Behind the Classroom Door; 20
The topic on this week's Behind the classroom door from northern Illinois University's College of Education is. So you want to be a teacher. Here's the moderator Robert asked top. The teaching profession in the United States is the largest profession of any. There are at least two million public school teachers employed in the United States and of course this will increase as the years go on. Among the two million teachers are many. Women. And women tend to get married. And drop out of the profession at least for a while while they have children. But most of them return. But there's been a lot of talk about the teacher shortage in this country. And I think we ought to turn to this first because anybody who is contemplating becoming a teacher ought to have some feeling about the shorties in the areas of shortages.
Dr. Leonard. Do you have anything on the shortages that are really a teacher shortage in this country today. Yes there are still. We still have a shortage of teachers for example I can give you some up to date figures on Illinois. Next year. It's predicted that we will need to more than somewhere between 12000 and 13000 new teachers in Illinois. And that includes elementary and secondary elementary and secondary now to fill. These positions. We'll have about or about eight thousand possibly Eighty five hundred people graduating from the yellow annoy colleges and universities to fill the 12000 vacancies that it Lloyd in addition to that aren't there a lot of really unqualified teachers. Oh yes I heard. Page say Who is he. States who
were not known to the public instruction. That a very large percentage of Illinois teachers really aren't licensed with a regular teaching certificate. That's right and then this leave next year a shortage of qualified. A shortage of about forty five hundred to 5000 qualified teachers. Dr. Leonard the shortage appears to exist in certain fields doesn't it. For example on elementary education there is a great shortage and that perhaps is where many of these are poorly qualified teachers are situated and then on the secondary school level. There appear to be shortages in the field of mathematics and science. On the other hand there on the high school level there's appears to be an oversupply of teachers in the field of history and a men's physical education and so on. Some other areas. Well this is also complicated by the fact that we need more elementary teachers each
year than secondary. And when we look at the colleges universities we find that approximately 40 percent of those in training are elementary for elementary and 60 percent for our secondary. Where is the need is just the reverse course when many of those teachers that you mentioned. The state of Illinois being short of for next year come from out of the state doesn't Illinois traditionally draw many teachers from other states. This is true. But Ellen I also imports I mean exports to China actually there's quite a change in an exchange of teachers across the country. And of course the richer states tend to steal from the poorer states in terms of the salaries that they're able to pay. When the shortage is spotty though it has some interesting facets to it. For example Leo you mentioned a shortage of men's physical education at our institution all of our men who major in
physical education have no trouble finding jobs. But when it comes to history where apparently we're preparing about one hundred thirty five history teachers a year. Thirty five of those approximately get employed. And I think it's I think it is very important to mention at this time that when a person is selecting the field in which to Major as a teacher the this person for example history should also select a minor so that he would have two possibilities to use when seeking employment as a secondary school teacher. We think our placement office does that Leo that placement office and the head of the Secondary Education Department. Both advise people that plan to teach that if they are interested in majoring in an area of oversupply they should get a minor in an area in which there is a
critical shortage. The NEA research division research division of the National Education Association each year gives an index by demand for teaching fields in the US. This is a national figure. I was and could vary across as you mentioned. There would be quite a bit of disagreement from state to state but those figures are available to individuals who plan to teach and I think it's very important if they are going to major in an oversupply area that they do minor in a critical shortage area kind of important I think for any secondary teacher to have two teaching areas to teaching majors because most high schools are small high schools. People don't realize this because the large high schools receive more publisher D than the small ones but most are small high schools. And somebody made a study in Illinois a few years ago and discovered that practically all
high school teachers teach in at least two areas two subject matters. Furthermore at least half of our graduates are going into junior high schools because it's typical of how in better communities do have elementary and junior high schools and senior high schools. I think there's a tendency in a number of junior high schools some senior high schools but certainly more junior high schools to move toward the old type of core program it's no longer called core but a broad fields curriculum. One of those that a teacher what do you mean by this teacher who is prepared into allied fields such as English and social studies will be responsible for teaching in both fields math and science would be the other most common combination. So the Nunda vigil going out to young history for example a field of oversupply would be
very wise to majoring in English which would be the allied field at both the junior and senior high school level so that he would be prepared to teach an English social studies combination. Teachers are to be recruited from all areas I think in the as you've been speaking here I've been wondering about where do the teachers come from new teachers. People who have decided to come into teaching. Seems to me that lately there's been an increasing trend for young housewives. Who have perhaps reared their children to school age. And who have earned a few years of college or perhaps even a college baccalaureate degree. To decide Well now I should go into teaching it will be make my life interesting and supplement the family income. DEAN time this up.
