Mainstreet Radio: Education in Minnesota, part 2 - Supply of teachers for Minnesota schools

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A Mainstreet Radio special broadcast from KNBJ studios in Bemidji. In this second hour of program, host Rachel Reabe discusses education in Minnesota and the supply of teachers for Minnesota schools with guests Joe Nathan, of the Humphrey Institute's Center for School Change; Dr. Rollie Morud, superintendent of the Bemidji School District; and Dave Larkin, Dean of the Education Department at Bemidji State University.

Program includes listener call-in.

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(00:00:07) Good afternoon, and Welcome to our special Main Street broadcast from Bemidji and the Minnesota Public Radio Studios of k n BJ K. CR B. I'm Rachel rebe with almost a million students enrolled in grades. Kindergarten through 12. Minnesota schools are experiencing the highest enrollment in 20 years at the same time record numbers of teachers are retiring. It's been a challenging year for school districts trying to fill their classrooms with qualified teachers. And the problem is not going to go away the Clinton Administration warns that almost two and a half million teachers will be needed in the next 10 years will be talking about Minnesota teachers supply and demand this hour with our guest Dave Larkin who has the dean of professional studies at Bemidji State University oversees the education department and the superintendent of the Bemidji Public Schools Rowley more rude joining us by phone. A conference in Racine Wisconsin is Joe Nathan the director of the center for school change at the Humphrey Institute. Good afternoon. Gentlemen, welcome to Main Street. Our phone lines are open for your questions and comments listeners. You can call us this afternoon at one eight hundred five hundred 75252 the number again, 1-800-501-7737 or more rude how difficult was it to find teachers this year for the Bemidji Public Schools. (00:01:29) Well, it was a real challenge. We've hired nearly 47 teachers this year. And that's quite a few last year. We hired 40 and prior to that. We were averaging about 25 teachers a year. So it has really accelerated quite a bit. We started very early. We were very aggressive this year in going to Career Fairs and and then also just getting our listings out on the web and the different placement services but much more aggressive this year than we were. Two years ago. This is (00:02:01) something new for school districts. I remember the days where you got to sift through the boxes of applications and you really had your (00:02:08) pick well in some areas, we still do that. For example Elementary Ed. There are still an awful lot of applicants, but we're really returning back to the era of the 60s and it was a very short Market at that time and it was a not a hiring Market, you know, it was a supply issue. That was very short. So it's kind of new and yet it's a cycle that we're going back through again. But it's very (00:02:38) challenging. So classes have this is your second week of classes. You still have two openings. You're trying to (00:02:44) fix correct? Yeah, we're having a very difficult time. We have an EBD position that's open. And then we have deaf education position. That isn't filled yet. (00:02:54) So what happens when you can't fill the jobs what happens to those students? (00:02:59) Well, we use substitutes. We use long-term substitute situations will also bring in licensed people that maybe you know are licensed at a lower level and try to utilize the bring in aids to stretch our staff a little bit further and let them Reach as far as I can. (00:03:19) It's not a good situation know having us very happy (00:03:21) about it. But we have to do what we have to do to (00:03:24) Joe Nathan or most districts in Minnesota in the same (00:03:26) shape Rachel. Thanks for the question many districts in Minnesota are in a very similar shape in three or four basic areas in the area of special education, which the superintendent has just spoken to your first emotionally disturbed teachers who work with emotionally disturbed Behavior problem kids. That's one area where there's a there is a shortage and not apparently a shortage necessarily in the number of people who are being prepared. But a lot of people are moving out of teaching special ed. Once they are have a job they teach it Couple of years and then they get frustrated they move into another of teaching. So we've got a particular problem in special ed many districts are also reporting shortages in math and science and many districts are seeing real shortage of people of color. And this is a Statewide issue in our report. We point out that for example some schools in Southwestern Minnesota have 25 percent Hispanic kids and literally no teachers who are spanic. I'm certainly not saying that only Hispanic teacher can teach Hispanic students only an African American teacher can teach African American kids, but I think it's very important for white kids as well as African American Hispanic is to see different kinds of folks in person positions responsibly in school. So yes, we're seeing these kinds of shortages all over the state (00:04:41) Dave Larkin. Is this something that can be addressed at the University level the place that's training teachers. How do you get teachers to go or how do you get students to go into the areas where they're going to be needed when they graduate? Well, that's really a Hot Topic and it's the biggest problem that I I see is we have most of the students that come to Bemidji State want to be elementary teachers. I mean think about teaching elementary kids. What a sweetheart of a job the students love you and all the stereotypes you want about elementary students and you work with them. We know that we need teachers and Technology education, which I would add to Joe's list is a big area of shortage the math and the science the special ed big areas continue to be real neat areas, but it's difficult. I talk to students all the time. Just let me say what another word about technology education that we had the person who coordinates are tech ed program at Bemidji State visit all of our first courses in education. And he went to talk about the shortage in this area the the opportunities the opportunities to earn more money and tech ed than in other positions because they do exist out there and after visiting about I think was about 300 students who were in that first course to education. We determined that he did not convert one student to come to technology education. So we know what the needs are and were somewhat frustrated by it ourselves, but we have a lot of people that want to be elementary teachers and frankly. I understand that. Our phone lines are open this afternoon. The number is 1-800-543-8242. We have John Fredrickson on the phone with us. He is the superintendent at International Falls. What's