Experts: Pay teachers more to curb Michigan’s long-term substitute ‘crisis’

Bridge Magazine reporter Mike Wilkinson moderates a panel about the rapid increase in the number of long-term substitute teachers in Michigan. From left to right: Tichael Jones, director of school leadership at CS Partners; Elizabeth Birr Moje, dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Education; and Doug Pratt, director of public affairs, Michigan Education Association. (Bridge photo by Jim Malewitz)

LANSING — Michigan will face an education crisis that will harm children if policymakers don’t address a teacher shortage that has sparked an explosion in untrained substitutes leading classrooms.

That was the conclusion of a panel of experts who spoke Thursday at a summit sponsored by Bridge Magazine and its parent company, The Center for Michigan, at Lansing Community College.

More than 2,500 Michigan classrooms were led by long-term substitutes who weren’t certified during the 2018-19 school year, a tenfold increase in five years, according to a Bridge Magazine analysis published in August

Low-income and academically struggling students are most likely to be taught by the instructors, who aren’t required to have a four-year degree or any teacher training, according to Bridge’s analysis. That’s because of a policy meant to fill classroom vacancies that allows those with as few as 60 college credits in any subject to teach a class for a full year.

“That is verging on a crisis,” said Elizabeth Birr Moje, dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Education. “We know that great instruction matters, and we know that teachers who are not prepared are not providing great instruction.”

Moje and other experts called the long-term sub trend a symptom of institutional problems that have underpaid teachers and left them with fewer classroom resources, diminished respect and looking for another career.

Higher pay and more classroom funding would attract teachers to Michigan, several panelists said. But changing rhetoric about the profession is important too, some argued. That could include touting the profession as a vehicle for social change and justice — as well as toning down rhetoric focusing solely on teacher accountability.

“Let’s stop talking about teachers as if they’re idiots,” said Moje, adding that her school is trying to tell positive stories about teaching. 

Dozens of people attended a Thursday summit about the use of long-term substitute teachers in Michigan that was sponsored by The Center for Michigan and Bridge Magazine. (Bridge photo by Mike Wilkinson)

Enrollment at Michigan’s teacher preparation programs dropped 70 percent in eight years, according to federal data.  Average teacher pay in Michigan was lower in 2017-18 ($61,908) than in 2009-10 ($63,024) — even without taking inflation into account. Nationally, teaching pays 20 percent less than the earnings of professionals with comparable education backgrounds.

Even so, Michigan teachers still earn $2,200 a year above the national average, in a state with the seventh-lowest cost of living.

“It’s about salaries, it’s about training, it’s about class size,” said Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Detroit Community Schools.  “We’re disinvesting in public education and teachers are feeling that.” 

Over the past two years, Vitti has boosted teacher pay, offered bonuses and changed hiring practices to dramatically shrink vacancies within his district.

Panelists on Thursday also said Michigan could offer grants to would-be teachers to defray the cost of education.

Robert Kimball, Grand Valley State University's associate vice president for charter schools, said his schools are trying to incentivize long-term substitutes to become fully trained by offering them acceleration programs. 

As Michigan tackles its teacher shortage, policymakers should also value diversity in recruitment, some experts said. The state has an overwhelmingly white teaching force, meaning students in many classrooms are less likely to find mentors that match their racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. That’s a problem — particularly as research shows black students are more likely to succeed in classrooms led by black teachers, said Dorinda Carter Andrews, chairwoman and professor of Michigan State University’s Department of Teacher Education. 

“Nobody wants to talk about the racial nature of the problem,” she said. “[Teacher shortages are] happening in communities where people don’t pay attention.”

Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

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Fri, 11/08/2019 - 7:10am

First of all, thank you Bridge Magazine for following the issues that teachers are concerned about. As a teacher, I want to express appreciation to the idea of more pay, but that is not enough. As society has changed, so have the families and the students. Teachers are not "simply" teaching (although that in it's self is not "simple"), we are teaching students social skills, providing social services, counseling and much more. Just this week I have had to locate one backpack for a student who had his stolen, find winter coats for two students, arrange for additional testing for students who are 3 years behind academically. Daily I have kids come in hungry, homeless or their parents were just thrown in jail. All of this while teaching 27 students, so they can pass a state test. Teaching is not easy, just like many other jobs. Yet we are required to do so many of these tasks with little (if lucky) or no support what so ever. So, yes more pay would be nice, but having more professional support would be even better! We need trained counselors, social workers, and reading interventionist. The emphasis on trained! Schools rely heavily on volunteers. However, they are not trained to support the at-risk student. Schools need more people, plain, and simple.

