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I think the best way to end test shortage in Wisconsin is going back to the old days where you graduate from college and if you finished a teacher education program, you could become a teacher. Get rid of all the testing requirements you have to become a teacher because there are many people who want to become teachers that struggle taking tests, but would be excellent teachers. They just aren’t able to show how great of teachers they can be due to the testing requirements and not be able to pass them. We as a state need to find ways to end this teacher shortage and help students in our schools today and I think that getting rid of the testing requirements to become a teacher is a good way to start.

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To help solve teacher shortage in Wisconsin, I think that we need to do the following:

1. Get rid of the praxis testing and other testing requirements needed to be a teacher. There are many people who are interested in becoming teachers, but are unable to pass these tests and give up their dreams of becoming teachers because they don’t want to keep paying for these tests which are unnecessary because they don’t show whether or not the person is a good teacher or not, they just show how much the person knows in that subject area. And just because someone knows a lot about the subject matter doesn’t qualify them to become a good teacher. What makes a good teacher is someone is has passion for teaching and someone who wants to help every student reach their full potential in the classroom. Those are the teachers we want in our schools teaching children today.

2. Find alternative ways for people who have bachelors degrees to get into the classroom right away without having to go back to school and get into more debt. There are a lot of people who want to change careers and become teachers, but are unable to because it’s too costly. We need to figure out a program that puts these people into the classroom immediately and use a mentoring program where they have a teacher or administrator watch closely over them and help them learn how to succeed to the classroom.

Comments

There are many people that want to become teachers, but are unable to pass the testing requirements which I believe would help bring more people into the field if we discontinue the testing requirements that are required to become a teacher. These tests that are require don’t show whether or not someone would make a good teacher or not, they just show how much someone knows about the subject area. Just because a person know a lot about a subject doesn’t qualify them as a good teacher. The state needs to find a way where people who have bachelor’s degree are able to teach on a provisional basis where they have a mentor teacher that helps them get incorporated into teaching. This way you still have qualified teachers leading the classroom, but then you are allowing more people an opportunity to transition into teaching without having to go back to school and having more student loans to pay back

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austin paulsen
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I want to cut employment and cut teachers and cut education services and disabilities

Name
austin paulsen
Comments

I want cut taxes and cut edit schools educations and make it a regular school like sybe hopp

Name
rick darrow
Comments

It is my belief that if the university of wisconsin system were more honest and fair with the teacher and not creating legal entanglements
involving spending so much money on legal staff and putting that money towards educational staff for higher education but if they continue to treat their teachers like garbage and they continue to violate the constitution and state laws along with federally ordered court decisions they should LOSE their Federal Funding and their Tax Exempt Status

Name
Katie Murphy
Comments

From the perspective of a relatively new teacher, there are a few things that make teaching very challenging
1. not enough practical experience during teacher training- for me it was a few classes during year one and then nothing until pre-student teaching/student teaching. This sets up an unrealistic and then terrifying idea of what teaching is. At some point, you feel like you were backed into a corner without realizing it until the end.
2. Not enough positive feedback early on- I know this sounds ridiculous, but it's true. As a new teacher, you're constantly looking at your own shortcomings and it's a selfless enough job as it is. Administrators and head teachers need to do more to point out what is working.
3. More money- whether this is in loan forgiveness or salaries or, heaven help us, both! Any other job that has the same amount of stress or guilt attached to it gets paid a much higher salary.
4. Make it okay to stop working past 4:30. Normalize the actual work day and give teachers enough prep and work time to do all of their job when they are being paid to do so.

Name
Jim Buss
Comments

In Walker's Wisconsin, public education continues to reel from the largest cumulative cuts to school funding in America. Republicans have cut billions of dollars in funding to Wisconsin's public schools over the last decade, causing thousands of great teachers to either lose their jobs or to voluntarily flee Walker's Wisconsin for states where good teachers are still valued. The reason for the teacher shortage in Walker's Wisconsin is that fewer and fewer college students are willing to dedicate five years of preparation for a teaching career that Wisconsin Republicans have turned into a low-paying dead end job.

There are two ways to increase the number of teachers in Republican-controlled Walker's Wisconsin. Either repeal Act 10 and restore the billions of dollars in funding cuts made during the past decade or make more changes to teacher licenses to draw teacher candidates from a different talent pool. As Republicans have spent all the monies they took from public education funding huge tax giveaways and outright grants to their campaign contributors through WEDC, this task force has to seriously consider dramatically lowering the requirements to be a teacher in Walker's Wisconsin.

Though the current requirement to earn and renew a teacher license in Walker's Wisconsin are the lowest in the nation, Walker's Wisconsin will have to tap a new candidate pool willing to become teachers for the Post Act 10 starting salary ranges of $25,000-$32,000 per year in rural Wisconsin. These teaching positions are all dead end jobs, often with total career salary growth of no more than $5,000-$10,000 during their entire career! College graduates won't enter the dead end teaching careers that predominate in rural areas of Walker's Wisconsin, leading to the current severe teacher shortage.

In order to staff classrooms in Walker's Wisconsin, I believe that a new class of teacher license needs to be implemented. Make it a 1 year technical college diploma program and call it BadgerTeach. Those who complete these minimal requirements would qualify to be a teacher in any Wisconsin K-12 public or private school. The motto of the BadgerTeach program should be, "If you completed 5th grade, you can teach 5th grade". For the past 10 years, Republicans across Walker's Wisconsin have repeatedly criticized and chastised teachers, often saying, "anybody can teach". By implementing a BadgerTeach program, Walker's Wisconsin will continue to lead the nation in the downward spiral of the most minimal teacher license requirements and continue the 10 year trend of falling ACT scores of high school graduates.

Name
Theresa Swanson
Comments

I am a parent of 3 children. My oldest graduated over five years ago now. My youngest is in Kindergarten now. I am looking for any input into how I as a parent can prevent a P E teacher from continuing to be a problem for my child. I normally would side with a teacher in most cases, however, I feel very strongly that this teacher should be removed from teaching my child as well as other children. I would like to know the steps to take to indeed protect my child from this teacher from his power an prevebt him from being abke to continue to bully my child. I do know that my child certainly is not a angel. however; I also know that if I started a petion on how many other chimdren have had issues with this same teacher there would be without question atleast 50 i can think of off the top of my head who would also claim this teacher is mean an often is rude an disrespectful to them. I feel my child has vaild reasons for feeling like he is a bully an I as a parent feel it is my job an duty to prevent him from continuing to be allowed to treat my child like this an since my child also has Special Needs i feel that it is imparitive for this to happen now. I am requesting to please aid my efforts in stopping this man from abusing his power an being a bully to my child as well as other children. What steps do i need to take to make this a teacher stop since I have already went to the principle an they did speak with him however here we are only a few months down the road an again my child is experiencing issues with this same teacher.

Name
Traci Mittag
Comments

I have been a teacher for 23 years. I am saddened by the morale of teachers due to inequity of salaries, public perception of educators, and my increasing workload without the increase of time or opportunity. Currently, the existing teachers in our building are rebelling due to inequity of our salaries. Many new hires to our district are being hired at a rate of pay that is equal or higher (sometimes substantially) to the salary of loyal teachers with the same or better credentials than the "new" teachers. I feel our district is between a rock and a hard place because they need to be able to compete in the area of hiring to attract qualified applicants (since the number of applicants is considerable dwindling), but it seems that this in turn is resulting in the exodus of many existing teachers who have loyal and productive members of our professional staff. In addition, I feel like the word is "getting out" about the more challenging side of education. Since Act 10, teachers have faced considerable criticism. However, in addition, teachers are more vocal and honest about the challenges of being a teacher. I often hear teachers who have discouraged their own children from entering the field of education due to their own experiences. In addition, I often see negative posts on social media from frustrated teachers. I think we need to realize that this isn't like complaining in the faculty lounge, social media is powerful and public. Do teachers sometimes hurt themselves when they post frustrations on social media? Don't get me wrong, I feel like many of these frustration are very warranted. However, can we be more proactive in how we voice our frustrations and present ourselves to the public in order to promote positive change? Finally, my workload has increased quite a bit over the past years with little reward, recognition, or gratitude. I feel like our administration consistently preaches to us about the value of relationships with our students (I am not challenging this theory), but it seems that they need to practice what they preach in regard to their relationships with their staff members. Providing snacks and rewarding us with jeans day is not relationship building nor does it build a platform for quality working relationships. While these things are fun and a great "band-aid" for what ails us on a daily basis, it does not solve the bigger issues of teacher morale in a building. I am frustrated because I am a leader in the building who is very knowledgeable in many areas of teaching, but my opportunities for growth, teacher leadership, and different opportunities have gone out the door under new leadership. I am not a millennial, but if I am frustrated with the lack of growth and opportunity. I am concerned that if I am frustrated, millennials are not going to see the value of entering the profession of education at all. Since millennials value change and the opportunity to make a difference, the field of education is going to lack appeal.

Name
Claire Jarosz
Comments

As a teacher, I think our annual review and salary system are set up to punish teachers who want to stay in one district for most of their careers. The only way you can get a real salary increase is by jumping districts. People who stay in a district too long end up making less money than people who bounce from district to district. If you have two teachers with the same level of education and the same overall number of years teaching, it's pretty common for the teacher who's been in the district longer to make LESS money than the person who comes in for a couple of years and then leaves. I have bounced around and I've seen this again and again and again. This definitely fosters a culture of resentment and teachers feeling disrespected by the districts who employ them (they've been there longer but make less money so they feel less valued and therefore disrespected).

I don't think we should go back to raises based strictly on years of service, but there has to be somewhere in the middle of how it was done pre and post Act 10 that rewards years of service AND good teaching.

Name
Cynthia Bliss
Comments

I am leaving teaching after 26 years. Act 10 has done inestimable damage to public schools and the teaching profession in WI. That appallingly undemocratic act, along with federal policies and attitudes, have given the public, students, and administrators carte blanche to treat teachers with ever increasing disrespect. It has also caused our already moderate compensation to decline considerably. It has simply become too demoralizing, and has been detrimental to my health and well-being. I no longer believe that the damage can be repaired in my lifetime.

In addition, the over emphasis on testing, "data", and school report cards (driven by the test scores) burns up so much valuable time and so many resources, while killing creativity and joy in students and teachers. Education is moving in exactly the wrong direction on every level. We should be mentoring thinkers, problems solvers, creators and life-long learners, but instead we are creating a generation of people whose primary concern is anticipating what the correct answer is on the test.

Educator Effectiveness, the WI DPI teacher assessment tool, is part of the same testing and data mind set. It is meaningless hoop jumping that takes up an inordinate amount of time for both teachers and administrators. It has nothing to do with the real learning that takes place in my classroom every day, yet I am forced to spend many hours every year collecting "measurable data", "artifacts", and "evidence". Administrators are forced to spend countless hours every year filling out rigid checklists based on a small amount of observation, and filling out forms. Their time could be much better spent. If you want to evaluate me, just come watch me teach! Spend a fews hours or days in my classroom. Give me some useful feedback, then let me do my job.

If you want this mass exodus to stop, and talented new people to step up to take on this vital job, then recognize that teachers are well-educated experts in our field. Treat us like professionals - give us autonomy, resources, and show us you have our backs , and we can change the world.

Name
Rosalie Tocco
Comments

I think the following sentence (which I copied from the e-mail you sent to me) is exactly what teachers would be interested in. I retired 12 years ago after teaching for 33 years, and I don't feel I truly know what is on the minds of the employed teachers of today.

"We believe that the most effective solution will be to make teaching a more attractive profession for those already in it by expanding teacher voice and restoring professional compensation."

Name
Josh Beck
Comments

One change that needs to be made is the public perception of teachers and education. Before Act 10, we were treated honorably, and many people regarded teaching as an honorable profession. However, during the battle over Act 10, many people believed the propaganda of the republicans. During and after Act 10, I had students respond (when I corrected their behavior) with "I don't have to listen to you. You're a union thug." Another child told me that I didn't work hard enough to earn the extraordinary salary I earned (mind you I wasn't even making $50k a year). That I just wanted handouts, and I was "milking y existence off the teet of the public." Teachers all over my building had kids tell them the same things. That was when the seniors I work with no longer wanted to be a teacher. They didn't want to be treated like that, nor did they want to be a part of such a "disgraceful" profession.

Even though those phrases aren't used by parents and students to my face, those sentiments are still there in the community and is evident at Board meetings, when other elections are near in political ads, etc. Add that feeling of disgust from the community to the fights and violence occurring in schools all over the nation to the yearly debate in the WI legislature about arming teachers, and it's no wonder that young people no longer want to be teachers. If I were graduating HS, I definitely wouldn't choose education as a career path.