it like in your District this year sir? (00:06:28) We're facing the same challenges that Bemidji had we had several fires this year and to hires in elementary education. We had well over a hundred applicants and I don't know how many people I just simply send resumes and stuff and Areas, such as math or speech or music or English Spanish technology, whatever we had one or two, maybe three applicants that by the time you had the closings you call them up and they already had other jobs elsewhere particularly difficult at the secondary level which are great teaching activities, but we don't see that seemed to see the marketing that's going on and for elementary a dime. We're still seeing marketing coming out of the college's saying get an elementary degree and we're flooded with elementary teachers. We have a hundred and two for two applicants and a that would we could more than double the number of features. We already have Elementary. (00:07:20) So in your opinion sir, should the university and the college has say sorry. We're not letting people into the elementary education program because there aren't the jobs out there for them instead. We are wide open in these areas. If you would like to come to school here is that the is that the University's role? (00:07:38) I think the university has a major role in that area. I think they have Responsibility to look at the marketplace. And if the goal of Elementary education is to prepare someone to be a teacher and they're not going to get a job in that area through at least move their marketing a little bit and start really recruiting may be doing scholarships or maybe getting people to get two licenses may be Elementary education as well as secondary, not just the ability to be able to teach into the middle school, but a true secondary preparation level, (00:08:08) dr. Larkin. How would you respond to that? Is that your job? Well, that's a good question of one of the things we do of course is I like I said bringing someone into the classes to talk about where the vacancies are. What more can you do than that? Well, I don't know frankly John's John's Point John and I of course bonded on this very topic and talked about it in the past and I'm not quite sure. I have the same view of the number of elementary teachers were preparing for one thing. I'm not sure if we have a few extra teachers that that's a bad thing. It raises the standard of the applicants for positions and so on. I would also say that any elementary teacher who wants to find a job who graduates and earns a license and wants to teach in an Elementary classroom can do that. It's just a matter of are you willing to relocate the teaching jobs are there the problem we have of course is a lot of people want to stay in a given area and I understand that I like Bemidji. I want to stay here. Now. I'm at that point. So there are people who are willing to substitute teacher do part-time work or do whatever hoping that they'll eventually get a job in. Dr. Moritz (00:09:19) District Rachel. This is Joe Nathan and our conversations in our research suggests that there are not just a handful of extra elementary teachers. There are 20 to 30,000 elementary teachers in Minnesota who don't have jobs many of them have called us our center after some of our research came out with enormous frustration, and I'd like to suggest to Possible strategies here. First of all, the Minnesota Legislature heard this testimony and was very frustrated with some of the colleges of Education in the state which have continued to encourage people to go into Elementary education. And I agree with the gentleman from Bemidji State that if folks want to relocate to California or to Florida or New York City, they can get elementary school jobs. I guess one of the questions for the Minnesota taxpayers and for the Minnesota Legislature, should we continue to subsidize that which is what we're really doing? So here are some a couple of things that are being tried in other parts of the country and one of them that's actually being tried this fall here in Minnesota. And we're the first in the nation to do it some superintendents like the superintendent from International Falls support information from North Branch of said, we're really frustrated with the situation. So we're going to train the people right in our school district and literally this fall North Branch District, which is Twin Cities about an hour south 50 minutes south of north Ranch. They have 35 people who are being trained right in the school for some of the needs that North Branch district has I know that dr. Frederickson has some interest in this and I've heard from superintendents in urban and rural and Suburban areas all over the state. Let's give the school's a chance to work with parent and Community groups and as well as colleges of Education and Training kinds of folks that they need and let's talk to the youngsters in high school and let's not just talk to the young people who think they're going to teaching. Let's talk to the young people who are interested technology interested in math and say hey, there's a marvelous opportunities for you. Secondly. It seems to me that we're going to have to really think hard about what are the incentives. I have a daughter who's 20 who's thinking about being a middle school math teacher. She looks at what she would earn as a first year teacher in math in Minnesota, and she looks at what you would earn a she went into Private Industry. We may need very much to talk about scholarships. We may need to talk about loan forgiveness and we may need to talk about and this will probably get some hearts fluttering paying some people more right now. We pay older teachers more than Teachers maybe we need to talk about paying people in particular areas where we want to keep them. Maybe we need to pay those people more than just the first year (00:11:50) teacher's we have John Novak a second-year science teacher in New Prague on the phone with us John. Good afternoon. Welcome to Main Street. (00:12:00) Thank you very much. (00:12:02) You teach science. (00:12:04) Yes, I teach ninth grade science. I teach chemistry and physics in the high school level (00:12:08) here. So you're one of those teachers that we would classify as hot Commodities. Did you have a lot of choices when you went out into the teaching (00:12:15) Market? Yes. I did ahead at least five job offers before well deciding on New Prague. I had three other ones that are on the table that I was (00:12:24) deciding on. What's the problem you think John? Could it be remedied would it be a good idea if Jonah thess Joe Nathan suggest that they said okay New Prague teachers, you're all going to start at 25,000 but John Novak because he'll teach ninth grade science. Let's give him twenty seven thousand dollars. Would that be an answer? Is that a solution? (00:12:45) I heard a man and when I was listening to him on the phone here on the radio are