Sun, 11/10/2019 - 6:19pm

You have identified somethings that seem many who no longer have children in school would like to help with, is there any means to better understand the what you are talking about and engaging those of us that aren't eligible for the PTOs and the like?

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 8:57am

Certainly we need to find a way to attract new teachers and charter teachers into Michigan. Pay and benefits to accomplish this should be investigated and rectified , (but remember teachers already have the loan forgiveness program). As you've finally acknowledged Michigan is above national average with significantly below national CO, but then you state "Nationally, teaching pays 20 percent less than the earnings of professionals " without acknowledging that most "professionals" along with most workers work 67% of available days verse teachers at 50% , with a better than average benefit package. Too often instead of embracing and promoting this opportunity for travel and other pursuits seems anyone that notices this opportunity is painted as a teacher hater. This glass half empty, overarching attitude of oppression so prevalent in the profession may be a good part of the problem of attracting new entrants.

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 8:17pm

Many teachers at the top of the pay scale agree that our pay is fair. However if you are a new teacher you make between 30,000-35,000 dollars and receive no retirement package. You still pay for over $7000 dollars of your insurance with a high deductible. This qualifies most people for subsidized housing. This is the problem with teacher pay. Most new teachers can’t afford rent, car payments or student loans.

As for working 50 percent of the year...ask any child or spouse of a’s simply not the case. Most elementary teachers work from August 1 until the middle of June. During the school year, teachers work at least six days a week and have to work two to three hours a night to be ready for the next day.

I love my job. However every year it gets tougher to love because kids are getting more violent, more disrespectful, and every day leaves you completely and utterly drained. If I were a young teacher just entering this profession and had to endure this for another 30, I would definitely be looking for another job. Spend one week in a classroom of kids. Understand the system. I guarantee you will feel differently.

Finally, I don’t think we have an attitude of oppression but one of desperation. Most of us are desperate for someone to understand the state of our schools, the student issues with violent and dangerous kids, and the constant attacks by parents. . All of us expect some of these. But we went into education to teach. We did not go into education to be belittled, abused, and attacked on a daily basis. Unfortunately it is becoming a daily occurrence. Every year it gets worse. Why? That’s a whole other conversation.

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 10:47am

Shannon, as a sub teacher my impression of those I fill in for is respectful and grateful for your efforts. In classrooms, teachers leave well written and workable lesson plans. Students behave well (there are always cut-ups looking for attention by testing the guest teacher.) Nothing that can't be handled to this point by a stern reminder. Administration is supportive as well, making the sub experience gratifying. I can't speak to teacher pat as I earn a daily rate, with no complaints. Move forward and bring the best in each student to the surface so they may shine. Thank You for your service.

Sat, 11/09/2019 - 12:03pm

From personal experience, I can tell you that the days that teachers are not in the classroom are not days that teachers are not working. Any lifetime career teacher will tell you that hours devoted to preparation, grading, consulting with professionals and parents, writing reports, arranging field trips, attending graduate classes, conferences, workshops, etc. are all part of the job beyond what the public sees. These requirements of the job often are an extension of what normally are considered "work hours" into the evening and, yes, even the summer time off. Most teachers do find an opportunity in the summer to relax and "find themselves" which is appreciated. Those who think teachers have an easy job and should be appreciative are not considered "teacher haters", but just misinformed and lacking in authentic background and experience necessary to evaluate the teaching profession.

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 12:49am

I think Shannon just politely and with reason kicked your ass.

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 11:21am

Its going to take more than money to make teaching an attractive career option, the drumbeat of negativity about teaching extends into other areas as have been documented many times. It has gotten so bad I think we have lost a large part of the current generation of high school students entering college with no serious chance of turning that around as many more lucrative careers fields are out there that don't have the stress of being a teacher.

