Agostina Damiano is a young student in the final year of her Arts degree and will soon be starting high school at Miami Dade College (MDC) in Florida to become a special education teacher.
But in no time he’ll be able to practice his profession while studying for his degree, thanks to a joint initiative between this educational institution, one of the largest in the United States, and the Miami-Dade County Public School System. Thank you.
“I heard about this program that it gives me the opportunity to study and work, at least for me, it opens many doors for me because I just arrived,” said the young woman who joined the United States from Argentina. Moved to the United States for a while more than a year ago in search of new professional opportunities.
Both organizations have launched this program as a measure to deal with the shortage of teachers in schools, which occurs across the country and has been stressed during the coronavirus pandemic. At least 73% of centers nationwide have reported problems finding staff, especially in vulnerable areas, according to a report by the Institute of Educational Sciences, which reports directly to the US Department of Education.
“In the poorest areas, in urban areas and in rural areas. The truth is that we need teachers all over the country”, Carmen Concepcion, dean of the School of Education at the MDC, said in the statement. voice of america,
With the implementation of this initiative, Concepcion states, “during the last semester at MDC students will be provided with the opportunity to be employed in the school system”, thus hoping to reduce negative impacts. This national crisis is due to the shortage of teachers.
“We do not have enough teachers and we are pursuing creative ways to ensure that we have trained teachers in our classrooms and that we are supporting our students in Miami-Dade County,” the board said.
Jose Dotres, the superintendent of the Miami-Dade County Public School System, explains that “this type of initiative is needed all over the United States” due to teacher shortages. This program is similar to the internship period that all education science students must go through, but now with the feature that they will be charged for it.
“Typically, to be a teacher there is an internship that lasts about 14 weeks and usually it is someone entering the degree and they have to spend that time without getting paid. Now, in this new With the model, which I am very optimistic about, students who take admission in this boarding school become resident teachers and start getting paid,” said Dotres.
Low salary is the root cause of flight of teachers
One of the main problems affecting this teacher flight is low pay. According to a report by the National Center for Education Statistics in the US, on average a teacher in a public school in the United States will earn $65,090 in 2021, which shows an increase of 1.49% year over year.
In states like Florida, where the standard of living has become more expensive in recent times, the average salary is $49,583, according to data provided by the study cited above.
Given this scenario, these organizations admit that it is very difficult to find personnel willing to work at that cost, as on many occasions they either move to private companies or to other states where they offer much more competitive wages. . So many celebrate that this program can somehow deal with this situation.
“We need to keep our students, who are already working, ready. They only need one or two courses to complete and they can do it while in the classroom (working are), concluded MDC director Madeline Pumariga.
Overall, he is confident that the initiative will be successful and that it could pave the way for other school districts in the country to promote similar programs to reduce teacher attrition.
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