The teacher shortage and its effects


Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, there has been an increase of teachers leaving the profession, causing a shortage across the nation. At Hebron, 50 new faculty members were hired this year, with 75% more teachers hired than in previous years.

“Teaching is already a stressful job,” principal Amy Boughton said. “Meetings, paperwork, Canvas: [it has] grown increasingly impossible to get all that done during your conference period. The love of teaching has turned into mass amounts of paperwork. I think it’s just gotten to a point now where people are [thinking], if [they’re] going to spend this much time outside of the eight-hour day, then [they’ve] got to look at doing something else.”

Hebron has lost teachers to other fields, promotions and retirements. Thirty-five new teachers were hired this year.  When the year started, one position in the science department was left unfilled. Special education inclusion teacher Garrett Roberson helped manage the class until a full-time teacher was hired.

“I didn’t feel like there was organization within the class, so I was constantly having to figure out what we were doing that day,” Roberson said. “[I had to] to help the students; keep them from blowing off everything and [thinking] this [class] didn’t matter until we [got] a new teacher.” 

The pandemic also led to an issue in the number of substitutes required on campus. According to Boughton, Hebron has been able to reach a 70% fill rate for substitutes. 

“I believe that LISD is probably doing the best in [filling teacher spots,]” Roberson said. “It doesn’t seem like there are quite as many teachers that have either been vacant or that have left the profession.”

With COVID-19 and the simultaneous shift to using Canvas, teachers were put under a lot of stress. The Economic Policy Institute reported low salary is also a large part of the reason why teachers are leaving..

“I’m tremendously fortunate to have such high quality people around me,” Boughton said. “With the teacher shortage, I have hope that the politicians and the people who can help us increase starting teacher salaries and [provide] better benefits to draw people in, that they’ll do it. Every time we’ve seemingly faced a really serious challenge, the whole school has risen to the occasion. Even in the most challenging of times, I have a lot of hope.”