The 2022-23 school year is just around the corner, but as thousands of kids get ready for the first day of school, faculties across the state are still scrambling.

There is a shortage of teachers across the state, according to an article from WNYT Channel 13 in Albany, one that could major problems for students and administrators during the upcoming school year.

Here's what we know, and what you can do if you're interested in becoming a teacher this fall.

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The Latest on the Teacher Shortage in the State of New York

WNYT dug into the statistics surrounding the teacher shortage, and the reality is fairly bleak. Here are a few important numbers:

  • Nearly 400 teaching jobs are currently open in the Capital Region.
  • New York's teacher's union has seen a 53% decrease in membership since 2009 (79K to 37K).

A story done on the New York State United Teachers' website shares an equally sad story:

  • There are currently 18 teacher shortages across the state.
  • As of 2018, only 10% of teachers in the union were under 30.
  • Meanwhile, one-third of teachers in the union were over 50.

Not only that, but the shortages seen across the state are at multiple grade levels, and in multiple disciplines. The teacher's union website lists Grade 7-12 Mathematics, Art and Music Education and Special Education as a few of the numerous specific areas where teachers are needed.

In an attempt to curb some of these shortages, changes have been proposed that would make it easier to become an educator more quickly. Namely, one would have to complete less in-class hours in order to gain their certification. They would to not need complete a literacy exam, either, before becoming certified.

The loosening of restrictions isn't ideal, but it may be the only option left.

Teachers are preparing classrooms for the upcoming school year / Unsplash
Teachers are preparing classrooms for the upcoming school year / Unsplash

Let's be honest: being a teacher is an extremely tough job in 2022. COVID-19 has made interacting with strangers on a daily basis more risky than it's ever been. The internet allows parents and guardians to access grades at any moment, and subsequently, contact you at all hours of the day.

If you're considering becoming a teacher for this upcoming school year, please, do not let these factors scare you. I spent six months as a long-term substitute teacher before moving to the Capital Region, and the experience truly changed my life. Kids are looking for people who can make learning fun, and who they believe they can trust.

If you think that may be you, please, consider giving it a try.

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