Thursday, September 28, 2023

How schools are dealing with the ongoing teacher shortage


I commented on a post on LinkedIn yesterday on the ongoing teacher shortage. I read many Tweets by teachers complaining about the bad behaviour of students leading to their resigning from the schools.

The author of this article is talking about how to solve the symptom and I tried to share with her how to help reduce bad behaviour in the future. She was courteous in responding to my comments.

From my experience of having taught more than 80 kids who were unable to read when they came to me for tuition and from reading extensively on this subject, I understand that most of the misbehavior stems from kids avoiding shame due to not being able to read like a majority in their classes. This is also what was discovered by the Children of the Code researchers. LINK


All educators are only talking about the immediate problem facing them but not thinking about how to avoid this in the future.

Why is this problem worse than in previous years? The answer is simple. Many kids who may have been at grade level are now not able to cope because of months/years of not going to school because of the pandemic.

Could this problem have been solved by retention? I believe so, but there are groups that are against this.

I happened to see a Tweet as follows:

“The link between academic failure and delinquency, violence and crime is welded to reading failure.” ~U.S. Department of Justice

Below is the LinkedIn thread for referring to in years to come.  


Jenifer Pastore Reading, Writing, and Literacy, University of Arkansas Doctoral Student, said:

Start treating us as professionals. Start supporting us when we need help dealing with extreme behaviors. Stop handing us scripts to teach with fidelity. Don't expect our kids, who are multiple years below grade level, to pass proficiently, and put supports in place so we can help them. Stop imposing reforms based on a reporter's podcast. Start putting kids first. Start LISTENING to us. Stop making uninformed decisions when you are more than 5 years removed from the classroom.


I responded as follows:

Excellent points, but teachers must also act responsibly, and more importantly teachers should think. Teachers should not accept everything said in research reports without thinking.

Teachers should not be expected to know all answers to questions but they should forget their ego and ask questions when they don't know the answer.

For instance:

The theory that phonological awareness deficit is the cause of dyslexia was debunked in 2017.

If phonological awareness deficit is not the cause, then what is?


If teachers want to be treated as professionals, why won't they even take the trouble to click like when posts against reporters like Emily Hanford and others are posted?


Cindy Friday Beeman Author Teaching and Writing Professional

Luqman Michel I appreciate your response. But in a classroom lately, help for dealing with disruptive behavior comes first. Dyslexia response? That's typically a district call.

I replied:

I was replying to Jenifer Pastore's reply, which I thought was good. I am not sure whose call it is but all I am saying is that we should all look for cures and not just the symptoms.

Yes, why are we listening to a reporter who does not answer direct questions?

Teachers should think and not accept everything a researcher and worse still a reporter telling us what to do.

We all know that most of the disruptive behaviour is by intelligent kids due to shame avoidance. To prevent this behaviour or reduce this behaviour what should we do ought to be the question to ask.

I don't know how to deal with disruptive behaviour in grades 4 and above. But let us look at how to reduce this behaviour in the future.


Cindy Friday Beeman    

OK, I'll give it a try. I don't see the connection of dyslexia to the reasons why some teachers are leaving their profession, and how this is affecting students and their education. I see immediate issues: When a third-grader is about to throw a stapler at my head, I'm not analyzing why. Districts here are putting children with serious mental health problems in "regular ed'' classes without adequate support. It's not fair to the teachers or the students. I hope this explains it. Best wishes in your advocacy for students with dyslexia.

I answered:

Cindy Friday Beeman Don't misunderstand. I read a lot of complaints by teachers about bad behaviour. Bad behaviour has existed for decades and has now worsened because of the pandemic. Teachers cannot do much about that because there is a group that is against retention.

What I am saying is that the bad behaviour of many kids is the result of shame avoidance which has already been determined by researchers who did the COTC experiment.


Please read my post on teacher's stress. LINK

I wish you well.


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