By Sharon Kebschull Barrett, February 14, 2022
Making sense of the conflicting reports about teacher shortages and resignations may take many more months, but CNET took a solid look in The Great Resignation Hasn’t Hit School Teachers Yet. Here’s Why It Still Might. It highlights Public Impact’s Opportunity Culture initiative as one approach to “bringing a reset to the role of teachers,” and quotes Anne Claire Tejtel Nornhold, who leads Opportunity Culture work in Baltimore City Public Schools. (Opportunity Culture Fellows recently discussed the pressures created by Covid and teacher shortages.)
As reporter Antonio Ruiz Camacho notes, U.S. schools still mostly rely on the traditional one-teacher, one-classroom staffing model. Always an isolating experience for teachers, it’s also, he writes, “a recipe for disaster when something unexpected happens—like a pandemic.”
He quotes Brent Maddin, executive director of the Next Education Workforce Initiative at Arizona State University, on the need to fundamentally redesign school staffing models to prevent further worsening of teacher shortages. “We don’t have just a teacher shortage problem. We have a workforce design problem,” Maddin said.
The Opportunity Culture initiative helps schools reimagine how teachers work, Ruiz Camacho writes, quoting Public Impact’s Co-President Bryan Hassel. “Teachers join small teams, three to eight teachers, led by a multi-classroom leader, a teacher who has prior high student growth and takes on the leadership of that whole team,” Hassel said. (Learn more here.)