I kind of smiled at that because you know as a science staff, sometimes We've joked around by that but I'm not sure how well that would fly with with the other teachers. We're all trying to work together here. And you know, you don't want to step on any feet like that on the same note that the insurance pay is is is subpar compared to you know, some other professions he talked about, you know, his daughter looking at the math and what she could make, you know going into teaching versus what she could make in the Private Industry and there is a wide Gap there. I just don't know. All how you're going to convince all these kids and even in the elementary schools in the students in the college has to go into teaching without addressing the issue of okay, we've got you in teaching what are the incentives of staying in the profession. (00:13:38) Could you make more money if you were in the private sector you convinced that you tomorrow could get a job in the private sector for more than you're making it New (00:13:45) Prague. I'm pretty sure I could like I said, I've always wanted to be a teacher and that's what I searched. I never really changed my mind off of it and it was only after college that I realized. It could be making more elsewhere, but I'm pretty sure I could be getting a job elsewhere with my degree, (00:14:03) but John the three months off in the summer, which has always been just a huge carrot for teachers. Does that not balance it out or still won't it make up for $20,000 disparity in (00:14:15) salary and I have to be honest. I do enjoy those three months as of all time off, but, you know most of the time I'm continuing my education. I'm recharging for the next school year I spent A lot of time here at the school. So I don't really see the three months as if ocation per se but you know, I've heard the arguments about that three months and I don't know if three months is really worth the difference between the Private Industry and what we're paying paying our I'm Educators (00:14:43) for instance some of the students that you graduated with you have some friends that are working in the private sector. What are they making compared to what you're (00:14:49) making sometimes it's tough getting the salaries out there. I know I've got some computer science friends who are making forty five fifty thousand starting got some people working. Like I think it's three on my have to check that later that's making you know, 20,000 more Lions. So, you know, it's there wait till this is Cho again and and we're hearing these stories all over the state and there's nothing magic about the nine-month here. There are some Charter Public Schools in Minnesota. There are paying people more money and having them work in 11th month year. When I think we need to get a lot more creative about the way that we pay salaries now, the gentleman from New Prague is being very diplomatic and saying he doesn't want to ruffle feathers and I completely understand as a first year teacher but the reality is that there's some teachers in New Prague were being paid twenty to twenty-five thousand dollars more than he's being paid and that's on the basis of their Advanced degrees or the years of experience. We pay some teachers substantially more than other teachers. So I think we have to start to look, you know, right squarely at the issue and say well if we need certain teachers, aren't we willing to pay more for them? Another part of this is to attract people in mid-career n and this is a very large problem. I've talked with chemists from from 3M since it's already been mentioned. I've talked with people all over Greater Minnesota who worked in in the for the DNR, for example, who decide maybe at age 35 or 40 that they want to come into teaching and in some districts not all but in some districts, they're told well. Alright even though Work for the DNR for 20 years or for a company for 20 years. I've been a chemist for 3M or whatever for 20 years. You're going to have to start at the first year salary structure because we won't give you any credit and the salary structure for your years of experience that's going to have to change we're going to have to rethink some of these things. (00:16:43) So the way the teaching industry works is unlike how most of the rest of the world operates. And your opinion that's right. Although people are still struggling with the whole concept of Merit pay they can't get past that so this is a this is a long-standing problem. (00:17:01) Well, we do have Merit pay we decide that certain that certain characteristics are worth paying twenty to thirty thousand dollars more for we say if you've been around for a long time, you're going to get more pay we say if you have advanced degrees you're going to get more pay that's examples of Merit fate. We also by the way say if you're going to be a football coach or you're going to be basketball coach or you're going to you're going to be involved in the track team or the or other Echoes curricular activities will give you another three to five thousand dollars for that. So I think we need to think about what are the priorities for schools and one of them it seems to me as the superintendent's of both set is to make sure that they're highly qualified people teaching all the (00:17:38) kids doctor more rude. Would it be easier for you to fill those two special education positions? If you didn't have this certain salary that you could pay a starting teacher in Bemidji if Had some room to maneuver. Would it be much easier? (00:17:55) In some Fields, I think it probably would be but in the area of EBD and those special service areas. There's there's a unique training that is necessary. You don't find a chemist that can do that naturally like a chemist May for Dow Chemical may be able to step into some science and have some at least related experiences to be able to step into that but you don't have that. So with the EBD and the special ed, they need some particular training that's unique to that. And so it's much more difficult than than that you just have to have a pool of candidates and it's getting very shallow. And the quality is always a concern it has been for the 25 plus years that I've been in administration. I think the other thing Rachel that's important to note here is that this isn't going away. We pulled the we have about 420 teachers in the Bemidji system. A hundred and fifty a hundred and thirty one of them are 50 years or older a hundred and fifty are between the 40s and the 50s and it drops down to 90 teachers that are in their 30s and I believe somewhere in the 40s or 50s that are in their 20s. And so for the next 20 years, we will see large classes of teachers retiring and they need to be filled those positions because the kids will be (00:19:15) here the midi State University graduated 250 teachers last spring one of them was Diana brought one who was hired by the Bemidji public schools to teach special