Creates an interesting situation because statistics show that of all the women who are teaching 62 percent of them are married who are not teaching. Sixty two percent of all women teachers are morons who are teaching and this this is not peculiar to schools alone because employment figures throughout the United States show that three out of every five women workers are married still teaching is just conforming to the general pattern throughout the United States in the employment of married women. And it's a particularly flying profession for women like believe they get paid better than many other female type professions. The hours tend to be nice. There are some problems that prevail of course in the case of a married woman who has children. There are committee meetings after school there are times when the children perhaps are available but usually they can manage
these things by having somebody around to take over those emergency situations. This I was created interesting. Studies in regard to the effect of married on marriage on teachers in this question has been asked many times. Do women teach better after marriage. And these surveys usually show that. Administrators agree that teachers teach the same that as marriage does not help him or her of they to teach it. No it's not a help and it's not a hindrance. I used to be in depression days. Which I still remember that we didn't like to have two incomes going into the same family and there were even some regulations against married teachers but I don't think there is any feeling at all anywhere any more. Married women teaching. I magine that's perhaps one of the most attractive features of teaching
for a girl who is considering various careers. The idea that she can come into the teaching profession drop out. To raise a family. And re-enter the teaching profession without difficulty and by the way studies indicate that this is true that most prepared teachers those who are ready prepared and and have some teaching experience who drop out for this field and return this study to which I was referring also showed that married teachers with children of their own are not significantly better than those married teachers who do not have children. That's interesting you know all parents have sometimes been critical of the unmarried female teacher saying well how can she know about children she doesn't have any of her own. Sometimes I think it's an advantage in that they have any of your own because you see these other children who are not yours in interaction with each other and perhaps have a more objective view.
I suppose it's perhaps important to point out though Leo that you're basing those statements upon a study that was made by asking the administrators whether married you made a difference is that correct. That's right and I have some doubt about whether And Minister Haider would know all whether marriage or having children would make a difference. I thought you were going to say Ray that they ought to check with the husband. They're working well. Some of these things are very intangible I think. My feeling would be that if you have children of your own get me to change your relationship with the children in the class. And I don't help you become a better parent. I would think so but I think that type of statement would be very very difficult to verify and especially difficult in terms of an administrator. But it was found that teachers with children of their own were able to get along
better with the parents of the children in their class or to sympathize a little I suppose you know I don't think we should leave the supply and demand situation nationally without going down some of those groups. Ray you have that supply and demand chart here. Why don't you indicate some of these groups of high demand average demand or however you want to examine it as they enter get it earlier the game. Does it issue an index of supply and demand and the index is separated into three categories. The first category has seven subject matter fields. These normally would be majors at the college level. Seven are areas of great shortages in other words the demand for example is stated in a percentage figure. The number one shortage on the
latest index is general science. The way this list is interpreted for example I'm not going to these because these would be available to prospective teachers but the general science index is two hundred and thirty two which means for every two hundred and thirty two positions available in general science in the United States there are 100 people prepared to teach over twice as many then. That's why we want to have ions. Ray would put the person either the junior high level or the senior high level if it were an 8 for Plan for years at the Army the first year although of course some young science teachers will teach in other science areas because of the shortages in physics and chemistry for example. But the man with a general science background I think
gives a great advantage based on what you said earlier that. People teach in smaller schools and are expected to teach usually in more than one field. The general science person normally would be able to teach more than one science and other would physics and chemistry or physics and biology. Now that's by far the the field of greatest shortage running down the list of the seven. In which the greatest Shortie just presently exist. In addition to general science physics library science and as Lloyd knowledge library science actually would have even a higher index than the one reported because of the recent demand for library science people at the elementary level and library science person is someone who takes charge of a library either full or part time and more and more elementary school libraries are being developed with a need at least a half time librarian.
