On August 2, more than 600 new teachers were greeted by cheerleaders and a marching band at Park Vista Community High in Palm Beach County Florida. The celebration is annual, but it seems even more important this year.
Summer is coming to a close and the 2022-2023 school year is officially starting in schools across the country. But the country is entering this back-to-school season with a shortage— not of books or backpacks— but teachers.
According to The National Education Association, the U.S. is facing a shortage of 300,000 teachers. Many teachers are leaving education because of the challenges the industry is facing… But there is also a new generation of teachers who are inspired by these challenges to teach.
Without a doubt, pandemic learning, school shootings, curriculum controversies, and on top of that low pay, have played a huge role in the shortages of educators. As the daughter of a high school English teacher, I can tell you that the workday of a teacher has never been easy. From the looks and vents of it, It is exhausting. And no one has ever gone into the profession for money. A CNN article said about being a teacher, “It promises high stress and low pay.” So this year just seems to be the final straw for many.
Luckily, there is a small army of recent graduates who are equipped with the most powerful tools any educator needs: passion and purpose. Unlike others, these newer and soon-to-be teachers know exactly what landscape they are about to enter… And that’s exactly why they’re excited to work. For them, it’s not just work. It’s a call to action and an opportunity to make a difference in a time when it’s needed most.
Ask Elizabeth or Liz Hawley. Liz is currently pursuing her master’s in education at Providence College in Rhode Island and she just completed her student teaching of third and fourth-grade special education at Providence.
Liz won’t be running her own classroom until next year, but there are many teachers, like those 600 in Palm Beach Florida and Connecticut phys ed teacher Ashley Carrocio, who are setting walking into theirs for the first time.
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Brand Journalist Gabby Esposito is a student at the University of Connecticut pursuing a degree in journalism and philosophy. As a Brand Journalist with School Comms Lab and Holdsworth Communications, she works to tell the stories of brands and businesses, including schools.
Her articles are an organic form of PR, branding, and marketing. She is passionate about sharing the stories of others—big or small—and learning about lives and ideas that are different from her own. She has written for publications including Her Campus and UConn.
Gabby is from Connecticut and enjoys spending time with her family, dog, and two cats. Aside from writing, she enjoys cooking, traveling, watching Tik Toks, and listening to podcasts.