ed in computers. We have Diana on the phone with us from the computer lab at JW Smith Elementary School in Bemidji. Good afternoon, Diana. Yeah. Noon. How hard was it for you to find a teaching job (00:19:36) for myself. I had a very easy time. I was very fortunate. I just put in one application which was to Bemidji and it was for a pool of about six or seven jobs. And then I Please set application in May and received an interview in July and now I'm hired and working every day. So it was a very easy process. (00:19:59) Did your friends have their pick of (00:20:01) jobs several of my friends, they apply to many schools and they had several job offers. They had several calls. I know one friend in particular. She had three jobs waiting on her and two were in Texas one was right here in Bemidji, and she chose to use the one in Bemidji. So it's there were several jobs out there and many my friends seem to have an easy time and making choices between there. Their selection of them. I (00:20:33) guess you have an elementary education degree with an emphasis in math and special ed. Did you go in that direction? Because you knew that's where the openings were or did it just happen that you were very lucky that what you wanted to do is what's needed (00:20:47) for myself. It was just that's where my interest slide and it happened to be that's where teachers were needed. But I know for several of my friends they may have taken more math classes or math emphasis because they just wanted to learn more in that area and then they also were seem to be steered in that direction by professors telling us that those were areas that be good to pick (00:21:14) up. So Diana they did come into your classrooms and say this is where the (00:21:19) jobs are. Yes. Yes, definitely in the beginning in the intro classes. I remember on several occasions professors coming in and just suggesting that we should take courses in science. Or in math or in special ed and explaining why explaining but there are shortages there and that people need to know more about that because that's where students are lacking. One of the (00:21:44) most important components correlating with success in college is advising in our advisors are very good at pointing out to students during advising sessions where the vacancies are and they talked about that a lot Dino. Would you agree with that? Did you get some of that in your (00:22:00) advising? Oh, definitely. Yeah. I've had two different advisors and they were very good about clarifying things and helping me to see where my interest lied and how I could take to emphases that kind of complement to each other and that would help me in the long run as well. (00:22:19) See Fleer was a 1998 graduate from Bemidji State University. He also is teaching in the Bemidji Public Schools year in elementary school teacher in your second year at Northern Elementary. Did you just say I To teach elementary and I don't want to teach foreign languages or industrial Arts. Did you just think I'm going to do this and take my chances Steve? I knew what I wanted to teach when I went in to BSU as a college student. I waited 10 years out of high school and I said, I want to teach elementary education and that's all I want to teach. I didn't want to go into Special Ed. I didn't want to go into math. I knew what I wanted to teach because I enjoy working with kids. I worked with kids in different capacities at a high school. And so I just focused on my elementary Ed talk with my advisors. I picked up my reading Ephesus and that's very marketable if you pick up a reading Ephesus and that's where I went. And did you have to scramble to find a job two years ago? I did I had to do some scrambling. I applied I am and I am in a restricted area. So I only applied within an hour of Bemidji because geographically that's the I couldn't move with my family here in Bemidji. So I applied within I implied Oliver. I applied all around the Strict and I was fortunate to get a job in the Middle School District and what if you hadn't found a job see what if you after waiting 10 years and going back to college and getting your Elementary education degree and getting out there and then being faced with the news there 20,000 Elementary Ed teachers in front of you then would you have begun to rethink it or would you just my first year I would have subbed in the Bemidji school district just to get into the district to let them know I'm here. I'm serious and that I want a job in this District after that. I would have probably looked in some other areas and maybe went back and picked up another emphasis in a different area. Did you have students that you graduated with an L Ed that didn't get jobs. So I did so you were one of the lucky ones. Yes. You're listening to a special Main Street radio broadcast from Bemidji. I'm Rachel rebe were talking about Minnesota's teaching force my guest Bemidji superintendent of schools Raleigh more rude Dina professional studies at Bemidji State University Dave Larkin and Joe Nathan director of the center for school Change. Mpr's Main Street radio coverage of rural issues is supported by the blandin foundation committed to strengthening communities through grant-making leadership training and convening. We invite you to visit the Main Street website go to MP r dot o-- r-- g-- you'll be able to hear this broadcast as well as other Main Street reports the address again We'll be back with more of Main Street after news at look at weather. We can see this clearly. The fossil record is part of what multi-regional evolution is about some of the features that characterize living people seem to be there for a long time. But in some cases back to the earliest time of a habitation what can DNA tell us about our (00:25:16) Origins about our (00:25:17) past as a species our relation to other forms of life our history join us this week as we probe the genetics of human evolution. With news from Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Greta Cunningham. President Clinton says if the Indonesian authorities can stop the violence in East Timor, they must allow International Intervention Clinton says the attacks on the United Nations compound and Dilli are in his words, simply unacceptable demonstrators in Jakarta have soiled and burned American on Australian flags today to protest what they feel is little action from the two countries to stop the violence in East Timor some officials estimate as many as 7,000 people have died in the violence. A federal judge has declared the public schools in Charlotte to be integrated. Judge Richard Potter's 115 page decision freeze North Carolina's largest school district from a thirty-year-old order a lawyer representing black families who filed the original suit says, he'll appeal Denver teachers will vote this evening on a proposed contract that includes a pilot program linking bonuses to student performance about 10% of Denver's teachers would be