I feel like the educational system is overwhelmed. I’ve noticed shortages in several areas that greatly impact schools. Multiple districts have had trouble getting bus drivers, which leads to a host of problems related to transportation. Cafeterias are understaffed and overwhelmed. Teachers, Administrators, custodians, nurses, school counselors, and main office staff are now taking on responsibilities that they’ve never had to worry about before.
This summer, I sat through more than forty interviews with potential teachers trying to find the right person to fill a long term position in our school. It took nearly two months to find someone. In previous years, I would have tried to figure out how to narrow down several hundred resumes.
While trying to find someone, I realized that those coming into the field are entering a very different professional landscape.
We are at a crossroads in education.
Everyone is trying to do everything they can to make school work for students, but it may not be. The impact of the last eighteen months may be felt for years. I’m not sure that anyone realizes how the pandemic completely changed schools forever. Many think that we will return to “normal” at some point.
I’m not sure, however, that “normal” was working for students, teachers, and families either. And if we don’t do something different than what we’ve always done, I fear that we may not be able to right the ship.
We always talk about “thinking outside of the box” but here and now, we need to find solutions inside the box, outside the box, and in a dozen other boxes that we haven’t even opened yet. No solution should be off limits. No idea too out there to try.
Right now, everything should be a consideration. Everything should be in play.
It may be the only path forward from the road that we’re currently on.