Name
Tim Krause
Comments

I am a veteran teacher in the public schools. The following are strategies that were done in the past, or are being done in places where there are not teacher shortages:

Increase teacher pay. Encourage respect for teaching profession. Support policies, and politicians, that favor public schools for all--not private schools for the few. Improve mental health care for students. Make teachers more successful by reducing class sizes--thereby making students more successful. Empower teachers by getting rid of Act 10. Reduce the amount of standardized testing so that individualized instruction can be increased.

Name
Laura Priebe
Comments

Teachers and parents should collaborate before every school year to determine how they can create the best education for their kids. Administrators must present and assist with negotiating straight forward budget constraints and options.
Public schools need to be extended after high school for students that are disabled and/or slow learners. Extended high schools need to be designed for students to learn at their own rate, not for test deadline dates but for demonstration of accomplishment. Many disabilities can not be identified until they have demonstrated problems with learning in the regular classroom setting. That means the child has lost time with a learning environment that can address the way they need to learn and are delayed with the life skill development they need to have. Extended education with specialized classroom management is the best way to provide a future that works with the community.

Name
Brenda Morris
Comments

The profession has been undermined in Wisconsin by Act 10, stagnant wages, and the lowering of standards for teacher licensing. It has been undermined nationwide by funding cuts, promotion of unaccountable private charter and voucher programs and the appointment of national Secretaries of Education who do not actually understand or support public schools. Teaching should be treated as a profession: autonomy to do our jobs well; emphasis on learning not testing; equitable funding for all schools (not property tax based); resources needed for proven success, like small class sizes, clean and safe facilities, quality instructional materials, and adequate mental health support; respectable wages we can support ourselves and our families on; and acknowledgement that public schools currently are accomplishing an impossible task in the face of privatization, deprofessionalization, vilification, and impoverishment. If there is a "shortage" it's only a shortage of people willing to take this abuse any longer. Public education is the foundation of our economy and our democracy and we need to treat ALL children like the precious resource they are by investing in their education.

Name
Katie Utphall
Comments

Higher pay would be helpful to attract and retain teachers. I think it would also be extremely helpful to reduce teachers’ intense workloads. Teachers need time in their days to grade and lesson plan. Other professions don’t bring home hours of work several nights each week. It’s especially poor working conditions for many elementary teachers who teach multiple subject areas every day and only receive 45 minutes each day to prep and grade for all of those areas.

Name
Tom Rheinheimer
Comments

1. Work with the State of Wisconsin to change the Public School Calendar to a year-round model. If we are truly concerned with educating our children, we should have a calendar that is conducive to limiting learning and skill acquisition regression. Tourism should not dictate the schedule of learning. Until this is rectified, it is safe to say that education is not taken seriously in the State of Wisconsin.
2. Investigate the Scandinavian Countries Teacher Education Model of educators earning a Masters' Degree before they can teach.
3. Once the Masters' Degree is earned, educators are paid accordingly.
4. Reduce wages for University Instructors and use this wage reduction to increase salaries for public school educators. Are we more worried about effectively our Post-Secondary Students or are we equally concerned about educating our K-12 students - Where is the priority?

Name
Liz Sharp
Comments

The US public school system is an amazing institution. If you think about how many kids are in school every day and how many things could go wrong, it's a miracle that so few do. This is not the mind set most people approach schools with, however, and so we're constantly trying to reform teachers. The attempts at reform like standardized testing, differentiation, and standards-based grading assume that teachers cannot be trusted to be the experts in the classroom, so teachers either have to disengage or overwork themselves to deal with these demands. One solution would be to trust teachers again, and it wouldn't cost anything. There are good ideas about how to make education better, and it's okay to communicate them to teachers, but to require them to use someone else's ideas is exhausting and takes the magic out of teaching that kept more people in the profession in the past. Thanks for listening!

Name
Andy Wright
Comments

I am a principal of a school in Wisconsin who has arrived here from out of state. I am embarrassed at the pay I am offering experienced teachers for full time employment at my school, salaries that mirror other local districts. Unless you have been with us for over 20 years, those who work for us cannot adequately support a family without other sources of income in the household. If we are truly committed to solving this problem we need to face up to the fact that we need to provide more supportive and better compensated school environments. Pay better, decrease class sizes, increase student support. We're getting what we pay for as a society and are sowing for a unpromising future.

Compensation aside, let's look at the situation from a teacher's perspective. People thrive when they have the optimal mix of autonomy, belonging, and challenge. They can manage with 2 out of these three things and will fail with only one or none of these things. How do we measure on this scale and does the answer to this explain why we lack enough teachers?

Name
Jessica B
Comments

There is not a teacher shortage. There are plenty of qualified individuals able and ready to teach. The shortage is in the amount of respect and benefits that come with this title. Teachers in many other countries are honored, respected, and considered assets in their communities.

We need to make this a better paid and more respected position for those who are willing to pour their heart and soul into this difficult, and rewarding profession.

Name
Sarah K
Comments

I taught for two years in two different school districts in Wisconsin. While I enjoyed my undergrad experience, I feel like it didn't really prepare me to become a teacher. I think it would help students who are thinking of education to do practicum earlier in their undergrad and to have a more immersive experience. It should be expected that students teach a few lessons and get feedback. For me, I was just expected to observe and complete hours. I was lucky that someone encouraged me to try a lesson. Another challenge is that in school there is a lot of talk about how altruistic it is to teach and how you will be changing lives... but sometimes the reality is that you're just trying to stay afloat. Sometimes a student calls you a b**** and they don't talk about that very often in undergrad.

In my two districts, I was a traveling teacher between schools. I was a "lost child" of sorts because no one ever knew where I was. My first year, I was not observed as much as I should have been (maybe twice?) by my administrators. Therefore, I wasn't getting the feedback I needed to sustain me. I felt like a failure most of the time and that's probably because I didn't know better. In my second district, same thing. No one knew where I was or what I was doing. I was observed once by an admin. I felt like I didn't fit in with either building. It was demoralizing, depressing, and discouraging. I tried to continue, but I couldn't do it another year. I loved my students. I loved some of the teachers I worked with. I didn't love feeling lost. I didn't love the in-congruence between what I thought being a teacher was like and the reality. It's a gritty, hard job. We give all that we can to our students, but receive little care, respect, or status within the community in return.

I'm glad I'm "retired" from teaching, and I must be a little crazy, but I'm training to be a school counselor. While teaching I saw the vast amount of student need that needs to be addressed. I'm hoping that I can make a difference and be appreciated and recognized for how I drain myself to fill others. And, if that doesn't work, I might have to become a dental hygienist!

Name
Sarah K
Comments

I taught for two years in two different school districts in Wisconsin. While I enjoyed my undergrad experience, I feel like it didn't really prepare me to become a teacher. I think it would help students who are thinking of education to do practicum earlier in their undergrad and to have a more immersive experience. It should be expected that students teach a few lessons and get feedback. For me, I was just expected to observe and complete hours. I was lucky that someone encouraged me to try a lesson. Another challenge is that in school there is a lot of talk about how altruistic it is to teach and how you will be changing lives... but sometimes the reality is that you're just trying to stay afloat. Sometimes a student calls you a b**** and they don't talk about that very often in undergrad.

In my two districts, I was a traveling teacher between schools. I was a "lost child" of sorts because no one ever knew where I was. My first year, I was not observed as much as I should have been (maybe twice?) by my administrators. Therefore, I wasn't getting the feedback I needed to sustain me. I felt like a failure most of the time and that's probably because I didn't know better. In my second district, same thing. No one knew where I was or what I was doing. I was observed once by an admin. I felt like I didn't fit in with either building. It was demoralizing, depressing, and discouraging. I tried to continue, but I couldn't do it another year. I loved my students. I loved some of the teachers I worked with. I didn't love feeling lost. I didn't love the in-congruence between what I thought being a teacher was like and the reality. It's a gritty, hard job. We give all that we can to our students, but receive little care, respect, or status within the community in return.

I'm glad I'm "retired" from teaching, and I must be a little crazy, but I'm training to be a school counselor. While teaching I saw the vast amount of student need that needs to be addressed. I'm hoping that I can make a difference and be appreciated and recognized for how I drain myself to fill others. And, if that doesn't work, I might have to become a dental hygienist!

Name
Sarah K
Comments

I taught for two years in two different school districts in Wisconsin. While I enjoyed my undergrad experience, I feel like it didn't really prepare me to become a teacher. I think it would help students who are thinking of education to do practicum earlier in their undergrad and to have a more immersive experience. It should be expected that students teach a few lessons and get feedback. For me, I was just expected to observe and complete hours. I was lucky that someone encouraged me to try a lesson. Another challenge is that in school there is a lot of talk about how altruistic it is to teach and how you will be changing lives... but sometimes the reality is that you're just trying to stay afloat. Sometimes a student calls you a b**** and they don't talk about that very often in undergrad.

In my two districts, I was a traveling teacher between schools. I was a "lost child" of sorts because no one ever knew where I was. My first year, I was not observed as much as I should have been (maybe twice?) by my administrators. Therefore, I wasn't getting the feedback I needed to sustain me. I felt like a failure most of the time and that's probably because I didn't know better. In my second district, same thing. No one knew where I was or what I was doing. I was observed once by an admin. I felt like I didn't fit in with either building. It was demoralizing, depressing, and discouraging. I tried to continue, but I couldn't do it another year. I loved my students. I loved some of the teachers I worked with. I didn't love feeling lost. I didn't love the in-congruence between what I thought being a teacher was like and the reality. It's a gritty, hard job. We give all that we can to our students, but receive little care, respect, or status within the community in return.

I'm glad I'm "retired" from teaching, and I must be a little crazy, but I'm training to be a school counselor. While teaching I saw the vast amount of student need that needs to be addressed. I'm hoping that I can make a difference and be appreciated and recognized for how I drain myself to fill others. And, if that doesn't work, I might have to become a dental hygienist!

Name
Cheryl Krause-Bosko
Comments

Two things I feel schools need to make the system work for teachers and students, more active play opportunities for students and mental health teams in each school for staff and students.
Integrate mental health teams in the schools. Public schools have students with deeper mental health issues included in the regular classrooms but the schools aren’t staffed with mental health professionals.
The stress of these troubled children affects the teachers trying to balance the needs of all students and create the best learning environment.
Play is how children learn to work out problems, release energy and make friends. The school day has sacrifices recess and free time to add more academic
rigor.

Name
Nancy Mueller
Comments

Teachers are leaving because of lack: lack of class size commensurate with needs of today's children, lack of materials and technology, lack of autonomy and bottom up input, lack of respect, lack of income that allows one to repay student loans and raise a family without working two or more jobs, lack of action on the part of society and government to even begin to correct racism and inequality, lack of adequate medical care, including hearing, dental and eye care, for students and rising lack of reasonably priced health care and retirement benefits for teachers, lack of support professionals (nurses, social workers, psychologists, counselors), lack of classroom assistants/paraprofessionals, lack of full time gym, art and music professionals, lack of planning time (individual and joint) and let me repeat - lack of respect as an autonomous professional.

Name
RICHARD HAUCKE
Comments

There are a number of basic problems with the teaching profession. Act 10, student behavior, phone use, standard testing, parent involvement in student expectations, or parent involvement at all. The drugs used to "control" student concentration. Lack of support from administrations in discipline confrontations to name a few.
I mentioned student behavior a number of times, I believe it is the most taxing abuse in the work place, If you were subjected to this stress in a private professional setting you would be able to file a grievance against such behavior. Quite often teachers are one of the first individuals in authority that demands productive outcomes for students. The constant contest of computer sight distractions, texting, phone use, the electronic addiction of children has made teaching a bit more complicated than it was in the proceeding generations. The profession of teaching is simply not economic valued at the same rate as quality teachers skill sets demand. You want more teachers pay them! Stop testing them! Stop the in-service filing of programs only to have the program revamped and redone every 2-5 years. Time is money and teachers spend way to much of their time without money. Oh and one more observation, "those that can't do, teach" Has been floated more than often in ear shot by people that are not qualified to carry most teacher's lunch.

Name
James Giombi
Comments

The best way to re-establish an appreciation for the profession of teaching, from both educators and the general public, would be to repeal Act 10.

Name
Tamara Johnson
Comments

Unlike 40 years ago, women, the majority of the teacher workforce, can pick from any career they want. Who would pick a career where they would get scapegoated for all of society's ills, get inferior pay compared to other professionals, and since Act 10, get fewer benefits and have no input into salary, benefits and working conditions?

