Teacher Shortage Out of Hand!
By: Kaylee Vitale
High school education is based on teaching students material that is needed to go onto college or ready you for the real world, but what if there is no teacher to teach? Dickinson High School has multiple classrooms without a teacher, most notably a financial literacy class located on the second floor, and a chemistry classroom located on the third floor. The two classrooms are supervised by Mr. Garcia (Tupac), and Mr. Syed. Unfortunately they do not have the proper certifications to teach these courses therefore they are the long term substitutes. Students in these classes and many others have not been given the proper education they deserve, and to this point it is unknown whether these students will be distributed to other classes.
Our current teacher shortage & feeling unseen:
The teacher shortage has been a country wide issue, but focusing on the district of Jersey City Public Schools, there is a horrible pandemic of a teacher shortage. In recent years, it has become apparent that Dickinson High School has been feeling the effects of the teacher shortage, taking a hold on the student body and the general education of the classes that need to be filled. With about 2000 students the gap is yet to be bridged as you walk down the hall seeing a multitude of students doing as they please in a building filled with substitutes. Some steps were taken previously with a salary increase to $10,000 for incoming teachers, however the post Covid education battle has not yet been combated. Students feel unseen and unheard without a qualified teacher providing necessary education.
What happens in the long run:
We have felt the effects of the teacher shortage, and it has made itself apparent in our test scores. Without a suitable teacher, in recent years we have seen a decline in test scores - one of the most notable statistics comes from NJ.com. The Article “To end New Jersey’s teacher shortage we need the community’s help” by Samantha Shane shows that 51.1% of students were not meeting the expectations for English Language Arts. This statistic alone is frightening, and without a solution it may get worse. Students deserve more than to be tossed in a classroom with a teacher “coverage” or an unknown substitute.
We turn these questions over to our administrators, board members and state legislators that haven’t taken enough initiatives to combat the growing gap in education standards.