On the website of the Indiana Department of Education, it is stated that there are more than 2,300 teaching positions that are now vacant throughout the state.
Nicole Allee is the superintendent of the North Putnam School Corporation in Bainbridge, Indiana, about 100 miles west of Indianapolis. She said, “We had a recent opening, and we got three applicants.”
A continuing problem, according to Allee, is that less and fewer individuals are entering the field. “I can tell you when I was a building principal, 10 to 15 years ago, at the end of the year I would take home a paper box of applications and resumes. It is real, especially so at the high school level where positions are more specialized and subject critical,” Allee said.
Lebanon High School is led by Kevin O’Rourke, who serves as principal. According to him, he and his team have had to be creative when it comes to employing instructors. “For example, maybe we have a special-needs teacher that has a background in math and we’re hiring a math teacher, and that person is great working with kids and certain type of student that we’re looking for, then we’ll work on a special license with that individual,” O’Rourke said.
Allee, back in Bainbridge, feels there are numerous reasons why fewer people are applying for available jobs: “The demands on the time, the requirements that have to be met with curriculum, and, not that there haven’t always been requirements, but the pressure to meet those with standardized testing is just at a different level than what it was.”
O’Rourke said he’ll keep striving to bring more exceptional individuals into teaching at Lebanon because he understands the effect it has on students. “It’s very uplifting to know you have the opportunity to make a positive impact and truly a change in an individual, and that change could be generational because that change isn’t just in them, but it changes their children and on and on. It is an incredibly important and noble profession, and I have the deepest respect for our teachers and what they do.”
However, according to both instructors, available roles in schools go beyond teaching and include cleaning, food service, and transportation.