involved in the two-year experiment in Regional news. Governor Ventura says, he was misled by Playboy Magazine on his weekly radio show today. Ventura said he agreed to do the interview on the premise that it would be published in the magazines December issue, which he says is also its Millennium Edition, but Ventura says, his interview will now appear in the November issue Mentor says, he doesn't remember the interview with Playboy US senator. Paul wellstone will make an appearance at Sunday's Farm Aid 99 near Washington DC while Stan will appear with country singer Willie Nelson other Farm Aid artists and Farmers to discuss Family Farm issues since 1985 Farm Aid has given financial help to family Farmers throughout Rural America the forecast for the state of Minnesota today calls for sunny skies in the southwest cloudy skies in the Northeast this afternoon high temperatures from 58 in the north to 78 in the south at this hour Duluth reports light rain and 53 degrees International Falls sunshine and 53. It's sunny and Saint Cloud and 65 Rochester reports sunshine in 64 and in the Twin Cities mostly. This guy's a temperature of 67 degrees. That's a news update. I'm Greta Cunningham. Welcome back to this Main Street special on Minnesota teachers with more students in the classroom and more teachers retiring some school districts are working hard to fill the classrooms. I'm Rachel rebe were broadcasting live from rmp our studios in Bemidji my guest this afternoon or Joe Nathan director of the center for school change at the Humphrey Institute and author of a recent report exploring Minnesota teacher supply and demand Rowley more route superintendent of schools in Bemidji and Dave Larkin dean of the education department at Bemidji State University. Our phone lines are open for your questions and comments call us this afternoon at one eight hundred five hundred 75252 one eight hundred five hundred seven 52 52 we go now back to the phones K is standing by in st. Paul. Good afternoon (00:28:27) K. Hi. I just guess what I'm looking for here is some advice. I am currently unemployed scientist. I have a PhD in chemical engineering and I'm very interested in teaching at the high school level teaching either science or math and I currently volunteering in local high schools. So I know it's something I would enjoy and I've contacted a couple of universities in the area to find out what I would need and what I've decided or where it where I am right now is that I'm pretty much what have to quit my current job and go back to being a full-time student and that's really not a possibility as I have a family I need to support and so I'm wondering what options I might have other opportunities. (00:29:17) Joe Nathan, would you want to respond to that? Dave why don't we have you take that question Golden State University. What we need is we need more programs for people just like you programs that operate in the evening and on the weekends that allow you to continue your present career and move into the teaching field because you sound just exactly like the kind of person we need and you're in a field where we really need you and there are some programs like that in existence right now Bemidji State has won in cooperation with Metropolitan State University and we're expanding that and I might be able to help you on that one. As a matter of fact, if you want to call us up in terms of what how we're expanding that right. Now again, it's primarily Elementary education and just a word on that. The reason we it's easier to prepare elementary teachers is when you prepare Math teachers in English teachers and science teachers, you need a lot more diverse expertise, but for the elementary program, we can deliver an off-campus program in a more focused manner. So that's another reason why we have more Off-campus and alternative elementary Ed programs. But if you want to give me a call on that, I think we can talk about you. Okay, what's the motivation for switching careers? It certainly could not be (00:30:31) Financial. No, actually, it's not I just enjoy teaching and I could teach at the University level. Obviously if that was something I would choose to do but I'm not interested in the other parts of being a university Professor the research and the getting the grants and that kind of stuff, you know, because my experience in graduate school with that that was the driving force in teaching kind of took a secondary role and I'm really interested in the teaching part of (00:30:59) it. Joe Nathan are are these the kind of people we should be looking for in Minnesota? (00:31:05) Absolutely and I want to say a quick thing about the financial issue. There are a lot of people who are not as paid as well as teachers now, I mean, no disrespect to teachers married to a teacher. I've been a public school teacher, but there are a lot of people working in youth Agencies who are paid substantially less than the public school teachers and I'm not trying to say that that teaching is a vis the road to personal wealth because it's clearly not but there are many rewards and I don't think we should always assume that people who are going from one profession another going to take a financial beating but I you know, I think that kinds of people have talked about are very much the kind of people we ought to be thinking I'm going to be trying to (00:31:45) encourage and Joe Nathan who should be out recruiting these people individual Districts The State Department of Education the University's who's going to do the (00:31:56) recruiting. Well Rachel, I think what's great that NPR is again doing this kind of thing. I think once again NPR is presenting to the people of the state a real dilemma. I think it's going to have to be a number of people's responsibility but maybe state is described some things that they're trying to do. I think it's important that school districts communicate clearly. I think we're going to need some Possible policy changes at the state level to allow the kinds of flexibility that I referred to that. We may need to have scholarship incentives. I think we may need to talk about paying teachers to work at least some teachers to work year round there are there are as I said public schools in Minnesota that are in other states that are paying teachers outside higher salary and having them work a longer year. So I think it's going to have to be partly the news media partly individual districts partly the state legislature partner colleges and (00:32:46) universities. Dr. More rude have there been conversations when superintendents get together of lobbying the legislature of trying to get some policy changes to help you out because just hiring the two teachers that you need for this school year. You're not going to be able to take much of a break with the next five and ten years playing out already in front of (00:33:07) you know, we won't be able to at all and we have had those discussions