.
If you’ve seen postings about becoming a teacher, you’re not alone. The Virginia Department of Education is participating in a national campaign to celebrate the importance of teachers and promote teaching as a career choice.
“What we hope is that it will interest folks who perhaps hadn’t considered teaching as a potential career path. Whether they’re in college or preparing to enter college or whether they’re already in a career and are thinking about possibly changing careers,” said Charles Pyle, a VDOE spokesperson.
According to VDOE’s annual report on critical shortage areas, the commonwealth’s 132 school divisions reported the top-10 shortage areas this year as special education, elementary education, middle education, secondary mathematics (including Algebra I), career and technical education, secondary science, foreign language, secondary English, library media, and secondary history and social science.
“The Future Depends on Teachers,” will air before, during and after national Teacher Appreciation Week, May 3-7. The spots celebrate the role of teachers in shaping the future by preparing students for success and invite viewers to consider teaching as a career.
Part of the PSA says, “Right now, somewhere in the classroom in the United States, there’s a teacher inspiring a future scientist, who’ll make preventing pandemics their life’s work, an environmentalist who’ll help combat climate change, and generating possibilities for a student who will become the first in their family to graduate college.”
The spots were produced by TEACH, a nonprofit created by the U.S. Department of Education and Microsoft.