The solution to this problem is simple, give us our collective bargaining back and put more money towards public schools. For those who say there is no money, as an AP US Government teacher, I say they are wrong. We have prioritized tax cuts for the wealthy and for corporations. We manage to tax citizens to build stadiums so rich men can support their hobby of owning a pro-team and have them play in a state-of-the-art facility. If our children and the future generations of our country are a priority, then we can fully fund public education, including a competitive professional wage and benefits package for teachers.

Name
Stefanie Miller-Ahmed
Comments

I feel the teacher shortage is from teacher burn-out, disrespect, and feeling overwhelmed. Also, the media is to blame for not wanting college students to go to college to be a teacher. I would NOT recommend anyone I know to go into this profession. As a teacher, we do not have support from parents, students or the community. We are blamed for all of society's problems. Parents and students say or do anything they want and we have to smile and take it.

Name
Nancy Vitse
Comments

As a retired elementary school teacher of 25 years, I would definitely point to Act 10 as having the biggest impact on the teacher shortage in WI. I was one of those experienced teachers who retired earlier than planned due to this law. Teachers definitely feel the lack of having a voice since the passage of Act 10. It was with much sadness that I read previously submitted input of many teachers still working so very hard; and could certainly add my story to that, but have chosen not to do so. My biggest concern is that of the quality of teachers that will stick around to teach my young grandchildren!! I want them to experience the joy of learning, love school and love their teachers! But am fearful that this is not to be unless some positive changes are made to the present work load and demands made on our teachers.
What to do?
Possibly create flags and signs of support for public teachers/school.... I often look at the signs posted in support of the police and fireman and wonder where are those signs for the teachers? (yeah, I get it... money)
Pay, of course.... all 4 of my children who are mid-thirties make more than I did in my last year of teaching! (Master's degree plus 25 years of teaching!)
Expectations of work load are incredible and not sustainable if you want to have a life outside of work - this is a biggie and involves so many issues that take away the teacher's time spent on real teaching and prep work. Too many meetings, too much paperwork related to goal setting and data collecting, too much testing yadda , yadda!! Such a difference from the early 70's when I began teaching and enjoyed it, accomplished real learning, had fun, and the kids loved it all!
Sadly, it may take supply and demand for this to turn around, which brings me back to my grandchildren as this is impacting them right now!
An excellent read "The Teacher Wars" by Dana Goldstein is easy to read and explains that teachers have always been at the center of controversy. It also stresses the value and joy of teaching.
Help with college expenses is a good thought possibly, will the teacher stay committed??
Choice schools must be eliminated. I tutored after retirement in a religious voucher school that provided transportation for a group of immigrant children originally from Myanmar to a rural school an hour away from where they lived... do you think the $8000 per kid may have been a motivation??
Wish I had great ideas, but we really need a shift in public sentiment and a culture of valuing teachers like they do in some Scandinavian countries.
I loved my job, my students, my co-workers and supportive administration and parents! Teaching is an awesome responsibility and rewarding work, if only one were left to actually make decisions and teach! And it goes without saying, the culture and societal ills that impact too many of our children must improve. We need all hands on deck to improve the educational crisis that Wisconsin faces.

Name
D Fields
Comments

There are many ways to address the shortage but I think it may take a while to correct the shortage. First and foremost, teachers needed to be respected. Most people think they can do the job. There are intern, permit, etc. staff that have had little to no training when beginning their teaching career. Many leave because of the demands when they realize there is way more to teaching than standing up in front of the room and lecturing. CCSS report cards are tedious, testing and the high stakes are stressful, little prep time in an 8 hour day is ridiculous, mental health issues for students are difficult and teachers have little to no training on how to support the students, high class sizes that make it difficult to impossible to build the relationships needed and provide interventions to students, teachers buy many of there own supplies to properly teach. (paper is rationed). Schools need full time PE, art, gym, music, and technology. Every school needs a school psychologists, social worker and counselors. Administrators need to be trained on how to manage a building especially supporting teachers. Schools (teachers) are expected to work miracles in a climate that is very difficult everyday. Raises would be good, but most teacher did not go into the profession to get rich but should not be in debt because of student loans.

Name
Terry Krause
Comments

inadequate compensation and increasingly demanding work conditions initiated by a short sighted policy called act 10 caused this shortage. With our increasingly techological world the skills and knowledge reguired to be an effective teacher also progressively increases each year which then requires increasing levels of teacher education and training. This increase in teacher skill and knowledge requirements which suggests the need for increasing levels of compensation to maintain an adequate supply of effective teachers. However the current situation is a progressivly eroding copensation model due to act 10 education cuts and restrictions on teacher raises below actual inflation impacts on real value compensations. Mr. Krause school counselor 20 years.

Name
John Riggins
Comments

Since ACT 10, the lack of pay, lack of feeling valued as a professional, the lack of autonomy in the classroom and the amount of standardized testing being administered is killing the teaching profession. It has obviously really hurt the amount of people that want to get into the profession and has also lead to a lot of people leaving the profession. Some, including myself, will retire earlier than expected. Our state and national politicians DO NOT value the work that we do in our nations classrooms. They are the ones that are setting the tone for the teaching profession being devalued. For teachers being demoralized. The President of the United States will not be attending the Teacher of the year event. That says a TON!! President Obama DID NOT do anything to help public education. That was very disappointing to me. Our state politicians, would rather send public dollars to voucher and charter schools than properly fund our public schools. People are leaving the profession for better paying jobs, where they feel valued, there is less stress and when they go home for the day, they are not taking the job home with them. Teaching is a 24-7 job. Without a respectable salary or feeling valued; why stay?

Name
Peter Ritonia
Comments

As a retired teacher who taught for 30 years in the public school, and 3 years in a parochial school I have many opinions as to whey there is a shortage. First off the requirements to eventually get your license is ridiculous. The extra tests (praxus,fort) is nothing but a money grab by the state of Wisconsin. My daughter is graduating in May from Concordia in Mequon. She has wanted to be a teacher all her life since I was. She has been unable to pass either test which she has taken several times. She was diagnosed with ADD in second grade. She also had a 504 plan all through High School. Bottom line is that she is a poor test taker no matter how many different ways she has studied. She has wanted to change her major many times but has persevered. This week she was offered a first grade teaching job! May 18th she will graduate. Not being able to pass or not pass these tests in no way shape or form will make her a better teacher. She will be a good teacher because of her education, hard work, and love for children. This money grab needs to stop. These tests are unnecessary. Another reason people are either not going into teaching or not staying long is a lack of administrative backing in the schools. I am specifically referring to principals. Over my years of teaching i have worked for several principals. it seems that the longer I stayed teaching the "softer" principals have gotten. In my opinion they are very much afraid of the parents and/or losing their job. They also will lessen consequences to appease parents. Many times I felt frustrated when I wanted the principal to "lower the boom" on students and they barely got their hand slapped. So much to the point, that I stopped sending students to the office and just dealt with all behaviors myself. Even if years ago it would have been an issue for the principal to get involved. Finally, the pay has still not increased to the point where people are excited to teach. They always say you don't teach for the money, but it would be nice if the pay would increase. It used to be a big deal and pay raise if you got your masters. Now that isn't worth the time and money you need to shell out. I would be willing to discuss any of these issues in more depth if need be.

Thank You,
Peter Ritonia (retired teacher School District of S. Milwaukee)

Name
Jeffrey Cartier
Comments

I have taught in public schools for 24 years and would never have imagined that at this point in my career I would advising smart, caring and committed people to avoid the teaching profession. We are in a death spiral and it is now impacting our well being as a nation. Never before have I felt such pessimism for the future of our democratic institutions.

Jeff Cartier

Name
Tanya Arentsen
Comments

I left teaching after 8 years in a classroom. I'm certified for special education. My husband teaches math. I had to deal with tube feedings, diaper changes, seizures, being physically attacked, etc on a daily basis. We received the same pay, when the physical and mental demand of my job was significantly higher. The legal aspect of writing IEPs and doing medical cares makes the stress level and accountability that much higher. After three years in the corporate world, my salary is almost double and I have no concerns about my safety or liability about if I misstep.

I also left due to unsupportive administration. A residential treatment facility was closed and one of those students was placed in my room (previously deemed unsafe for public school setting but we had no where else to send him). I had a concussion for an apply that hit me square in the nose when thrown by a student and I was noted to have poor classroom management skills when the previous year at a different school it was my highest ranked category on my evaluation.

Now I have a job where I can leave my work at work. Teaching was a 24-7 job, always prepping, and always behind. Never enough time to get everything done to the standards required.

Name
Joe Hanser
Comments

The President of the United States has announced that he will not attend the Teacher of the Year event. The President sets the example. If he demeans teachers in this way, is it any wonder that his followers do????

Name
Joe Hanser
Comments

I retired a dozen years ago. I'm glad I'm out, and would never do it all over again. Eventually the poor pay, the unrealistic expectations of administrators who have not a clue as to how a classroom runs, the constant criticism by the media, being treated as a third class citizen by the community got to me, as it is getting to lots of classroom teachers. Teachers' friends, neighbors, and children see it, and decide that teaching is not for them. The best solution is to make every classroom a teacherless classroom. Only then will the people in this country get the message. Interestingly enough, I consider my 39 years in the classroom a success. Why? Because my students told me how much they liked being in my classroom, sometimes even a decade after they left. Also, when former students had children they wanted their children in my classroom.

Name
Jason HUBER
Comments

I think one way to get teachers back into the classroom or new people intrested in teaching is to provide either health or retirement benefits that are more attractive than the private sector. That way you are getting teachers that are in the profession for the long haul instead of chasing the dollar just because they offer signing bonuses or a slightly elevated pay over the private sector. There is definitely an issue with data and reporting requirements as this takes away from the teachers ability to teach and forces them to do paperwork that does not supplement or assist student learning. Let teachers teach has always been a great adige.

Name
Nick Winch
Comments

I acknowledge the concerns and input brought up by many throughout our state. I recognize that over the past ten years the pace of change and lack of pay have especially taken their toll on morale and recruitment. I do not mean to belittle anyone's struggles. However, if there is a teacher shortage, wouldn't the state and school districts benefit from focusing on advertising everything that is going well for those in the profession? In my short career, I have heard the negative blasted on repeat. And if young people are being fed this information, why would they enter education? My personal experience included declaring my teaching major midway through freshman year of college, while ACT 10 was going through. I was discouraged by several well-meaning adults in education not to get into the profession because the end was near. I am very glad I disregarded these warnings and listened instead to the calmer voices that explained this period was likely the swing of a pendulum. I wonder how many others have been influenced by this type of rhetoric - positive or negative. Can we change it to something more positive while still shining light on the issues that we agree are important to improving the profession?

Name
P H
Comments

There is shortage of teachers due to several reasons. Honestly, for me, the biggest factor that deterred me from wanting to continue in this profession was/are the behaviors issues, disruptions, and mental abuse that children these days put on educators. We are dealing with an epidemic crisis of trauma sensitive children being raised in this high tech world. Our children are highly exposed and have access to too many things of the world. Parents are not being held liable to their children’s behavior in schools. Not only that, but students have too much rights over teachers. Teachers are emotionally strained due to student reckless behaviors. This is a national crisis and it needs to be addressed. We cannot do anything to children because the law says that they are not liable and too young to know what they are doing until they are 18 years of age. There is no real consequence for repeated miss-behaved students and the emotion and mental trauma students put onto teachers. There are no apparent laws or consequences for parents to take responsibility to discipline their children when repeated offenses are evident. This epidemic crisis in the classroom has to be addressed at the national level. Children should come to school with expectations to follow schools rules as a nation. To do that we have to raise awareness of the issues, make teaching a respectable profession where teachers are not taken for granted. Schools should be made a priority and not just a place for babysitting. Students feel like they are just here because they have to be. Educators everywhere that I talk to are just burnt out on disruption, behaviors, and negative attitudes of children all over the nation. This really needs to be addressed if we want to retain teachers. As educators, we have so much on our plates already and our biggest concern is to give children a good education with our lesson planning and preparation, etc., but our days are often bombarded with bigger issues like disruptive behaviors and so forth that takes so much time away from educating the students. The second factor is the low wages for the teaching profession. Educators get such a low beginning rate and take a long time to get to the high end rate. Educator’s income is lower compared to other careers that do not need as much training and certification. We do not get the respect we need in our profession in one part due to our wage. Our profession is not a high paying field and our teachers are leaving due to career moves that offer higher pay. The educator certification we have to go through is so intensive. Unlike other fields, educators have to go through many hoops; certification testing/Praxis/etc., student teaching, field experience, EDTPA, etc. All the requirements we have to do to get a teaching license is not worth the pay. Other professions that require similar certification and testing/fieldwork get more pay. On the other hand, other professions that does not require as much certification and testing/field work get more pay than educators do. That is not a fair bargain to do more to get less pay. This nation does not pay teachers enough to make the teaching profession a highly esteem profession. They do not raise awareness of respect for teachers. To make teaching a sought after profession, our nation needs to raise awareness of the national crisis and epidemic with childhood behavior issues. We as a nation have to look at how as a nation we are raising our children and preparing them for school. We have to have something strong in-place to solve our behaviors in the classroom. We need parents, schools, students to get on board and be a part of the solution not just blame everything on the teachers. We need to make the teaching profession a highly, well-paid profession like our doctors, lawyers, because teaching is one of the most stressful jobs in the world. Without teachers, our nation would collapse. We need to put our kids in school so parents can go to work and not have to worry about finding daycare. We educate the nation so that one day these students will become leaders to lead our country and contribute to the well-being of our nation. We, educators, should be highly paid to be highly respected. The last thing is that the education certification testing and training is too rigorous for students looking at the profession. If teachers are not getting good pay, why so institutions required so much of teacher certification and testing. Institutions should make teacher certification a little less rigorous but that teachers get the same outcome.