within the administrative ranks. Another critical shortage is substitutes, and we've been looking at that area. And the legislature has done some things in this past year and maybe we'll look at some more and up in the future but going through the substitute route is also a way to getting the job getting no one in the system and you know fulfilling an important role that also may help and should could work into some programs Dave, you know, in terms of internships and experience and getting credit for the young lady that called earlier and talked about how would she reinter are enter a new profession with the the foundation she has so I think there are opportunities there, but we have to be creative when we got to think, you know beyond the boundary (00:33:55) Lisa is on the phone in Grand Rapids. Good afternoon, Lisa. Welcome to Main Street. (00:34:00) Good afternoon. Go ahead with your question. Yeah, well, actually I'm in a very similar situation as your previous caller. So I don't think you're going to want to spend a lot of time on this but I also am a person and I have talked with two of your guess. I believe who's Masters in engineering and have been working in industry for six years. And I guess I don't have a lot of Sympathy for the shortage of math and science teachers when I call and and say, you know, this is what I'm interested in and there's really not a vehicle for for people who want to be teaching and so I just like to reiterate that there's really going to have to be some more flexibility and people looking at doing things a little different and it's especially when it's not even pay that's the issue because I would be talking about probably well over 50% cut in pay (00:34:44) Lisa. What would it take for you? What kind of flexibility do you need in order to enter the teaching (00:34:49) profession? Well, I think what I would like to see is your other caller had the in one of the things I am looking to pursue is some of the volunteer work to ensure that that's what I want but like she was I'm not having you know, everything I've ever pursued has been quit my job go back to school for at least a year, you know, and then then you can look to see what's open. And a lot of people who are in mid-career or who have worked somewhere don't have that flexibility that a college graduates going to have of moving wherever they want to move. So you don't want to quit your job go back to school. Assuming you have education facilities in your area. And then you start job hunting and that job may take you across the state across the country, you know within that area. So I think what would be nice is if this is truly so critical that we need math or science teachers that you would have an opportunity to go in and in some type of if it's supervised format or you have some kind of I know Teach for America does a crash program in the Summer where they take qualified high school students and they teach them, you know, they give them some Foundation to teach and then bring them in the classroom and then during the time they're They get their certification Rachel. This is Joe again. And I want to comment on a couple of things. This person has just said first of all delighted that you're considering teaching. Secondly, I'm delighted that you mentioned Teach for America which actually takes talented college graduates in key areas and does a summer program and then puts them under the supervision of a mentor teacher and they get into teach right away under the supervision of a mentor teacher the superintendent in Bemidji made an excellent point about the number of teachers who are going to retire. I just want to provide a Statewide perspective here. We're going to have more than 20,000 teachers leaving the K through 12 system in the next decade. We in Minnesota have prided ourselves on having an above-average public education system by any objective standard we do and people I think of tended to say, well this teacher shortage issue is something that maybe it happens in California, Texas, Florida New York, but it's not going to happen here. It not only can happen. It is happening here. So I think we're going to have to do some things very Right where differently we're going to have to provide opportunities for talented people who have some experience to move into the profession move into the profession under the supervision of excellent teachers. Our survey showed that hundreds of superintendents and principals wanted to work more closely with colleges of Education. We've heard many colleges of Education. They want to do that. We're going to have to do that and we're going to have to do it quickly. Otherwise what's going to happen is as the superintendent made you said we're going to have classes that are have less than qualified people. It's not because the school districts aren't trying to deal with it, but we're going to have to make some major changes. I want to make one last point. I don't know how the woman in Grand Rapids of feel about this, but I know that as I've checked with other states, there are states quite actively now providing scholarships to people such as this person so that she doesn't have to come up with thousands of dollars to get retrained that she has a scholarship from the state because she wants I think she wants to teach in math or science and there are states that are actively doing That and they're getting responses. (00:38:02) We have Paul on the phone from st. Paul. Good afternoon, Paul. Welcome to Main (00:38:06) Street. Hello. Yes. Go ahead. Okay. This question is for Two Gentlemen as a license Minnesota teacher and an older one, why must discontinue that all the teachers are not being hired when we're so short of (00:38:24) teachers. Dr. Maroon, is that true? Do you discriminate because of age and experience? Is there a thought as there are in some professions that she will get a younger one with less experience and pay less or aren't you? Seeing a lot of applications from older teachers (00:38:39) know we put we have a lot of applicants from that in fact the demographics that I shared with you earlier let you know that we have a mature faculty and we got that by taking a look at the pool of candidates and hiring the best that we can we're conscious of dollars, but we're also conscious equality and we have we take a look at the best opportunity that the pool of candidates presents to us. The problem is now that often that pool is extremely shallow, and we don't have more than an option or two to even make a decision on (00:39:16) Paul what's been your experience (00:39:18) my experience has been that there's there's also a reverse discrimination here doing due to other factors that they're obviously blatant but in the language of Education against hiring older teachers, and I'm not the only one I know of at least a dozen other people that have tried for many years to get jobs in their over 40 and they're just not getting it zingo