Sat, 11/09/2019 - 7:23pm

I am a teaching in Michigan. Not only is pay poor but insurance has gone up in price and down in coverage every year. I have taught for 5 years and my take home check has decreased every year. I work hard and still cant bring home enough to support my family. This year was the first year I did not work all summer to help bridge the financial gap and now my student loans have gone back into deferment. I had the hardest year of my life last year in the classroom. I teach little children but the classroom I taught in was so explosive. My students were amazing but unfortunately students can't learn in classrooms where evacuating for safety is a daily occurrence. We dont jave the resources to take care of children with these issues and an over burdened special ed department. Pay would be great but support, better insurance benefits and respect would be monumental. I love what I do but if things don't get better I could find myself looking for a new career myself.

James Roberts
Sun, 11/10/2019 - 4:21pm

Oh my, when i saw the recommendation to emphasize the teaching profession as the forefront of social change and justice, to gain applicants, from the U Of M dean, no less, that confirmed all that has gone wrong with gaining any respect back for the teaching profession. Our society already expects way too much from a teacher.

Sun, 11/10/2019 - 6:11pm

The panelists showed no concern for public confidence in Michigan educational. If the parent, friends, and neighbors aren’t positive on schools, why would anyone expect students to look at schools for a career, who do panelists think will give them money? Why can’t panelists see that public lack of confidence is factor in Michigan education struggles and must be part of any ‘fix’ for the issue of long-term substitute teachers?
The panelists failed to describe how teachers are increasing their value, how students graduating in a few years will be better prepared for their futures than ever, how the classroom is building skills for life, how students are learning how to learn for a lifetime, how teaching is dynamic and it is personalized. If the panelists can’t describe the increasing value, then why should the public and prospective students want to be part of something mired in the past?
The panelists seem to see teachers as a monolithic block rather than as individuals. If panelists haven’t looked to organizations outside education and ask how they retain staff to see that it is more than money then how will panelists learn about the importance of work environment, the classroom, administrative support, individual creativity and responsibility with authority, personal coaching and feedback? Other than money the panelists’ answer is save the world, social change and justice. Could it be a time for panelists to work with individuals to better understand what they are looking for and address those needs, then look for commonality and work on changing the system to include the commonality while ensuring individualization?
A significant disappointment is the lack of panel interest in creativity, no mention of change in the classroom and how students are engaged in learning. The panelists make no mention of the learning process and how that can be enhance, how to turn the student’s role in their learning process into personal habits, nothing about how to find the essential touch points for each student and relate that to learning, don’t hear anything about successes and how to leverage them.
The article was about panelists lecturing not listening, it was a selected group ‘experts’ ignoring the public, wanting more of their money to spend.

middle of the mit
Mon, 11/11/2019 - 1:02am

You are forgetting to to take into account that it is supposed to be the failed parents ability to take responsibility for also teaching their kids before they get into school in the first place. You are forgetting the fact that "personal responsibility" is supposed to be a factor in all kids education.

You are also forgetting that you are not a professional in this sector. And if I want a roofer to wire my house for electricity, I will move to Alabama, where conservatives rule, liberals and rules drool, and we don't need regulations.

And to think that you think the panelists show no concern or confidence in the schooling of MI children? What have you , Matt and Kevin been posting about education in MI? Hasn't that been one your biggest pet peeves on this site?

Go ahead. Tell us all how to teach our children so that they may grow up with the education and understanding you have, that you got from a teacher that apparently had a futuristic understanding of the world while they were teaching you... how many years ago?

And while you are doing that, could you tell the taxpayers of your more wealthy area, that more money doesn't equal more education? They should be looking up here to what your conservative counterparts in the conservative areas of the country are doing to make due. If we can do without less, shouldn't you be able to too?

Come on Duane. Tell us how "perception" rules.