Isn't this the type of job we have to deal with occupying a Lloyd you're right through even that many of the elementary schools now are moving toward full time librarians. And of course they do more than just discuss Dorothy and the books they're doing a lot of teaching and helping children find appropriate reading level writing. The ideal of course is to have a library and a full time library and almost every elementary school of any size. I think many of the newer schools or even in terms the design of the building tend to make the library the center of the building. And although this has been true at the secondary level of some new elementary schools that I've seen recently in the suburban area have Park Ridge for example have tended to develop schools which the library is open in the center. And the library serves
as somewhat of a commons or in other words a common area where students goal during study time rather than staying in a cell phone with a very interesting job because they don't work with books. You work with young people who are here to read and I think the developmental reading programs with the idea that you take a child where he goes and try to have him develop as rapidly as he is capable of. These programs have made a great difference with the librarian too because the librarian often is responsible for helping the child select the book. That would be best for his ability. But it is an advance field and growth requires advance preparation. That third of the top 7 then elementary education mathematics chemistry and English.
Those are the seven in which the greatest shortage exists knowingly she is still a demanding area because so many English teachers are needed to have the required area in the high school. Most high schools require at least three years. I'm talking of high school in terms of four years because the college entrance requirements are based on many 4 years of high school even though the ninth grade would commonly be in a junior high school. And those English would be taught for the four years and therefore you would need many teachers. Now the areas of the greatest. Oversupply is an optic. There are also seven of those from the greatest oversupply area through the seven oversupply area first on a speech and again to give you an example with the Index index for that is
24 which means that for every 24 speech positions open in the United States there are 100 prepared teachers of speech. Speech has been incorporated many schools into the English programme and therefore the need for special speech teacher is not as great as it was a few years ago. Man physical education. We already mention biology which is unusual but on a national level biology is an over supply area because it is the field that is selected by the largest number of science majors who planned teach. I think our institution places all of its biology majors. I don't I don't think we'd have any trouble in Illinois in placing people however again it certainly would be advisable for a bio biology major
to get at least a minor in science and social studies which of course would include history music art agriculture music and art and I think a person would have little difficulty in getting a job if he either developed a minor or preferably went through the dog grade program now which prepares an individual to teach art or music from kindergarten through the 12th grade. The people here and our own art department have indicated that they're placing far more of their majors in the elementary schools than at any time in the past. So those fields could be good if people were college field prepared for both the elementary and secondary. Good that's a summary and then the other major areas are all in between which would mean average par for the course we're on.