substitute, but they cannot get a permanent (00:39:47) position and so you are a licensed teacher who cannot find a (00:39:50) job. That's right. And what area pole I mean what what certification sorry music education and Humanities of (00:39:59) background Joe Nathan, is that an area where there are shortages? (00:40:08) Frankly in a few places. Yes, but generally there is a there is a there are a number of people with art certification are sorry music certification for the state our projections don't show that there's a significant shortage in that (00:40:21) area. Let's go on to Gary who's standing by in Roseville. Good afternoon, Gary. Welcome to Main (00:40:27) Street. I'm going to bring a little bit different perspective. Well a little bit like the last caller but I'm in a kind of surplus area. I think I'm secondary Social Studies licensed and and I've sent off about 30 or 40 applications in and around the Twin Cities the big school districts and so forth half of them. I have heard nothing from nothing at all. I've had about a dozen interviews and what I've got going for me I think is a positive strike is that I'm former military. I would have 20 years Coast Guard. I had two years Peace Corps experience. I think that's a strike for me. But I also I think there's too many of the so many school districts have you know, a hundred applications for one job in social studies and you know, possibly yes, I'm over 50 so that maybe kind of strike against me. I'm diligently working now and looking at Texas and Florida. North Carolina, I think I think Texas will that me up. (00:41:27) Well Gary, let me ask you when you were in school getting your degree. Somebody come into your classroom and say boy social studies secondary level think about something else or did you have no idea that it was going to be difficult to get a (00:41:41) job? No it didn't I kind of had an idea to be difficult to get a job. I knew that if I like somebody asked one of my props in class. He said well should I get to go for special ed. There's a lot of openings there still are I mean, you could name your place. He said know if you're if you don't want that you wouldn't be happy teaching it which is true. I've subbed all last year in Mankato and I've done literally every subject special ed. The whole works all grade levels and you know, you have to readjust your thinking if you're going to do special ed or you're going to do whatever the case might be. (00:42:17) And so you're willing to move to Texas. (00:42:20) Yeah. Yes. I kind of want to stay here. I'm if I want a full time job. I'm going to have to go to relocate. (00:42:26) Dr. Maroon. Would you tell somebody like this? Hang on wait until next year in the year after because the openings are (00:42:32) coming. I think the opening to coming absolutely should hang on. I think the idea of subbing is a way to get into a system and it should be looked at very carefully as an option. I do think that you know, you have to look at the Aging or the maturing of the profession and they're going to be plenty of openings their social studies. Yes, that's one of those where there are are a lot of candidates but quality is always something that's sought by employers and this gentleman has a lot of experiences that I think would be a great asset and he should have a great opportunity. I mean, sometimes you got to hang around a little while before you can get in door (00:43:14) Gary. Let me ask something to on and I like dr. Mole rude. I think your life's experiences make you a very good candidate for a teaching job. They're just wonderful and they bring a breath to your teaching that a younger person simply doesn't have but are you willing to work with extracurricular (00:43:31) activities Oh, yeah, that's part of the school. If the might think (00:43:35) well, that's a be sure to communicate that very carefully because that's a very important component and I think Raleigh would agree with me. (00:43:42) Yes. We're looking for coaches all the time. I mean we offer a comprehensive program and activities whether their speech or music or debate football basketball cross country. We're always looking for people with a lot of energy and a lot of interest in fulfilling those capacities as well. Thank you for the advice. But I do notice some opening say social studies with coaching not all of them, but you know, (00:44:08) so that's a good combination (00:44:10) and I'm not licensed to coach though. That's the (00:44:14) well yes, but let me add that you don't need a to worry about a coaching licence. If you've got enthusiasm and a willingness to coach you go out and communicate that and it'll work in your favor we go now to the phones Minneapolis where Bill is standing by good afternoon, Bill. (00:44:30) Hi. Good afternoon. I want to talk about the higher education. And I have a couple of observations and I'd like to people to respond accordingly or you know, as to what their opinion is. If from I'm not a teacher I happen to be married to one but that's okay. No strikes against me again as I see it higher education as well as most University education's are really a business and that's something that they never want to talk about and they need a consumer to survive and that means they need a student body in a student population. And so when it comes to the education field one of the last things a university or a college system does is send these people out into a student teaching situation one could argue rationally that they need some level of background before they enter that student teaching but they fail to weed people out early in the process and they as a result they pass along a lot of people that really aren't suited to teaching and maybe they need real classroom experience early on dr. The other thing that they Another thing that they do (00:45:35) Bill looks let's get a response to that first part of the question first and student teaching. It's always sort of the end of the college Plum at Bemidji. You're sort of changing the way you're doing student teaching in some ways aren't you? That's very much been changed. We have required practical experiences that begin with the very first course you what you take an education and students have to go into the classroom the very first semester there in the program and then they're in Public School classrooms every semester up till the time that they student teach and I think Raleigh would concur that he sees a lot of our students in and out of the doors. (00:46:09) Absolutely. We have interns full year. It was Bill that way while ago but it is changed and the Hands-On opportunities for students in the University. They have expanded tremendously in a Steve has been in our is in our school system, but he came through the BSU system and Steve tell them about your (00:46:30) experience my experience at BSU in the internship program. You have two options you can student teach or you can do the internship program. The