Name
Natalie Hodgkins
Comments

I am a special education teacher and had worked for 5 years in MPS and left last year to go to another district. The biggest reason for the shortage or for teachers like me jumping districts has to do with several factors. 1. Unfair standards: Students are dealing with extreme poverty, crime, and broken homes. Couple that with teaching to standards that do not effectively educate our students and teaching to pass a test, teachers are in a lose-lose situation. If a student is dealing with "life" they are not going to be able to learn or pass standardized tests. Teachers are then held accountable with these factors and threatened with decreases in pay based on how student's fair on these tests. 2. Salary: Considering the amount of education (student debt) and time spent outside of the school day working for students and spending our own money on students we are paid poverty level wages. This is the main reason why I left MPS. They have no way to compensate teachers to compete with neighboring districts. I have a masters degree in Special Education, my spouse has a 2 year degree and he made more money than I did when I was working for MPS. I also had no way of increasing my salary with the pay scale frozen for years. I would never make the money that other more veteran teachers are making due to changes in the last 10 years. 3. Outside issues: There are also signifiant issues concerning the tiptoeing that is now required as a teacher. We are juggling so many things and playing the part in so many roles. With all the issues going on and the lack of support from all sides it is next to impossible to expect a person to continue in this field. Administration and parents are also part of the issue in many situations. Somehow teachers are expected to have a magic wand and be able to turn coal into diamonds overnight.

Name
Elly McHenry
Comments

The loss of collective bargaining rights is when this trend began. Collective bargaining gave teachers a voice and a presence in how schools and school districts functioned. Things like class sizes, curriculum, prep time, work conditions and benefits were discussed and collectively decided. What we have now is a top down system where administration makes all of the decisions. Many of those administrators have not been in a classroom in a decade or more, mostly more. They have no concept of how their decisions work out in the classroom. Having more students in a class has an impact on both students and teachers. Having to write your own curriculum adds to the workload for teachers. The increase in the number of homeless students, students with mental health issues, and students with behavioral issues has a huge impact on how a classroom functions. Many districts have cut back on support staff. That puts more and more on the backs of the teaching staff. And I haven't even brought up the evaluation piece yet. Educator Effectiveness is a make work subjective system that does not reward good teaching. It rewards those who know how to work the system and suck up to administration. If you ask too many tough questions or advocate for your students when administration is more interested in saving money, you will pay the price on EE.

We need to get our collective bargaining rights back so that we can advocate for what we know works best for the students. Teachers do not go into teaching for the money. They go into education because they care about children and when you are not allowed to do what you know is best you start looking for another job.

Name
Holly Dumproff
Comments

The shortage has everything to do with increased demands on teachers, with less benefits for them to remain in the profession. Students needs, mental health and academic are increasing daily. Teachers have little training in providing support for students with significant challenges. Start providing the needed classroom support. Mental health professionals belong inside school buildings. Additionally, teachers need more time off during the year. Stop policing sick days. Self-care is a real thing. Offer job sharing more regularly, make "mental health day" a category for paid time off. Educator Effectiveness steals joy. If EE cannot be retooled to truly be a helpful process, more teachers will leave. Don't expect teachers to work 25-30 years in the current climate. It's just not physically or mentally possible anymore. The demands of the job are too high. The benefits no longer seem worth it. The retirement package needs to kick in sooner. Most teachers will still need to work after retirement. Let people retire sooner, but ask them back as subs. Squeezing every last drop out of teachers before they retire makes them NOT want to come back and sub. This is part of the reason we have a sub shortage.

Name
Diane Blackmon
Comments

We need to put the teacher back in charge in the classroom. Currently the parents and students are in charge. The teachers need to be teaching and not being a book keeper, a statistician, a mandated proctor for testing but a teacher.

Administration needs to stop worrying about the state report card and discipline students again for tardiness, truancy, and referrals that are necessary to be written. We should not be giving everybody a diploma so our score goes up on the report card.

Teachers need to be treated like professionals and paid as professionals.

There are many older retired teachers (including me) that would come back to teaching in a heart beat if the above items were taken care of. I would even come back if pay wasn't better.

Name
Karen Zimmerman
Comments

I retired this past year after 27.5 years as a school social worker for one public school district. It was a very hard decision to retire because I loved my students, my colleagues, principal, community, and my profession. However, I have seen the tremendous toll that educators of all kinds face everyday especially since Act 10. Educators are dealing with lacking resources in times of higher student needs (i.e. trauma) with increased responsibilities to get great test scores and provide everything that is needed for students. What would help:
-Living wages for all educators (including our paraprofessionals) and pay that keeps up with inflation. A true fair pay scale that is known and predictable. Educators don’t do this job for the money, but we need to be compensated fairly and provided with the resources to do the job.
-Pay or provide stipends to student teachers and graduate field students in social work, psychology, counseling, other educational supports. When I was in undergrad and graduate school not only did I not get paid for field work, but I also had to pay for earning those credits. Other students in other majors (business, engineering, med students) get paid internships and housing allowances and don’t have to pay to have this experience. Finding other ways to make college more affordable would also help.
-Educators need to feel they have a voice and true decision-making power in the work they do. Since Act 10, they do not have any real say in working conditions. And when they do try to advocate, jobs have been threatened.
-Provide the proper resources so educators can do their jobs. Many have paid much out of pocket for school supplies, classroom furniture, snacks for students, and other student needs (coats). Many educators spend time setting up Go Fund Me pages or finding other grants to do this. I have had to personally pay to attend professional conferences so I can continue to grow (districts don’t pay much attention to professional development for non-teachers). Colleagues in the business and medical world are compensated for all of their expenses.
-Get rid of some parts of the Educator Effectiveness/SLO components - some of it is busy work that has no real application to the jobs we do everyday.
-Decrease workload demands - we need to get back to a healthy work life balance. I now enjoy my Sundays, because I do not have to do a ton of prep work on Sunday afternoon and evening to get ready for my week. Educators have to do so much administrative work (i.e. collecting data and recording of assessments so that specialists can have data to do their job, standardized testing administration). Decrease this type of work so educators can get to their real jobs (teaching, counseling). It’s interesting administrators have assistants to do this work, but teachers and support staff do not.
-Schools providing prevention services to staff for burnout - not just wellness programs for individual staff , but look at the system and how it creates the burnout in the first place (i.e. decrease of workload, ineffective or overburdened administrators)
-Standardized Testing - too much!!! It takes a lot of time away from instruction, causes anxiety for students and staff, and too much emphasis is put on it.
-Pay attention to current staff. Do things so they won't leave: provide a healthy work environment, give them voice without fear of repercussion, pay them what they are worth. Respect your veteran educators: I have seen subtle and overt ageism. These people are the ones mentoring new employees with a nominal amount of compensation and no decrease in work load.
-Licensure: We need to maintain high standards. My professional association is working hard to combat the whittling of the standards for my school social work profession. We also need ways to ease the financial burden to help people who are interested in entering the education field from other professions.
-The legislature needs to stop bashing educators and schools. This disrespect has hurt the current educators and also anyone considering the profession. We need to work on electing public officials who respect education and public school educators and who will do something to rectify the school funding formulas. Abolish Act 10 and bring back collective bargaining for wages and work conditions. We should not have to delineate a working condition (i.e. prep time) in a proposed Governor’s budget. (Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that it is in there, but it should be done in other ways).
-I understand that it is hard to encourage young people to get into the field of education, but we need to encourage and support. Current education undergraduates are hearing some discouraging messages not just from others (legislators, other college majors) but from our profession too. They need to be supported. Universities also need to market education and support education students too. It makes me sad when I see these beautiful new business buildings on campuses and then see the buildings for educators (if there is one).

Name
Holly Dumproff
Comments

The shortage has everything to do with increased demands on teachers, with less benefits for them to remain in the profession. Students needs, mental health and academic are increasing daily. Teachers have little training in providing support for students with significant challenges. Start providing the needed classroom support. Mental health professionals belong inside school buildings. Additionally, teachers need more time off during the year. Stop policing sick days. Self-care is a real thing. Offer job sharing more regularly, make "mental health day" a category for paid time off. Educator Effectiveness steals joy. If EE cannot be retooled to truly be a helpful process, more teachers will leave. Don't expect teachers to work 25-30 years in the current climate. It's just not physically or mentally possible anymore. The demands of the job are too high. The benefits no longer seem worth it. The retirement package needs to kick in sooner. Most teachers will still need to work after retirement. Let people retire sooner, but ask them back as subs. Squeezing every last drop out of teachers before they retire makes them NOT want to come back and sub. This is part of the reason we have a sub shortage.

Name
Adam Jeschke
Comments

I'm likely leaving the teaching profession after this school year because of many reasons, including but not limited to:

Staff safety
No legitimate pay schedule in MPS
Lack of administrative support
No punishments for repeat violations by students

And many more things... The first step to keeping teachers in Wisconsin is to pay them what they are worth. We aren't babysitters... Most of us spent 7+ years in college getting certified for a job that pays less than most other careers in our respective fields. I'm an environmental scientist, and I could make twice as much per year if I actually go do any job that requires my degree. And those jobs don't make me work with 150 students a day, many of whom have no interest in school, let alone the topics of environmental science. I'm still making 1st year salary as a 4th year teacher... What possible reason would I have to come back next year, unless the entire climate of Wisconsin (MPS) schools change.

Name
Miranda Beninger
Comments

I moved to Wisconsin from Canada, and have nearly left teaching a handful of times (and still considering my options, but trying to stick it out). When I first arrived, I paid thousands of dollars to take a variety of tests here in the US - despite having training from Ontario (Canada) which is widely known to have one of the best education systems in the world. Why? Why not have reciprocity between certain states/countries? Even now, 4 years later, I still have to take silly courses to remove my 'stipulations' - and yes, pay more money to become a professional educator. Everything is a business. Anyway, after finding a job, I faced an administration like you would not believe. The amount of useless paperwork for the "Educator Effectiveness System" and "Star compensation system" nearly did me in. I took a 20,000 US pay cut from what I was making in Canada.

What needs to happen? Pay us more, we are doing way more than other countries like Canada, with less support. Do not ask me to take courses that are completely useless to teaching and demean the two university degrees I have from Canada. Let me focus on families and kids. Fund special ed. Give teachers a budget for their own professional development, per year, so that they can choose what PD is good for them. Respect teachers and believe what they say. Don't make assumptions. It's pretty basic. You want to attract more teachers, this is what you need to do.

Name
Elise Landry
Comments

Well, obviously the first way to attract and keep teachers is to pay them. I have been with MPS for 8 years and I still only make $47,000. Act 10 also needs to be rescinded. When it comes to special education, principals' prejudices need to be put aside and should have a major goal of creating a truly inclusive school. As a production manager in another life, the biggest thing I have noticed is that so many principals to not know how to manage staff, how to create a unified team. I think principals need a LOT of training in this area as there are way too many toxic schools simply because administration does not know how to bring people together. There is also a bit of a shock for new teachers that first get hired. Educational training does not truly prepare new teachers for being part of a school with all its subtleties, politics, and the most prevalent of programs.

