Wednesday, November 30, 2022
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Forget the Talking Points, Here’s Why Teachers Are Really Quitting



In a new report, members of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported a new shortage of teachers in public K-12 schools nationwide.

The report comes close to describing why teachers want out, but the language is bureaucratic and overly polite and doesn’t address what most of the folks in Flyover Country long ago realized. 

Here’s the bureaucratic way of putting it, per the GAO:

“Negative perception of the teaching profession and perceived lack of support for current teachers are among key recruitment and retention challenges,” according to the GAO summary.

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“These same themes also surfaced repeatedly in all of 19 focus groups GAO held with current and former teachers, hiring officials, state officials, and officials from teacher preparation programs. GAO found that this perceived lack of support exists at the state, school district, and community level and increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Is that a fancy way of saying fewer people want to teach because a teaching degree is not necessarily a babysitting degree? Is that a fancy way of saying more and more children are disrespectful brats, and nobody wants to put up with their delinquent behavior anymore?

The GAO report addresses neither question, but it did say teacher shortages are more prevalent in western states and in rural, urban, and high-poverty communities. Also, according to the report, fewer and fewer people wish to teach foreign languages, physical science, and special education. 

The findings of this report are hardly surprising, no less to me, the son of a public educator. My father trained to teach a specific subject — not cope with disrespectful students and, sometimes by extension, Karen moms and lunatic parents. The teaching profession broke my father, and the stress embittered him and no doubt contributed to his severe health problems later in life.

I have written for right-of-center media for more than a decade. So, of course, I am not blind to the many imperfections of our nation’s public schools. The fact that we have several poorly trained teachers never escaped my notice. I am also not oblivious to the ways that teachers’ unions have destroyed public education, and the ways that several teachers try to indoctrinate students into left-of-center politics.

With that said, there are several good teachers out there. But some, but not all, parents long ago abdicated their responsibilities, whether by choice or by circumstances inflicted upon them by the government. We have too many traditional nuclear families where both parents work long hours to keep up with taxes and the high cost of living. These parents are unable to spend enough time with their children and instill in them the proper values that kept society stable.

Government poverty programs, meanwhile, institutionalize generations of families and keep them forever dependent on government and (perhaps by design?) steer fathers away from their families and steer boys away from discipline and positive role models.

The GAO, using the usual bureaucrat technobabble, encourages the Secretary of Education to “direct Federal Student Aid and the Offices of Elementary and Secondary Education and Special Education and Rehabilitative Services to collect resources that address the key challenges contributing to teacher shortages, and share those resources with states and school districts in an easily accessible manner to help them address specific recruitment and retention challenges.”

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That was a mouthful, wasn’t it?

The feds can polish their words as much as they like. 

More government will not and cannot fix this teacher shortage. More government will not undo the societal rot that has corrupted America’s children and/or sent them on a wayward course. 

Teachers — good teachers anyway — no longer have the patience to teach. And I just explained why. 

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