Teacher shortages are complex. They require a nuanced assessment that accounts for both school-based factors as well as local community and economic context. They also require intentionality in implementation of talent strategies. In THIS post from the TNTP Blog, TNTP recommends that schools consider three key steps when assessing teacher shortages:
1. Forecast hiring needs, especially for the long run.
2. Increase alignment in teacher supply and demand through partnership with teacher preparation providers.
3. Keep talented teachers in the classroom through proactive retention strategies.
In rural communities, these tasks can often prove difficult. Small sample sizes of hiring data may not be enough to drive real changes in the teacher supply pipelines. Likewise, teacher preparation providers may not have the ability to access and understand the critical needs of surrounding rural schools.
It's for these the reasons that NREA, Rural Schools Collaborative, and TNTP have come together to gather data and community narratives from around the country to better understand rural teacher shortages. Ultimately, it is our goal to help prospective educators see the potential in our rural communities and the role that they can play in sustaining rural futures.
Want to learn more about our approach? Head over to our ABOUT page.