Name
Kristi Ribar
Comments

In 2010 when our governor decided to change the rules and hold the line on teacher salaries, many of the experienced teachers retired earlier than planned or left teaching all together. In addition to that, the Department of Public Instruction increased the teacher load by changing the teacher evaluation process. Many of the new teachers are overwhelmed within the first five years and say it isn't worth the time for the money and usually go onto other careers. I have heard it in my own building. A very good teacher and friend of mine just announced her resignation because she it tired of giving up her evenings and weekends. She had another career before going back to school and getting certified to teach and loved it before she got burned out!

The demands are getting too much to handle and "the calling" is not enough anymore for new teacher to stay in the career until retirement.

1. Change the evaluation process and goal setting demands
2. Return the unions to protect teachers

Name
Gerald Martin
Comments

I am a retired public school teacher. In 32 years of teaching I never experienced the frustration I hear and see in today's educators. Three of my immediate family are in public education. They speak about too many students and too little help with their students. They have to supply materials out of their own money. Their support staff keep being decreased. Their district does not receive enough state aid. They are looking at other profession to go into. The future of public education does not look good.

Name
Mike Kostich
Comments

I am not a teacher, not sure how I even got on this mailing list.
I did go to a Milwaukee Public School Open House job forum last August (?)
I was curious to see if I could turn my 20 years of experience as a technical writer and illustrator/ graphic designer into a new vocation, before or after retirement.
I couldn't even get anyone to talk to me about mentoring, part-time; group tutoring or anything like that. No certification? Go to the desk for substitute
teachers is all I got and no one ever followed up when I called back to try and schedule an interview.

Name
Ken Huber
Comments

I am retiring this year after teaching for 35 years in the same district. This is simple. Act 10 MUST go away. In my district, teacher turnover was very small. If we had 5 new teachers for an upcoming year; that was shocking. Since Act 10 was enacted, we have averaged at least 20 new teachers per year. In the last 2 years, we have averaged 30. Act 10 took away teacher respect from the administrators, public officials, and even the parents. When you work in a business when the boss is always right and can do whatever and whenever they want to do something to their employees, of course turnover will be heavy.
Abolish Act 10 and people will begin to see sanity comeback to the teaching profession.

Name
Wesley L
Comments

Teachers today are afraid of retribution. They have no power to design educational activities themselves. The expectation is that teachers follow a proscribed method designed by someone else’s idea of an expert. Expertise in education is not respected. Licensing regulations recently changed the need for continued education. New hires are no longer required to have the pedagogical training once considered fundamental in teacher preparation.

Meanwhile, politicians use teachers as scapegoats for anything that costs the public money. Big money media sows seeds of disrespect for public educators. State and district-wide assessments do little to help educate youth but provide a weapon for politicians to attack teachers and let them get away with policies that damage the profession and education itself.

When I was a student, public schools, my own rural high school included, offered opportunities to stoke individual student interests. There were classes in agriculture, mechanics, business, home economics, music, art, science, journalism, social studies including citizenship, physical education, foreign languages and courses specifically designed to teach students to analyze information and think independently. These offerings coexisted with language arts and math. I took a class in logic. The most important class I took was in home economics. My brothers flourished in shop classes. Today’s schools are limited in what is offered. For much of the last decade or two, the focus has been on preparing all students for college. Students who have no desire for college are being short-changed. All kids are being limited.

So much needs to change, maybe even turned around.

1. Teacher preparation needs to be rigorous. Teaching is a profession and needs to be respected as such. Not everyone has the natural ability to learn pedagogical skills anymore than everyone can develop skills necessary to practice medicine.

2. Becoming a teacher requires extensive training and constant retraining. Teachers should be constantly pursuing their own education. Teachers in time should all have masters degrees or even doctorates and these achievements should celebrated, respected, and encouraged. I’m afraid lifetime licensing will stall the pursuit of continued education.

3. College tuition, even for public colleges, is expensive. This is a valuable commodity that requires payment in the form of higher salaries and benefits. Teachers generally don’t get into the profession to become rich, but none should be poor. Reversing Act 10 must happen but revenue is necessary to bring back the value placed in education.

4. Competition is not a bad thing, but it has to be fair. Private schools must provide services with the same standards placed on public institutions. Teachers in private institutions should be required to acquire licenses to practice. If private schools are going to accept public funds, than students should have the same protections and services and opportunities no matter where the dollars are spent.

5. All schools receiving public dollars should be treated equally with regard to accountability. As it stands, private schools have one set of rules, charter schools have another set. One large district is required to submit to Department of Public Instruction scrutiny while all other districts get scrutinized once in five years.

Name
M Rigden
Comments

1. Limit all class sizes to no more than 24 students, especially in inner city schools.
2. Equity in specials! All elementary students, no matter where the school is, should have 1 music class, 1 art class and 1 gym class per week.
This would allow for prep and planning time as well as improve overall health and education
3. Pay inner city teachers more as well as special ed teachers throughout the district.
4. Do not raise health insurance rates!
I am out of time.

Name
Natalie C.
Comments

I love what I do. That is not hyperbolic; I genuinely enjoy creating new lesson plans, learning new methods, attending professional workshops, and, yes, I even enjoy reading student’ essays (but notice the distinction: reading not grading). I am privileged work with impressive colleagues - people who care about their students immensely, who go home at night and worry about that one student who wasn’t at school, who worry about students losing a valuable day of learning if they are sick, who wrestle with every single decision they make, wondering if it was the right thing to do or say. I can’t imagine finding another profession in which I would be surrounded by coworkers who were as thoughtful, caring, and brilliant as my fellow educators. I would be hard-pressed to find a profession equally as intellectually stimulating AND rewarding.

And yet, despite all of this, I have (and continue to) explore other professions. I ultimately had to reduce my full-time status (meaning, take a voluntary pay cut) to create a more manageable workload so that I could continue to do what I love without suffering mental and physical health problems as a result. Of course, I can only speak for myself. That being said, I truly do not think pay is the main issue, as many others often say. Teachers go into the profession knowing that they will not earn the same as other professionals with similar degrees or experience. That is not to say they shouldn’t earn more, as should nurses and social workers and almost every other profession that involves a sense of selflessness. But my wage is livable. I have taught for 10 years; I make just over $50,000. And I could be content with this somewhat low, yet livable, wage because I would be doing a job that I love. What I see as the issue is all of the other demands that impede my ability to do my job well. The meetings and standardized testing and evaluation requirements and district initiatives - all the things that take away time from meeting with colleagues, planning, grading, and keeping up with new research on best practices. The latter are what keep teachers happy, what make teachers feel like are willing to work hard for work worth doing. But the profession is overrun by work that most feel is not worth doing, work that is not helping us be better educators; we are spread too thin and unable to put all our effort and energy into what matters most: the daily work in our classrooms. If Wisconsin schools do not find a way to promote a better balance for educators - a way to balance the necessities with the time necessary to be an effective educator and allow educators to maintain a work-life balance - I feel many will continue to leave the profession they love, as will I, and our children will be the ones who suffer the most.

Name
Nicole Kaminski
Comments

I am thinking about leaving the teaching profession after 17 years. I am a good teacher and have excellent letters of reference to prove it. The job is stressful and the school demands are getting harder. Administration is further and further out of touch with its staff. Student behavior is horrible and the disrespect is daily. Prep time is hard to come by and nights and weekends are filled with lesson planning and grading papers. State budgets keep putting more and more stress on schools and that is transferred directly down to its teachers. Educator effectiveness is not effective and the SLO, PPG is not improving my practice rather adding extra work on an already filled plate. With no union to back teachers school districts can do anything they want to us and we are working without trust feeling that at any minute we could be given an extra duty or prep. I am not a good wife or mother and will be looking into other options to improve my well being. I would discourage my children from entering this profession. I like teaching but I haven't been able to really teach a class in quite some time all the other stuff is getting in the way. In my school in my grade all teachers in my team will be leaving the school at the end of this year. We are losing quality experienced teachers at an alarming rate.

Name
Gayle Wade
Comments

I think this younger generation of teachers is comparing themselves to their business counterparts who can work from home, have flexible hours and have an idea of where they can be in 5 years.
The workload for a teacher has become nearly unbearable. We mentor kids during our preps, have meetings during our preps and in some cases have to do lunchroom supervision on a rotating basis. Student behavior has become worse. Some principals will side with the parents, no matter how unrealistic they are or how they come across. Teacher bashing has become the norm.
This pay for performance model has not proven to create better teachers nor has it lead to higher test scores. We seem to know who the good teachers are, but when we try to qualify it in some way (test scores?), we come up very short.
Unions held administration to fair play. In the district where I teach, teaching loads are inconsistent from building to building.
In my opinion, abolish Acty 10!

Name
Mary Miller
Comments

One thing I recall in the 1960's, my brother was studying to be a teacher, and if he stayed in teaching for a certain amount of time he had half his student loan forgiven.

Give unions back their "powers" to help teachers receive comparative salaries to others with similar amounts of education. Whatever else can be done to give teachers respect, because that is the least that can be done for any and very human being.

Name
Dustin Johnson
Comments

I've been a teacher for 29 years (27 in public education). I was at a school 5 years ago and the school was piling on more work as a department chair and teacher. I asked for a reduced workload, relief from duties, or more compensation. They refused so I looked for another job. I applied for a principal position but the school hired from within late in the summer. An ex-coteacher was working at the school I had applied for the principal position and recommended me for the teaching job. I went through a brief interview and repeately asked if it was a full time position. They told me it has always been and will continue to be. I asked them my pay, they placed me where i was just making a little more than i was where i came from-not what my experience would warrant. After implementing a computer program that helped a number of kids graduate and recover credits in math and teaching math classes for 4 years, they came to me a little over a week ago and told me my job was reduced to 70%, taking me out of full time and all the benefits. I planned on retiring in 3 years. The first words out of HR's mouth was, "you know your retirement is based on your highest three years". Followed be the principal saying, "we have science teachers that are certified in math". I told them my highest three years were going to be my next three and why do I care if the science teachers can teach math. After coming in early everyday and staying late to help students and great reviews of my teaching, they kick me in the balls and basically say - get the fuck out. After 29 years of dedication to a profession where I implemented new programs for learning and assessing, reviewed and provided information to a book company to publish a math text, and was a presenter at the Green Lake Math Convention; this is how I get treated..."we're cutting you out of full time pay and by the way you will lose $480 per month on your retirement and feel free to leave at 54 years old and get a job that anyone will pay you what you should with your experience." I tell every kid thinking of teaching to stay as far away from teaching as possible-even before thus happened. If you want to get more people into teaching; mandate schools to pay what people are worth, have kids and parents respect teachers, protect teachers at the end of their careers, make teaching about learning and not a business decision by administration without an ounce of care to what they are doing to the very people that make their high paying salaries possible.

Name
Katherine D.
Comments

MORE SUPPORT for teachers who are developing. MORE SUPPORT for students with special needs. There should be an aid in every single classroom to assist with the students who need more attention to succeed.

Name
Marlene Ott
Comments

I taught high school students English for 45 years, fortunately retiring just before the implementation of Act 10. This law has been devastating. Combine the damage this law has done with the increasing impact of privatization and you have the recipe for disaster.

Act 10 has had many unintended consequences beyond the obvious loss of income and benefits: destroying unions leaves teachers with no protections. They walk on eggshells realizing how few rights they have left. The classroom teacher is usually the first to see what isn’t working, but too many administrators and school boards don’t listen to them. That lack of a voice is de-energizing and demoralizing. Dispirited workers eventually give up and quit or try a different district or in the saddest case, just go through the motions. Young people choose this profession with aspirations of making a difference in the lives of children, but the current state destroys their idealism quickly.

How do we fix this? One word sums it up, in my opinion: RESPECT!
**respected workers are paid a salary that recognizes their training and their value.
**respected workers have opportunities to grow through further education and advanced degrees for which they are recognized and compensated.
**respected workers are given the support they need - coaching and mentoring without punishment, disciplinary support and intervention with troubled students, communication with special ed colleagues and appropriate and adequate assistance.
**respected workers have an actual salary schedule so that they can plan for the future.
**respected workers KNOW that they are respected.
**respected workers have some control over their own environment and share decision making with administration.
**respected workers come to work joyfully.

Privatization is starving our public schools! Wisconsin cannot afford two separate school systems. Private schools have total autonomy while public schools are required to meet many mandates. Those mandates are by and large good ones, but they cost money, money private schools do not have to spend and benefits their students do not receive. Special needs students now may attend private schools, but the private schools are not required to provide for those special needs despite the larger tuition they receive. Milwaukee Public Schools are left with a very unbalanced student population of far far far more special needs kids who may also be disruptive. It’s a miracle that the teachers in MPS get better outcomes from their kids than many private schools. And we wonder why we teachers are leaving the profession?