internship program is a one-year long internship program where you are working in a school district in a particular school with a mentor teacher. Was that your senior year or was that your junior year. That was my senior year you are out in the classroom for one. Do you follow the public school system the calendar you follow that and you are in that classroom from beginning to end. You meet back on campus once a month to meet with your professors to further your education in the classes that you are taken concurrent with your internship program the issue the bills bringing up which is how about getting into the classroom your freshman year and your sophomore year because if it doesn't suit you were you end up you don't like teaching you've already invested an awful lot by the time you're a senior were you in the classroom prior to your senior year. I was in a classroom when I took my intro Ed 300 and 310 I had to do a practicum in. School system at that time and at that time I knew I wanted to go into education. So yes, you are in the classroom right away. When you enter into your education classes. It's a (00:47:43) requirement. Excuse me. This is Joe and we surveyed as I mentioned earlier principals and superintendents all over the state about this and I'm delighted to hear that this gentleman and I'm delighted to hear that would you state is moving ahead in these areas and has moved ahead in these areas, frankly one of the strongest concerns that principals and superintendents all over Minnesota expressed was a feeling that many young graduates coming out of colleges of Education new could deal about their subject matter, but did not know how to work with students and I'm glad to hear that Folks at Bemidji State means very sincerely are in classrooms freshman and sophomore years as well as their Junior and senior says great one of the issues that was raised was what do they do? Are they actually learning to teach working with large groups of kids and many many superintendents hundreds of superintendents. Hundreds of principal said they have not been adequately prepared for what they are going to do. Once they get into the classroom, which is one of the reasons why very large numbers of young people leave the profession before they forced him to retire in the midwest three-quarters of the people who enter teaching leave before retirement that's much higher than many other professions. So I think that the gentleman is making a point and I think there's been a thoughtful response important response from Bemidji State, but this is this is what the magistrate is doing is not necessarily in all the colleges of education do and it's not Joe Nathan saying this it's what the principles and supertones all over Miss Sutter (00:49:13) sing. Let's talk for a minute about where you can get certification for we've had so many callers on the line that we won't get to this afternoon saying we'd be interested in going into teaching. But how do we go about it? Who do we contact? Where can we go through the process? My advice would first be to contact your local your closest geographically closest college that has a College of Education and contact somebody in the College of Ed there and pose that very question to them. How long do you think it would take? If we had somebody who was in the private sector who had a college degree, but had never taken an education class how many years might it take Dave? Well, I can tell you what it takes now and the there's been a little bit of criticism that our program is pretty traditional and we're trying to change that. But basically there is a very traditional components of teacher education and right now our teacher education program comprises the 33 semester hours of credits. So if you're come in with no education, you're looking at 33 semester credits, that's a year. And it has Bemidji State University and are some of the other colleges and universities in the Minsk you system trying to figure out how to do this part-time night classes teleconferencing. I mean, are you looking at the wide range of how you can deliver it to people like Lisa in Grand Rapids or sure. Well, you heard on a previous hour in this program today. You heard the president say we had four hundred and ten classes. I believe it was off campus at 23 or 24 different sites and certainly some of those classes our education programs. That's probably our biggest off-campus series of classes and that's exactly what those classes are (00:50:58) for Rachel. This is Jonathan again from the hum France to and I hope that a number of the people who are in mid-career will give us a call at the Humphrey Institute Center for school change because there are a lot of legislators very interested in talking with you about your experiences. Those of you who are in mid-career as has been mentioned earlier. There are a number of states that are taking people who have strong backgrounds in mid-career and various technical fields, or Distinguished record in a college or university of perhaps not in the College of Education but in math or science, whatever and doing an intensive training program with Master Teachers over the summer followed by supervision the first year of teaching with some Mentor Master Teachers, and there are some other states that are doing is so far. Minnesota has not decided to do that. But I think there's a lot of interest and I'd love to chat with some of the people. So if they want to call the center for school change and Humphrey Institute, we'd be real interested in listening to them. (00:51:52) And Joe do you think the legislature is the one that really needs to get on this (00:51:55) issue? Oh Rachel, I don't think is several people have said I think it's an issue that that school districts and colleges colleges universities as well as the legislature are going to have to look at there are some marvelous models around the country from which we can learn but some of the changes are going to have to be in colleges universities. Some of them are going to be in school districts and some of them are going to be say policies (00:52:16) Raleigh more rude Dave Larkin in Joe Nathan. Thanks for being with us today. This special Main Street radio broadcast is a production of Minnesota Public Radio. Our Engineers are Cliff Bentley in Bemidji, Randy Johnson in st. Paul our producer Sarah Mayer site producer Tom Robertson. Our executive producer is Mel summer. We'd like to thank Christie booth in the staff at K&B J&K crb for making this broadcast from Bemidji possible. We invite you to visit the Main Street website at MP r dot org, mpr's Main Street radio coverage of rural issues is supported by the blandin. Committed to strengthening communities through grant-making leadership training and convening Minnesota public radio's Main Street team consists of 12 reporters at NPR bureaus across Minnesota. I'm Rachel rebate.


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