Don't you have any figures on the need for teachers in the field of special education in the field of Special Education is a new one. And in terms of these figures there are simply not included however Dr Pritchett Pritchett the head of Special Education Department. Is on a committee that has been developing supply and demand figures for the state of Illinois. And. If we were to list that special education would certainly be the number one area in terms of the shortage. This is because state laws in Illinois have recently required school districts establish these classes. There just aren't enough people. I think we should mention that there is a great needed and need in that field and in the areas of teachers for the mentally retarded. Teaching classes
for children with vision difficulties and also classes for children with hearing difficulties and the pay is good right away. Before leaving this topic I'd like like to comment on what housewife for example should do if she wants to get into teaching in other words if she has a college degree. Then the one place to start is to write to write to the state certification board or else go to a county superintendent and have her transcript the college credits evaluated him to find out what deficiencies that she have for certification at the elementary level or at the secondary level whichever area she's interested in. Now if he doesn't have a college degree if he has two years of college or three years or three and a half years. Then thing for to do is to go to the admissions office in the institution where she plans to finish her work and let them evaluate her her transcripts in terms of what she has to do to complete a bachelor's
degree in elementary teacher education or in say in a secondary field. These have been good practical suggestions in the supply and demand area particularly significant. You know we do have to be careful I think in urging everybody to become a teacher. For the sake of the individual as well as for the children and society I'm sure that every person should not become a teacher. Some people would have a nervous breakdown and I suppose spending 30 spending all day with 30 youngsters at the elementary school level. What are some of the personal qualifications that we think are desirable in a teacher whether this is a high school student graduating from high school and contemplating teaching as a Greer or whether it's a housewife or even a person changing from one profession to the other. We've got some people do this you know as late as 50 years of age you know not only should we encourage mothers to consider teaching as a profession
but let's include the fathers too. Now in regard to the qualities which would be desirable in a person who's contemplating entering the teaching profession profession I would place first an interest in people especially an interest in children. And. I think they should be interested in the process of learning they should up patients. And also it helps to have an abundant supply of them and vitality. I think there are a lot of other questions they need to death themselves do such things as how is my my health my physical health my mental health. Do I like to read and to study. Do I like to. Reading should be continuous. Any teacher has to read the professional literature to keep up with reading his particular subject matter area. You have got to ask themselves that. Do I have a good sense of humor for
example. And how about my patience and understanding of other people especially children if they are at the age level that will not be working. I don't think I was I think you can take any of those traits and of course they're desirable not only for teachers but they're desirable for all people. I have to say I always somewhat object when I. Read a list of desirable traits of teachers because I have great difficulty in seeing anything on the list that would be desirable for any human being. Recently I read a study that did a personality Yemen to Ari In other words. Ran a personality study of successful teachers by academic areas and there was no relationship between the desirable traits in one field and desirable traits in another in other words the teacher might be an entirely different type of individual than the
successful English teacher. I think sometimes. When we talk about this we may actually discourage people from going into the profession because they may look at this long list and feel that they are not qualified in one or two areas. My own opinion is the best thing that perspective teacher can do is to go out and work with the age group he plans to teach or try different age groups. That's a good point because I think we have people who have prepared to teach one age group level say junior high school who have gone out and they quit teaching within the year rather than to try another level of senior high school or elementary for example in which they may be very successful. And I think that's also true of communities. Some people have gone out directly from their baccalaureate training to a particular community have taught for one year and have found teaching to be extremely distasteful and
have completely. Remove themselves from the profession. Wow. If they had gone to other schools they may have been very very happy in the teaching profession is one quality and teach that a teacher should have in general I think I'd like to hold out for. I don't know how a person can be a good teacher if he is self centered and se. I think you must be capable of giving of yourself and serving others know maybe there are various degrees of this and I don't want to labor it but I have a feeling that if a person isn't capable of giving to others and goes into teaching very soon he learns how to do this and to stop worrying about his own reactions and what's happening to him as he tries to help others. It is one of the benefits of teaching. I think we're looking at it of course from the standpoint of what would make the teacher happy. Well actually there would be the students
- Behind the Classroom Door
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- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- Behind the Classroom Door is a radio series from WNIU-FM about education in the United States. In each episode, faculty from the Northern Illinois University College of Education address specific issues related to public school education and operation. The program is produced in cooperation with Northern Illinois University and distributed by the National Educational Radio Network.
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-5-20 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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- Chicago: “Behind the Classroom Door; 20,” 1969-04-28, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 21, 2022, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-bn9x4j9g.
- MLA: “Behind the Classroom Door; 20.” 1969-04-28. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 21, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-bn9x4j9g>.
- APA: Behind the Classroom Door; 20. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-bn9x4j9g