Name
Clara S
Comments

Teachers are leaving the profession in droves due to the stringent requirements that are laid upon us each year. Every time I return from summer break, I'm always in a state of panic wondering what admin has developed...which is yet another list of requirements to do this and engage in that, etc. within a limited time frame. Time and lack thereof is the one thing that will likely drive me away from this profession. I want to stay in it for the kids. I love my students. They fuel my soul. However, I'm not sure how many more years I can deal with the Effectiveness Plan, gathering artifacts to prove my worth, professional development that is irrelevant, WoW Wednesdays which do nothing for me (seriously, who came up with such an acronym), mandated Professional Learning Communities, no time to plan departmentally, prep hours spent on logistical stuff and completing Ubd modules while I could be lesson planning, staff meetings on topics that are just absurd, required professional readings that don't pertain to me, parent emails, etc. The list is never-ending. The time I'm given to fulfill all these requests is not.

Name
Hallie Schmeling
Comments

Require meet and confer. It should be required that teachers are at the table when decisions are being made for a district.
Increase teacher salary to matc or exceed cost of living increases.
No doubt that this is a teacher exodus - the profession is no longer attractive nor attainable. Stop making new pathways/licensures.

Name
Raymond Klammer
Comments

Fire the asshole administrators that think the teacher day is 24/7 and will threaten to fire you if you don’t do everything they think they’ve told you to do. As if teachers are now clairvoyant. Communicate to the public and politicians that generally when labor shortages occur, salaries go up; not qualifications are reduced and hurry-up training programs are put in place to quickly fill vacancies. Tell school districts and local and state governments to adequately fund education so teachers don’t have to go out and buy books and supplies for their students. Limit classroom sizes to 18 students between k and 2nd grade 25 students between 3rd and 8th grade, and no more than 28 between 9th and 12th grade. Give teachers power to discipline and/or retain students instead of working in the never ending paper pushing revolving door that now exists and still only holds the teacher accountable. Create accountability measures not based solely on teacher performance for administrators, supervisors, and specialists and when goals are not met, remove them from those positions.

Name
Teacher L
Comments

Get rid of the busywork involved with Effective Educator Evaluations-i.e. surveys,etc.-takes away from teachers planning time. Teachers hate the time this takes away from working on their lessons.

Require that teachers work a minimum of 10 years in the classroom before becoming administrators. My best principals were in the classroom for over 20 years and they saw the whole picture and worked very hard to be fair and therefore teacher morale was high. I have seen too many mediocre teachers get their admin degree within their first 3 years of teaching and shortly thereafter becoming a principal and being clueless about how to interview candidates to hire the best teachers and had no idea how to work with teachers on classroom discipline because they were never in the classroom long enough to fine tune their own discipline procedures.

Stop hiring only first year teachers for every experienced teacher that retires or quits just because it is the cheapest way to get a teacher. New teachers need the role models experienced teachers can provide.

Higher salaries.

My daughter was interested in becoming a science teacher because she had an excellent teacher at her high school that motivated her but she was going to college after ACT 10 and I strongly suggested that she not consider this career path because her salary would never keep up with the cost of living. She got a BS in Science and is pursuing an advanced degree in the science field that has nothing to do with teaching science. Thank you ACT 10.

University Education classes need to address trauma, behaviors and classroom discipline and just the day to day issues that teachers deal with.

Less testing of students.

Get Specialists back in the schools-Music, Art, PhyEd, Library Media so students can have a well rounded educational experience and classroom teachers can have planning time.

Name
E PR
Name
Debra Timko
Comments

In no other occupation do you have to attend college, do 12 weeks of on-the-job training for free (student teaching), and then, pass 3 state boards to make a whopping $43,000/year. A Master’s gets you up to $45,000. I teach the most severely impaired students. I love working with them every day. I must then do another 40 hours/week of paperwork. It is unlikely that I will continue working in the field without a significant pay increase (high 50’s), and the elimination of at least 1/3 of the required paperwork (duplicate, meaningless, and inaccurate portrayal of students’ abilities). I would love to help you fix this problem.

Name
Shannon Davis
Comments

I left the field simply because I get paid much more than the pennies Education pays for having to deal with, the unruly environment, kids have no consequences for their actions/behavior and no longer desire to work in a school where 98% of the students get free lunch, yet wear $200 Air Jordan Sneakers and carry IPhones to School.
NO THANK YOU, YOU CAN HAVE THAT ZOO ALL TO YOURSELF!!!!!!!

Name
Mary Bandor
Comments

The best way to restore adequate or better compensation is to let the shortage happen. It’s simple supply & demand.

Name
Brendan Burns
Comments

I left the profession because the demands of being a teacher required that I sacrificed my life with my family. Work is constantly taken home for nights and weekends. Even when there is a "break" much of the time is used for planning, grading, reflecting, or digital communications. To add to this the amount of time, effort, and stress associated with the job does not correlate with the salaries paid. I now work a 9-5 job and get paid over 50% more with less stress, responsibilities, and more family time.

Name
Gail Halmstad
Comments

I am responding as a classroom teacher of 30+ years and as student teacher supervisor, UWEC adjunct reading teacher, introductory education courses instructor for 16 years. What I heard from my students thinking about teaching as a career were multiple reasons:

1. Accumulation of student debt - usually around $20,000 and upwards
2. Cost of edTPA, other tests needed for certification
3. Lack of respect for the profession. No wonder the no. of students going into education has dropped 50% at UWEC!

From seasoned teachers:

1. Emphasis on time spent on testing practice & taking the tests
2. Extra & unreasonable demands being made without the teacher voice
3. Lack of consideration for the whole child & multiple intelligences
4. Greater behavioral issues even as young as Kindergarten
5. Ignoring of best practice & attention to developmental stages of learning

Name
Charla DeClark
Comments

-huge class sizes with high percentage of special ed and ELL students
-terrible pay for teachers returning to the profession after staying home with their kids. You basically start over
-lack of discipline in school
-Unreasonable expectations placed on teachers
-students aren’t held accountable
I think the biggest problem is lack of pay. Kids graduating with other degrees are making 10-30,000 a year more than teachers. It’s sad when a teacher discourages their own kids from teaching.

Name
Dan Mundell
Comments

Get rid of act 10!! It is an assault on the teachers rights!!

Name
Michele Bartelt
Comments

I have been teaching for 18 years primarily K-8th grade, Art. The teacher shortage is due to the lack of compensation, crumbling benefits, little support in the classroom for students with high needs, increasing demands on professional development ( without compensation) and a lack of respect for the profession as a whole in the community.

Name
David Siekmann
Comments

I retired because I couldn't teach in a classroom where kids could defy me, swear at me, come to class late, defy school rules, and daily disrupt my teaching with no fear of being suspended. I had forty-six eighth graders in my math classes which couldn't learn because our administrators refused to suspend the kids who were destroying our school. I was also trying to break up fights almost daily. My school used to be an excellent school kids could learn.

Name
Charles Smith
Comments

Teachers having to walk a tight rope while students say and threaten you in Milwaukee suburbs. If a student is causing a disruption or not working its because the teacher is not engaging them. Just one more way to make most situations the teachers fault. Add pay not even keeping up with inflation or just barely and constant stress few or no preps. I quit after 14 years expect to double my income in 5 years.

Name
Sarah Kowalske
Comments

Pay teachers a salary to reflect their professionalism and societal importance. Reintroduce salary schedules with raises for experience and continuing education. I have not had a significant wage increase since ACT 10. That’s pathetic. Because of this, I haven’t been able to afford to finish my Masters degree and have to work part time jobs during the school year and summer to make ends meet. I’m burned out and feel disrespected.

Name
Emily Marsho
Comments

I am in my 2nd year of teaching and have spent the majority of the weekends and breaks researching other career paths that I can do with an education degree. The lack of support I have in my classroom for my high-needs special education students has been beyond frustrating this year. Not only is my class loaded with ALL of the special education students at my grade level (again, with VERY little support), but I also have a classroom full of immature students who do not provide those students with positive peer role models. The pressure to put in endless hours both at school and at home and getting compensated poorly for those hours that I put in is also wearing on me. I feel like I am reaching my breaking point already and I feel like a failure every day because of it. I don't want to continue working in a job where I will always be undervalued and underpaid while also feeling like nothing I do will ever be good enough.

Name
Sandy Swanson
Comments

Eliminate Act 10. That is when good qualified people were forced to leave, retire or take major pay and insurance cuts. Teachers who earn more in popular districts are let go for cheaper, newer teachers. School choice also impacts teaching in public schools negatively as ps teachers need to meet needs of all students choice schools say you cannot meet our standards goodbye. I also believe teachers need a background in educating all kids, subject knowledge is important but knowing how to get all students to comprehend it and use it is more important. Society needs to understand schoolwork cannot be like they were when they were in school.

Comments

I fail to see the teacher shortage in my area. I know more than 20 teachers looking for a job with no luck. The districts hiring need to be more open minded about who they hire. A master’s degree doesn’t mean that teachers are more qualified or experienced. Also, there are many professionals who are trying to teach but finding many roadblocks.

Name
Zakary Heimerl
Comments

For me, it’s three issues: 1) lack of professional compensation, 2) increasing labor demands, and 3) lack of professional autonomy — in that order.

Compounding these three issues is the fact that no changes occur on reasonable timelines in the world of education. I can’t wait any longer. My family can’t wait any longer.

I need my time back, and I need to make more money now — not vaguely in the future.

For these reasons, I will be leaving the teaching profession after 11 years of teaching middle school and high school English in four different districts throughout CESA 1.

Name
Peter Michaud
Comments

I have been teaching for over 35 years. The last eight years have been difficult. Stagnant salaries, the worsening of employee benefits and hostile work environments have increased stress in the world of educators. Experienced teachers long for ways to get out. Younger teachers wonder how long they will last.

Name
Lisa Becker
Comments

I left teaching 1 year ago! I am part of the statistics.
I HAD to quit a job I loved or face certain nervous breakdown.

Name
Cathy Stresing
Comments

Without a doubt there is a great teacher shortage and morale is very low. Respect for the profession is at an all time low. On the other hand, as an experienced teacher, I am having difficulty finding a good paying job because districts are, in my opinion, looking for young and inexpensive teachers. I mean no disrespect to those new to the profession as we need them desperately, I simply feel that districts are not looking at teachers with experience as being a good thing.

Name
Eric Rosenquist
Comments

Hi, I would like to suggest that Act 10 that was passed in 2011 has had a lasting impact on the teacher shortage in Wisconsin. Teacher morale has been low due to the lack of respect that educators feel from both their legislators and the public. Teacher salaries have dropped from 18th to 33rd in the nation since 2011. Teachers are no longer able to collectively bargain over benefits and working conditions and they are only able to bargain up to CPI, which is typically around 1-3%. On top of that, legislators require unions to re-certify every year and payroll deduction of union dues is prohibited. These seemingly administrative changes to labor law have sought to bust unions and, in result, have limited educators' voices in their workplaces. The cumulative effect of Act 10 is a disrespect for the teaching profession, which influences young people's choices to pursue a career in the classroom. I ask that the Task Force recommend a repeal of Act 10 and restore state public education funding to pre-2011 levels.

Name
Alice Ellis
Comments

I became a teacher when I pursued a mid-life career change. I enjoyed this vocation, but I also saw first-hand the shortfalls and stressors that make it difficult for all teachers, especially new teachers. First, schools are reluctant to follow through with a behavior plan that assures safety for staff and students. Yes, teachers often feel unsafe. Second, in Wisconsin it seems repetitive to do a portfolio (I am not sure the correct term) for a first-time teacher to renew her/his license. This is a rerun of what was done in University studies. Third, class size influences the success of teachers and students. It is common that the class size is too large, and teachers know that they are not able to do their best. Fourth, it is no secret that teachers’ wages are low and financial resources for classroom supplies are practically nonexistent. Fifth, the pressure for improved “test scores” does not match the reality that teachers are asked to be all things to all people. Please let teachers teach; they know their craft and deserve respect. Wisconsin, do not cave into mediocre educational opportunities for our youth. In the past, through hard work Wisconsin built a reputation for good schools, and there are no shortcuts to make this happen today. Good teachers are eager to support this dream to empower all students to know themselves and participate in meaningful ways in our needy world.