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 10:26pm

I am surprise with your struggles to listen. My view of learning starts with the student and their role/responsibilities in their learning process. None of those you mention, parents, teachers, can do any of the learning for the student. To help you visualize learning, think of an inverted pyramid where the student, the person that is actually there to learn, at the peak of that pyramid, if the idea of education it to retain and apply the knowledge. All others [parents, teachers, educational organizations, the community] are there to support/facilitate the student learning. Each has slightly different role, though they may overlap, but it is all in support of the student, not trying to do for the student.
You may not want a roofer, but many times ‘experts’ risk falling into group think and become so mire that they don’t recognize the need to break out and try looking at things a bit differently. In the case of learning you may want a students, whose been academically successful, perspective, or the perspective of parents whose children have been successful, or even a substitute teacher’s, that the students appreciate, perspective. The value of differing perspectives is that it opens up the thinking, it may add some light to an idea that was lingering in the recesses of the mind, or disrupted a flow thus allowing something different in, or contributed to looking at a problem in a way that had been considered. Again you seem to be struggling with nonlinear thinking.
“And to think that you think the panelists show no concern or confidence in the schooling of MI children?” My concern is for the public confidence in Michigan education, and that it seems on the wane. Until that is addressed, I think getting more money for education will be an uphill battle.
How would you describe a successful teacher? What do you look and listen for when assessing a teacher? We use to listen for the excitement or disappointment from our kids when they came home, it wasn’t so much what was done by the teacher but for what new idea of topic they had been introduced to. Our interest how the kids would present it to us that told us about the teacher. It isn’t about telling anyone how to teach, it is about how to interest the student [this is true whether a preschooler or and adult having to learn whole new concepts as their operations is totally remade around them. In the case of the panelists they showed no interest for creativity in the classroom, they saw no merit in promoting the opportunity for teacher creativity, they simply saw money.
You whine so much about money, have you ever consider what are the factors in acquiring that money? Do you realize that education is one of the leading indicators of financial success, have you ever considered that kids who see that everyday tend to link academically achievement to financial success? Have you considered that the better educated tend to reinforce education with their habits and encouragement, and that their children replicate their parents’ practices and habits? Have you considered that in the districts with academic success that the students reinforce each other academically with their common expectations and practices? It seems you only believe money is what causes people to work smarter and harder, do you believe the teachers efforts are determined by their level of pay, I don’t? You seem to place everything on the back of the teachers; I think has much to do with all that influence the students inside and outside the classroom. My/our daughters personal experiences have shown that there are excellent teachers in ‘wealthy’ and in ‘poor’ districts’, that the struggle has much to do with the expectations, of community, of peers, of teachers, of the schools.
Expectations are one influence on perceptions; self-perception goes a long way in determining if a student will sacrifice and study and succeed. Which do you believe is more likely to succeed one that perceives it as possible or one that perceives that their school is ‘poor’ so they will fail?

middle of the mit
Tue, 11/12/2019 - 10:23pm

You telling me that I am struggling to listen is funny when you still believe gravity is magic!

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 2:52pm

If I have accepted your idea why should I read more, if I have already read the article why should I reread the article, if it is only smart parts of the article why should I have to read the whole article? When I suggest someone read a book that I feel relates to the conversation I offer the point being made and the page of the book to refer too, that is my effort to recognize their time is limited.
Your example of gravity is a good, but are you sure that isn't an example of magic? Have you ever heard anyone explain why gravity works or do they simply describe how it works.]]

I told you and showed you a video.

The fact that I still have to continue down this path with you is ridiculous. And I refuse to go down with you again.

The next time you need a plug replaced PLEASE, NO I IMPLORE YOU! Forget your local codes and restrictions. Hire a hairdresser to wire your plug or your house! Be sure YOU turn OFF THE ELECTRICITY FIRST! The hair dresser is a novice. They won't know what an accomplished or even fist year electrician would. And YOU DON'T WANT TO RESPONSIBLE FOR HIRING SOMEONE WHO HAD NO EXPERIENCE AND GOT HURT ON YOUR JOB. Or is that what people of your ilk are actually wanting? It's one or the other.

Have at it! Professionals don't know what they are doing because they have only been working in one field for most of their life! They need to broaden their "skillz set" So take the RESPONSIBILITY!

Here is the better question Duane.

When is Duane going to start the 'Individualist Society of America"? Oh it can't be America! America is a UNION of States! And how will Duane fund his Society? If public schools don't need financing, would Duane's academy? And will anyone attend? Will Duane impart his "knowledge" for whomever is willing to pay the paltry sum of "His college tuition rate"? Even if his collage doesn't give him anymore than 3 weeks worth of work? Once your students tell their parents that you are teaching their children that Gravity is magic, you will figure out you need a new career!

