Recruiting Dual Language Teachers in 2022
When schools returned to the classroom this fall, many dual language educators were surprised to find that many of their colleagues were missing. A surprising number of dual language teachers retired or quit the teaching profession after a year of distance learning.
“Teacher stress was a concern prior to the pandemic and may have only become worse,” said Elizabeth Steiner, a policy researcher at RAND. “This raises the concern that more teachers may decide to quit this year than in past years if nothing is done to address challenging working conditions and support teacher well-being.”
Dual language schools already suffered a teacher shortage before the pandemic. How do dual language schools recruit teachers in 2021 and 2022? What strategies do they need to adopt to attract teachers to their classroom?
“We are now more driven to recruiting teachers in non-traditional ways. We are recruiting experienced professionals from other school districts by offering higher salaries then what you currently have and comprehensive benefits that include medical insurance for you and your family, a retirement plan that you can be vested in after 5 years, and tenure status after 2 years.” said Tomas Rivera-Figueroa, Supervisor Teacher Recruitment at Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland. “Recruitment is looking at certain majors interested in teaching. We know that if you have a Math or Science degree you are 7 classes and a test away from being certified. So, we have partners with 11 universities in our area in the development of MAT programs that can be finished in 18 months. Now that teacher is certified with a Masters.”
Recruiting teachers is important, but retaining current teachers is even more critical in the pandemic era. What can dual language schools do to prevent teacher burn out?
“Recruiting qualified dual language teachers is a considerable challenge, but retaining those teachers can be even harder. There are a number of factors related to teacher retention, but chief among them is workplace climate.” Said Liz Howard, lead author of Guiding Principles For Dual Language Education, 3rd edition and co-author with Shera Simpson on upcoming book Dual Language Tandem Teaching: Coordinating Instruction across Languages by Centering Relationships. “For teachers of color in particular, toxic workplace climate can lead to rapid teacher turnover. This is where dual language programs have to walk the walk of the third goal of sociocultural competence by centering teachers’ relationships with one another, with families, and with students; by considering the ways in which power and privilege differentials influence those relationships; and by taking steps to address differences in power and privilege through the use of culturally sustaining practices”.
DualLanguageSchools.org recently launched a FREE job board (https://duallanguageschools.org/jobs/) in November to address the teacher shortage among dual language programs. Each job posting will be shared on the largest dual language social media group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/duallanguageonlinelearning to help dual language schools get more exposure to their job posting. This is the first phase for this job board. DualLanguageSchools.org plans to include information on teacher certification programs in the future to help potential teachers to become credential holding dual language teachers.
SOURCE: RAND Corp., news release, June 15, 2021