Name
Tabatha Gundrum
Comments

The FORT test is not at all culturally responsive and it is biased as a result; preventing great teachers from being able to complete their license requirements. The GPA requirements that are on licensure programs for entry need to be reexamined. The GPA is not the only determining factor for student success and there are many that believe that criteria is out of date. The detailed license application information for some of our teachers from higher ed also prevent them from getting full licensure for the K-12 environment. We are OK with them teaching at the post graduate level, but they aren't at all qualified to teach at the K-12 level (example: Art). How is that possible? I think many areas need to be reviewed as a result of this. A great data point for review would be the license areas that "emergency" licenses have been requested in and where those requests are coming from. That data would be very informative to drive a deeper conversation to address the issues that are still present in our current system.

Name
Cindy Kuhrasch
Comments

I am the program director for the Physical Education teacher education program at UW-Madison. After listening to the Green Bay session, I wanted to enthusiastically affirm the many benefits of having teacher education students practice their craft in the schools.

We revised our program to include a series of methods/practicum courses in which students complete what I lovingly refer to as the "shampoo, rinse, repeat" process, in which they meet the students, plan for them, teach to them (sometimes weep a little), reflect, and repeat the process. Not only are our students increasing their skills in an exponential manner, they are also seeing, first-hand, what is happening in the schools.

Benefits of these experiences include:

School district teachers and administrators seeing the passionate and high quality teacher candidates.
Cooperating teachers having an opportunity to share their wisdom and best practices.
Cooperating teachers benefiting from new methods and resources.
Students gaining exposure to the school environment.
Students having the opportunity to practice their teaching skills in a safe and supportive manner.
University staff reflecting with students on their experiences and shaping instruction to better meet their educational needs.

By adding some additional staff to support this kind of programming, the benefits could continue to increase.

Thank you for engaging in these discussions.

Name
J B
Comments

I believe it was near election time in the fall that the Wis. Government changed grade level certification for teachers. I think it is now PK-9 and 3-12. They also created a general science certification rather than specialties. These are horrible idea for teachers and students. Someone who is interested in working with 5th graders is not the same person who would want to teach high school. The same goes the other way.
As a parent of high school students, I value the quality science education they get in high school from their science teachers who have specialized in their fields. As a scientist who studied physics (not for teaching), I would not have had the same interest or talent in such a diverse discipline as biology. I believe we weaken our education system if we do not reverse these changes that were not made with educator input. I am thankful my children are old enough that they will not be harmed much/any from these new changes, but I am upset that other children would be. Such changes in the licensing can further discourage students from going into teacher and young families from living in Wisconsin.

Name
Krista Olson
Comments

One thing that dramatically changed teaching in Wisconsin is Act10 and Gov Walker's feelings toward teachers and government workers. I was going to college to be an art teacher and changed my course of education due to it. It really felt like already overworked teachers with school loans end up vilified, and I decided to take a different career path. (as well as cuts to education usually meaning arts funding cuts first).

Name
Heidi Buss
Comments

I’ve been teaching since 1988. I always felt it was a calling and was very happy teaching. I loved going to school everyday and felt that I worked where I was respected, my opinions and ideas were taken seriously, my principal and other teachers supported me, the students and parents respected me, and the community supported education.
Now, I can’t wait to retire and feel anxious and defeated every morning as I pull into the teacher’s parking lot. What has changed? I feel a lack of respect from the White House all the way down to the local school board. When there is a problem, it is always the teacher’s fault. I have to be careful because all teachers have targets on their back. Then add the burden of filling out “Danielson” forms 3 times a year, tracking what I have done to help each student succeed, plus more is busy work. All classrooms need a teacher, a secretary to do paperwork, plus a paraprofessional. Teachers have to work with generational poverty, students who are traumatized, sick, hungry and carry burdens that no child or adult could deal with alone. There are many students who do not read at grade level, yet are supposed to learn from materials they don’t understand. I believe a lot of angry outbursts, low attendance and other negative experiences are the result of lack of resources for struggling kids. To save money, specialist who used to help students are sent back to the classroom. One teacher with 30 to 35 students and no extra help means there is little or no support for the student, and once again it’s the teacher’s fault that some student test scores are low. Students need to have more recess, nutritious food, time to have some fun activities during the school day. High school students need to get up, move around and have a little time to socializes. How productive could a person be at their job if every 50 minutes you had to move to a different room and start something new? Society has changed, but schools are still stuck in the past. Teachers need more planning time each day, and need principals and parents to back them up. Schools can not fix society’s problems. We need to rethink of a school as the hub of a community. Don’t take away our unions, make laws that limit our salaries while making us pay more for benefits. My take home pay gets smaller every year. Do you know of any job where you are expected to provide your own office supplies to do your job? Or, if you want to do something special you have to pay for everything out of your pocket? Teachers have to. Do the math. If I want to do an activity, I have to take my personal time to buy materials, and if I have 30 students and the project costs $1.00 per student, that’s $30.00. Then what if you want to do something special more than once a year, it adds up. Then every few years someone decides all teachers need to do something and different, because it will help students learn. We spend time learning the new process, teaching our students the new process and just when it begins to gel, we have to stop using the new process because there is a different better way to teach something. Teachers work in schools that are old, little money has been spent on repairs, so classrooms have garbage cans scattered around to catch rain coming in from a leaky roof. Many schools do not have AC. It’s almost impossible to teach and learn when it’s 90 or more degrees outside, plus very high humidity. Or the heat doesn’t work well in winter so you are dressed in 3 or more layers of clothing and wear gloves. Teachers must never leave their classroom unattended. We learn to drink small amounts of fluid during the day because we just can’t use the bathroom when the need arises. Many teachers have medical problems with their bladders. To end my rant, I want respect, I want to hold students and parents responsible for teaching their children manners, respect, that it’s not ok to swear or disrupt the classroom. I want to be paid a wage similar to any other professional who has worked years in a profession and has earned a Master’s degree. I don’t want to do meaningless paperwork. Give me a secretary and a paraprofessional to help me. Give me time to plan thoughtful lessons, allow me to determine the best way to teach lessons. Give students (K -12) exercise, recess, healthy snacks everyday. Make appropriate consequences for those who do not act appropriately. An “I’m sorry, and I promise not to call you a bitch again”, just doesn’t mean anything. Teacher’s don’t have time to solve all of society’s problems. Hire properly trained professionals who have time to council kids. Schools are not inviting to look at or spend a good part of a day in. Responsibility, respect, following directions and kindness needs to be taught by parents. The parents need to know or be taught they have a big role to play in helping their children become successful . I want respect from the general public, media, lawmakers, principals, students, and parents. I want parents to teach skills to their children about how to act and learn before they enter school. Pay me what you would pay any other professional with my experience and degrees/certificates so I can teach in other areas. More time during the school day to prepare. Don’t take away my union, my voice or my self respect. I have dedicated most of my life teaching and making it possible for the next generation to learn to become lifetime learners. Change schools. There is a lot of research about what makes schools better for our 21st century learners. We need firm guidelines, consequences about using cell phone and other technology in the class room. Parents have called during class to talk to their child. Cell phone use and computer usage interferes with learning and teaching. I am not allowed to touch a student or take a phone or computer away from a student. Give teachers a larger voice in school policy making. I want fair pay, to be respected as a professional, not micromanaged, and my union. PS: Let’s figure out a way for high schoolers who want to learn a trade. Start a program in high school that works with trades and education to help them grow. Not everyone in high school wants to go to college, so let’s figure out a way to do this.

Name
Candi Matthews
Comments

My biggest issue is the test they make you take to be a teacher the ad TPA is a perfect example of what a teacher should be able to do not a fort test not the Praxis. I’ve been on an emergency license for three years had to add $15,000 to my debt in order to be even able to get close to an emergency license. And I’m a person who wants to be a teacher a special ed teacher on top of that. So I don’t agree with the tests. my biggest issue is the test they make you take to be a teacher the Ed TPA is a perfect example of what a teacher should be able to do not a fort test not the Praxis. I’ve been an emergency license for three years had to add $15,000 to my debt in order to be even able to get close to an emergency license. And I’m a person who wants to be a teacher a special ed teacher on top of that. So I don’t agree with the test

Name
J C
Comments

Think of it this way. If you posted a job ad where the true job description was stated and it said, we are looking for young individuals who are willing to...

1. Come to work before the sun comes up.
2. Leave from work after the sun goes down.
3. Take home a bag of work to complete each night, including the weekend.
4. Spend your day managing 25-30 individuals by yourself. Oftentimes dealing with behaviors that result in no real consequences, as well as great academic gaps to work through.
5. Attend meetings and trainings that are constantly telling you that you need to do something different.
6. Expose yourself to a lack of respect from some students, and sometimes parents.
7. Make less money a year than the professionals you are hoping to produce in your classroom while completing Steps 1-6.

How many people would truly be lining up to apply for that job? Most college students are looking for a job that will allow them to make money, not take their money.

Don't get me wrong. I love my profession. I love my students. I've been doing it for almost 20 years. But, in those years I've seen some changes that make me think about how my life might have been different if I had chose another profession. I've put in crazy hours over these years, and in most careers I would be living extremely comfortable right now. Not in education. The one profession that allows all other professionals to do their professions DOES NOT get any respect. Teacher Appreciation Week does not count! My students don't want to be teachers. They'll even say we make no money and get no respect, and their 5th graders! They want to be professional athletes. That's who they respect.

Name
Mary Kramer
Comments

1. Stop making everything about test scores
2. Pay a decent wage + insurance
3. Dont guilt teachers into coaching, clubs, committees, etc...
4. Let teachers teach. Stop micromanaging and over-evaluating
5. Support teachers who keep high standards. Too many parents and kids are guilty of "the customer is always right" mentality.

Name
Jill Budde
Comments

1.) Take away the PRAXIS exams. Put the money they bring in into the schools and the kids 2.) Take away all of the assessments 3.) Take away the Common Core 4.) Hire School CNAs to help with all of the medical issues. (Support staff and teachers should not have to administer medications for seizures and such. They really shouldn't even have to administer EPI-pens. (The latter adds to the anxiety staff has.) Let schools hire MANY more professionals with experience in Special Education. (I currently work in a school where several students with special needs were put into one classroom because there aren't enough Special Ed teachers.) Let schools bring back discipline and consequences. More and more students lack respect for teachers and the teachers' hands are tied. Look to Finland as a guide. Stop pressuring kids to do more and more and more earlier and earlier and earlier. Let technology be part of the curriculum (maybe a special like PE and ART), but avoid having the teachers apply more and more and more into the classroom. Human beings are not meant to multi-task as much as teachers do. Find ways to ensure that school lunches and snacks are truly healthy.

Name
Michelle Bittick
Comments

I'm a retired educator. I worked for 25 years in Texas, where teacher shortage began years ago. They began an intensive alternative certification program for people with Bachelor's Degrees who wanted a career change. Teachers were hired in a school district and they were mandated to be in an Alt Cert Program through a local university or college. With that, they received additional support and were required to attend pedagogy classes one night a week and on Saturdays for a year. They had assignments to complete like on-the-job action research and worked very closely with the campus mentors and lead mentor. Although the programs struggled at first, I think that the vast majority hired were of exceptional quality and commitment.

In Wisconsin, I worked for the School District of Mauston. Leah Luke, 2010 Wisconsin State Teacher of the Year, from Mauston, leads the Educators Rising program in the district. I've been participating in a few activities that she has done with the students. In this program, students have this class during a "0" hour, and learn about teaching and encourage them to go into teaching. They visit schools to observe, go on college visits, tutor and mentor their peers and the youngest of students in the district. Mrs. Luke has a curriculum she helped write with the U. S. Dept. of Education. It's very successful. Maybe UW-Madison could help along with the other UW extensions with education programs, to promote and help fund this program by providing money to pay current teachers a stipend for doing this program with students.

I also believe that commercials viewed on television about students not drinking and driving or texting, we need commercials to promote the education field.

One last thing. Mentor programs in schools are not the caliber they should be. There need to be designated mentors for all new hire teachers throughout this state in all schools to help with the day-to-day successes and struggles. Rural schools are much more likely to struggle with a mentoring program, as administrators don't seem to know how to mentor "newbies" and the more experienced colleagues may not be trained to be mentors. They can be the staff member that helps the new teacher decide to leave the profession. I've seen it on a number of occasions in Texas and Wisconsin (including other districts across the state). A lead mentor program where a mentor helps multiple district teachers and supports them in their first years will keep teachers in the profession. They need a positive influence. A lead mentor should provide this.

Name
Kathie Heroux
Comments

Wisconsin has gone through teacher shortages in the past unfortunately some of the past solutions will not work today. One factor is the loss of respect, too much political interference and too much value in testing rather than actual value in individual value of the teachers' method of connecting with each student.
Please consider contacting former teachers and get their input on methods that were successful in their past experience with all levels of student abilities!