Good luck with that Duane!

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 6:38pm

You are still hanging on to the word ‘magic’ when talking about science; I am surprise that you miss the value in injecting an incongruity as a means to create a stickiness of a subject. I suspect every time you read a comment of mine you think of magic and gravity and science, I suspect long after our conversations on Bridge have ended you will still remember ‘magic’ and gravity. Do you think a teacher would like to have that kind of stickiness for classroom topic?.
Once I learned how to learn I applied it to many topics, I applied it to electrical service, I not only learned how to replace a plug, to wire an electrical circuit [110v], to install and start up a transformer [12,500v] system, I applied many others topics. When someone learns how to learn they opened the world of knowledge to themselves. There is no reason to believe that a ‘hair dresser’ doesn’t have the capacity to learn the topics. Most learning is achieved by desire and persistence, not by profession or status. You are assuming rather than asking. I have hire new a employee and been responsible for their safety and the safety and health of those working with them, and key to people staying safe [even in extreme environments] is their training and understanding the necessary knowledge and skills to safely fulfill their role/responsibilities. One of the responsibilities we trained our people, I personally emphasized, was that they intervene immediately if they had a safety concern. They were to intervene no matter who was involved, they had the authority/responsibility to shut down [safely] the whole of the process they were working on, this was something even the compliance officers were surprised to hear had to verified [which they did]. An extension of this safety culture was extended across the facility and all manufacturing facilities.
This speaking out for safety is an extension of diversity of perspective; it was about recognizing it is knowledge not only learned from books and classroom to that gain by experience/practical application. Where you seem to think only the ‘expert’ understands, the reality is that the person applying that expert’s knowledge is gain a different perspective. In the classroom the teacher has both the expertise of the subject and of the means/methods for delivering the material, but the student also has a perspective of learning the material and becomes a knowledgeable ‘expert’ of the role of student in their situation. With the right question the teacher may see that student’s perspective and change how to information is presented. There are many instances in which students were more effective at getting a classmate to understand a topic than the teacher had been. That is not to diminish any of the work the teacher had done it only acknowledges that a different perspective [that of a student] may be more effective at removing a barrier.
The lesson about gravity being ‘magic’ is that there are limits to our understanding and at times we simply need to accept and use what works. There are many equations that use a factor like π, we don’t know why it works but it does. In affect most time you see a fixed factor in an equation it is a ‘fudge’ factor, it work so we use even though we can’t explain why it works.

midde of the mit
Fri, 11/15/2019 - 9:00pm

NO Duane, what stuck in my head when you said the word magic was the fact that you used the word magic. Which told me everything I need to know about you and people that think like you.

@RepMarkMeadows: "Everybody has their impression of what truth is."

Watch #ImpeachmentHearings LIVE here:

It is called "newspeak" in Orwells time ;Newspeak
Newspeak is the language of Oceania, a fictional totalitarian state and the setting of the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell.Wikipedia

or more recently Colbert coined the tern "truthiness"

Truthiness is the belief or assertion that a particular statement is true based on the intuition or perceptions of some individual or individuals, without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts. Truthiness can range from ignorant assertions of falsehoods to deliberate duplicity or propaganda intended to sway opinions.
More at Wikipedia

That is all!
Ohh! Gravity has something to do with inertia and mass and revolutions....the per minute kind.

I am not going down the rabbit hole Mad Hatter!

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 12:01am

But being a 'Mad Hatter' is so interesting and always challenging and full of wonder and even a bit of intellectual excitement.

Thank you for your time and prompting some thought.

middle of the mit
Tue, 11/12/2019 - 10:49pm

I will respond to one part of your comment. This part.

[[Expectations are one influence on perceptions; self-perception goes a long way in determining if a student will sacrifice and study and succeed. Which do you believe is more likely to succeed one that perceives it as possible or one that perceives that their school is ‘poor’ so they will fail?]]

And what "perceptions" do those up here have of Public Schools? I would say you have these same problems, but I am going to bet your public schools are better funded than mine. Why? Why do wealthier districts not need to "perceive" their districts as being poor? Do you think that may be part of the problem? Or are you still dodging "stoners" while you have THOUSANDS OF SOBERS ON AND OFF OF PHONES THAT YOU NEED TO DODGE? "Perceptions" vs perceived reality.

