Teacher shortages still hitting the Badger State

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WAOW) — From elementary school age all the way up to college, teachers play an important role in educating students, regardless of their desired career paths.

“In order for any other position or anybody to be successful, it all starts with teaching,” said University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Education student Taylor Schabo. “It all starts in education in elementary school, middle school and progresses, so I think it’s really the baseline for future success.”

Former University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Dean of Education said teaching is a very rewarding field that is easy to get into. He also said the shortage of educators can be attributed to the way teachers are treated.

“If you love kids, if you’ve got compassion and you’re willing to learn the skills we teach you in, we [the teaching profession] need you more than ever,” said former Dean of Education Kym Buchanan. “A lot of choice and freedom has been taken away from them. We’ve told teachers how to teach, what to teach, how to assess that and we’ve really hurt the professional status of the profession. I think we need to trust teachers, empower them and give them a voice.”

He also said teachers tend to get burnt out after a few years, which directly goes back to how they’re treated.

Student enrollment numbers into education programs have dropped drastically across the state. Buchanan believes outside factors are an influence.

“I think for some if they have a family member who’s lived through act 10, who’s lived through the emphasis on standardized tests, who’s lived through the naming and blaming on quote on quote failing schools,” said Buchanan. “I think that there’s been a lot of negative press around teachers which would make students not want to be involved.”

Rashad Williams

Rashad Williams

News 9 Reporter

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