It's called cognitive dissonance. And you are experiencing it, right at this very moment...AGAIN!

No need to thank me. IT IS LITERALLY MY PLEASURE!

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 6:47pm

Perceptions, self perception, can be nothing more than the childhood story of 'the little train that could', and belief in itself it climb the mountain.
NO matter what district 'wealthy' or 'poor', 'rural' or 'urban', if the student believes they can and wants to hard enough they will succeed. Perception's power is how it shapes one's thinking. As for me, my preception is that the world is dynamic, it is always changing, so we need to be looking to new ideas to see if they will make the next change and how can we help it. A good example is how the differences between rural and urban have narrow so much so fast in recent years.

midde of the mit
Fri, 11/15/2019 - 9:08pm

If what you say is true why should people waste the mammon on educating their kids when they could be teaching them to be resilient with less?

It's time for people like you to put your talking points where your mammon is.

If you can't do that, then your opinion is NOTHING!

You are simply telling people with less they can do the same as those with more and do better yet you won't take your own advice.

I call that a HYPOCRITE. Should we see what dictionary definition of Hypocrite is? That we shall!

Hypocrisy is the contrivance of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, while concealing real character or inclinations, especially with respect to religious and moral beliefs; hence, in a general sense, hypocrisy may involve dissimulation, pretense, or a sham.Wikipedia

Why will you not take the medicine you prescribe to everyone else?

Sun, 11/17/2019 - 12:26am

My approach is do the best you can with what is with in your reach, but always remember it is you not others that have to live your life.
My validation is our children and their enjoyment of life, they are successful in living and still like us. What more should we use as verification of our approach, do you have a set of criteria we should use, academic success, social success, financial, health?

Are you interested in how I have apply/learn my approach, are there any experiences that you wonder consider credible?

Chuck Jordan
Sun, 11/17/2019 - 10:47am

"What we have here is a failure to communicate."

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 1:21am

All of this negelects the reality of teachers and their unions taking a horrible and undeserved amount of abuse from right wingers who have created schools, the cost of which is paid for with taxpayers public dollars, with profits distributed to private sector players (more accurate than the term "free enterprise") who dispise any public or government interference in the affairs of the Chamber of Commerce clients.

That being said, starting with the politically motivated "Nation at Risk" paper that was disputed point by point, by the Sandia report, our schools were supposed to be failing. Sandia, commissioned by the US Department of Energy, was never realeased to the public or media. It was sent into the bowels of the Energy Department. Years later, it was published by an educational journal. The fact and reality is that our schools were never and are not now failing. While that does not rule out room for improvement, our teachers deserve a huge npat on the back.

Prof Ken Kolk
Mon, 11/11/2019 - 1:34am

Michigan is just reaping the whirlwind caused by what Right Wing Demagogues have been screaming at teachers and anyone who would listen. They claim that teachers are overpaid and lazy, all public schools are failing, unless they are publicly funded private schools (Charter Schools)!, That they could prove experienced teachers (read expensive) are failing to do their jobs by giving their students who are failing, By constantly test these students to the with worthless tests that the kids know are meaningless, and then tie teachers’ pay and even retention status to the kids scores! Why in hades do you think teachers can’t wait to get out and new students don’t want anything to do with teaching. Maybe it’s time to fire any politician who has ever attacked teachers. Better yet remove them from the bar if they are lawyers because they are an insult to their profession.

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 9:49pm

Why are you trying so hard to alienate people, why don't you ask for ideas and talk about them?
Why aren't you talking about the knowledge and skills that set teachers apart and describe their successes?
Why aren't you offer new ideas for verifying the that students are learning? What criteria would you use for validating student progress?
Why are you trying to bullying people by threatening them with disbarment when they disagree with you?
Why not challenge people to share their ideas and then discuss with them what works and what doesn't and why?
Why not try to engage people and work with them and talk about how to modify their approach to make it more workable?

Leslie Tassie
Sat, 11/23/2019 - 9:23am

Yes, increase pay but also, reduce their work load...give them an additional planning period during their work day. Time is the most important resource that teachers need more of...while you are at that, a reduction in class size is also important.