Name
Patricia Glover-Howard
Comments

Hello,

This is definitely an old problem. By now our K-12 schools should have created pipelines to get people on the pipeline to fulfill roles as teachers, IT professions, welders (or any other reported shortage job).

We need to look outside of America if we cannot find the answers within our country.

These problems are solvable.

Thank you,

Patricia

Name
Mary Kinsey
Comments

I have taught for the past 18 years. The following things have changed and increased my stress tremendously.

*loss of resources, including staff members
*larger class sizes
*more responsibilities (psychologist, trauma informed, etc.) every year
*more behavioral issues with less consequences (there are natural consequences in the community)
*larger amount of families living in poverty
*larger amount of kids with trauma
*low pay (doesn't keep up with the cost of living)
*lack of respect for teachers
*new initiatives/curriculum every couple of years
*many hours spent outside of contract time doing work (10-20 per week)
*too much testing (one test does not show what most kids can do and it doesn't test creativity)
*Educator Effectiveness
*lack of family support (for various reasons)

Name
Sandra Haack
Comments

Retired 30 years teaching. One professional who presented information on how to help make teachers more vital, vibrant and wanting to stay on the job. He said something similar to this affect : " teaching and education is like a train.... every year more demands, more mandates, more professional development objectives, are added onto the train. like box cars. Eventually the train is so long because when cars are added none are ever removed". That is an overwhelming feeling, especially at an inservice in January when there is still half of the school year to go. I have never been for merit pay in education. Teaching is already set up competitively within departments and from department to department. I am referring to a high school setting. Morale, respect, appreciating the integrity of what it takes to go into education are so important. Parents and community taxpayers often times forget how much powerful learning is taking place on any given day in a school building. I once told a principal , , , "walk down all the hallways in a school building on any given day and just listen to all that's going on". Where would you find all these skilled, crafted, professional people in one building, at the same time, doing what they love best, , , , teaching others about their gifts, instilling interest and curiosity in all different areas. Academia was and still is fascinating to me. In a staff meeting to see all these individuals converge in one lecture hall for an inservice or staff meeting. We were all so different in what we taught but it's the education, the information we all had to learn to teach. . . . I was thankful to be a teacher,,,, I was proud to be a teacher. However I rarely said anything when I was out in the community because sometimes the comments were good,,, other times people didn't think twice about telling you what they felt about teachers, money hungry people, taking money out of the wallets of community people. Much talk about education revolves around money . . . more money , , , , money for , , this that and whatever. I would challenge people when they responded negatively to me about what I did for a living , , , , "maybe you chose the wrong job to be in , , , maybe you should go to college ,,,, get a degree in education , , , and then you could be having all the fun that I'm having". Of course it was satirical and sarcastic but the next response was usually " I could never do what you do, day after day standing in front of class, talking, teaching.". Some people said they wouldn't last 5 minutes in a classroom. So I do agree that teaching is a calling, , , you gotta want to. Having the type of administration at the state government level making teachers second to scoundrels and bad people did not help at all. I have former students who went into teaching and some left in those 8 years with a change in state administration. Most sad, , , some of the most qualified are leaving the profession. When I've talked with foreign exchange students ,,, in other countries teaching is more revered, they refer to their teachers are professors. To me , , , the morale, the boosting of the image of teaching, making the teaching profession more valued and respected needs to happen. That said,, , , , there was a Assistant Principal in our school who said when he drove down the street in nice weather with the windows down in his car, , , he hated when he had to be stopped by red lights. If kids were on the sidewalks who recognized him, , , they would yell at him, swear at him . . . .. yell out all bad things. Not sure how that will ever be cured.

Name
kevin fadrowski
Comments

I have taught for the past 24 years. I believe the following have contributed to a teacher shortage.

- Lack of respect from parents/communities/etc.
-Lack of pay and reduction in overall benefits
-ACT 10 (reduced pay for teachers by increasing retirement and health care contributions)
-No pay scale for teachers so they can see advancement
-Pay tied to the CPI
-Job has gone from educator to parent, counselor, trauma responsive collaborator, etc. Not enough time in day so teachers take work home causing burnout.
-Why spend 5 years in college accruing debt to make a starting salary of $40,000. Can make this as a county worker. Make more as plumber, etc.
-Simply stated, JOB is too demanding.

Name
Lisa P
Comments

Hi, it looks like I'll be one of the few non teachers to comment. As a mom of two young children, I have a few ideas:
*Something, perhaps another task force or a marketing campaign, needs to be done to bridge the gap between the perception of the teacher and political parties. There HAS to be a happy medium aside from the rhetoric.
*Open up the requirements and allow those with professional experience to teach. I have a Masters degree in Accounting and was a TA in college. I would gladly teach now if I didn't have to get add'l schooling. I think you might be surprised at the number of people willing to make a career change. This may be challenging for the elementary grades but for middle and high school I think there could be some value here.
*Create a document that details the monetary value paid for ALL benefits received by teachers and staff (i.e pay, healthcare, retirement, workers comp, etc) and have a listening session where this is compared to other private sector jobs in the area. I personally would love this. I think we need to show comparisons apples to apples to gain public support. We do this at work to show staff all of the benefits they receive and it has been helpful. Then a clear difference can be identified.
*Give teachers more creative freedom. They have amazing ideas and want to teach but the regulations are holding them back.
*More open dialogue on budgets and spending. People like to know where their money is going. I spend a lot of time explaining why we are spending money and on what. Everyone wants to know that there money is being spent well. There are school financials available but I don't think they provides a very clear picture for most of the population.

Name
R
Comments

I like salary increase over loan forgiveness. One could also give scholarships for people to study teaching. Loan forgiveness removes responsibility of one's own dept. I'd prefer to help people reduce the need for large student loans and dept.

Teachers also need more say in what and how things are taught. They are the experts and should be treated as such.

Let's stop ranking schools based only on test results. It does not consider that some students come with weaker backgrounds and some teachers have to work harder to help bring students to benchmarks.

Act 10 demoralized teachers....who would want to teach after teachers were demonized by politicians and the public. Act 10, stating salary increase cannot exceed the cost of living but can be lower, means the standard of living for teachers will stay the same or fall. If Wisconsin wants teachers, Act 10 should be reversed.

Name
E J
Comments

I feel that low pay is one issue that we all feel.
Student loan debt is big too...with little forgiveness given. Every day I see people not getting their loans forgiven because they did not submit paperwork properly or its lost...a huge run around on the Federal level.
Low respect by parents. I don't know how many times I have heard "he's your problem now, I'm at work." Or "I'm at work, I can't come." Parents that can't/won't parent and drop off children at school expecting teachers to not only educate their children but teach the manners and at times ethical/morals. I have told to teach them myself when telling a parent their child stole from me some object ... parent actually told me to hide my things and he won't take it then! It's like parents don't want to be parents.
Admin treating you with little to no respect. Observations that are filled with so many objectives that you are doomed to failure. Observations made by admin staff that do not know your field of expertise deciding if you are an acceptable teacher. How can they give you an evaluation on a special ed teacher if you do not have experience in that type of classroom?
Or your students must test at their grade level when the tests shows they are 2 to 3 grades lower. Then when they fail miserably you come down on the teacher for not bringing them up to grade level...going up 10 points in a semester for my kids was a major achievement but not good enough for some. SMH
No prep time means IEPS must be done at home or before/after school...homelife suffers when testing and/or IEPS are due.
Sped teachers feel like an afterthought when budgets are done, meetings, planning, etc.

Name
Sarah Ratelis
Comments

The discussion needs to be more about the demoralization of the educational professionals in the US because is it the system that is driving away the very professionals it needs to thrive. Demoralization stresses that the structures and procedures of the institution work against the purposes of the teacher and undermines their professional judgement and expertise. That repeated undermining of one's status of a professional will drive them away from the job and possibly the career.

Like many things, true masters of their craft make it look easy and often non-educators don't know how much goes on behind the scenes in order to have a well-run lesson and classroom. There are also expectations of doing it for the children, being subservient to parents, the "disappointment" when teachers strike for better working conditions because they are inconveniencing parents with "real jobs" etc. So there some people assume teaching is easy and therefore a low skilled job and should be compensated as such. That coupled with the "lower taxes at all costs" elected officials have made it so that public schools cannot adequately compensate educators like they once did and places the blame on the teacher for not being enough to do both the job of educator and still have a life not welded 100% into teaching. When I read about teacher burn out the articles are usually filled with "helpful hints" like you'll burn out if you're not eating healthy enough, not finding enough time to work out and not doing enough "self-care" while still finding enough time to give 110% into taking care of all of their students and keeping up with the required paperwork, assessment, data walls, differentiation for instruction and generally weathering the emotions of dozens of developing children. It is implied that if you burn out, it is your fault, obviously because you couldn't hack it and if the US could focus on doing a "better job" of training/screening/hiring educators the crisis would be averted.

School teachers are still predominately women and in the past, teaching was one of the few acceptable options for talented women. As more opportunities have opened up in other fields, it is inferred that anyone who chooses to become an educator is of lower quality (because they couldn't do anything else) or that intentionally picking a career with a lower earning potential is for schmucks, I was valedictorian of my HS and had full rides for my undergraduate and masters in science and when I decided that I was more interested in researching educational best practices for teaching science, and teaching science in 6-12 schools was more compelling than doing PhD research as I had originally planned, I had several people tell me that "I was wasting my education". In fact those scholarships made it financially possible for me to go into public education because I had virtually no student loan debt when I started teaching. So offering tuition loan forgiveness for undergraduate and graduate degrees of teachers should help them "afford" to become a professional educator. Current Low Unemployment means that if you're unhappy with your wages and your boss says they cannot give you a significant pay raise then you're better off looking and likely finding a higher paying job or better working conditions. When the economy was tight in 2009, most people couldn't afford to leave education even if they felt under compensated. Now there is built up demand and the conditions are better for many to find employment elsewhere and thus they are leaving. So wages and yearly raises that EXCEED CPI are needed to keep teachers in schools. How can we continue to afford to be professional educators when we know that our future earnings will stagnate after hiring?

Teaching is a very physical and mentally challenging job. When you are on, you're on, in a typical day you get maybe 25 minutes of actual down time and not usually all at the same time! You need to be able to multi-task and provide organization for 20-45 or more students at a time and deal with the paperwork demands of the school, district, state and even sometimes federal level while keeping in contact with the parents for each student. Teaching requires you to mentally and emotionally focus on your students and you are making hundreds of decisions a day, from scanning the room to determine who gets the material and who will need more help, who you should call on to make sure that certain students don't dominate the discussion, thinking about the MOD you need to do for students with IEP, behavior monitoring, answering questions, taking attendance, formative assessments, RTI plans, data analysis, anticipating less preps, intentionally planning how to not bring work home, and it just piles on. You have to have back up plans ready for when everything goes bonkers to get the kids back on track and the wisdom to know when to fight versus going with the flow.

You often have to think laterally and find out ways to overcome a deficit. Sometimes it's because the student didn't get exposed to the content so you'll just have to teach it to them. However, most of the times, there's a mental block that has to be removed or you need to teach alternative ways to do the process. Teaching is like scientific research because good teachers have to do detective work to understand why a student has problems with a concept and develop targeted lessons to address those problems.

These are all things that have to be promoted to put education back into a career that is treated as a professional both socially and financially.

Name
A S
Comments

Update the school funding model to give schools a more realistic budget to work with, so they can compensate their staff in a way that makes the teaching profession attractive to students/people who would be interested in teaching if it paid a livable wage.

Look at teacher work-load and improve the teacher work environment, too many teachers are asked to teach multiple classes at the same time, with increasingly smaller budgets. Stress levels and job dissatisfaction go up and teacher quality of life go down. Teachers are just expected put in so many hours outside of contract time and to never say "no" to administration when they ask teachers to do more. Other work places do not require their staff to work outside of "normal" hours without compensation. Part of what will help in this respect is to give unions their rights again, to give teachers a voice and a unity that has been missing for quite some time. Teachers feel disrespected and downtrodden, repealing Act 10 would go a long way to bring back Teacher morale.

Stop programs that just increase the workload on teachers like Educator Effectiveness, people go into education to teach students, not to analyze data and write up their findings. Every few years districts find a new shiny program that they want teachers to implement, but none of the old initiatives go away, so the work load increases, while prep-time shrinks. When I started I taught 4 different high school classes (with 2 sections of 2 classes) we had 35 minutes before 1st hour to prep, plus 1.5 prep periods. Now we have 15 minutes to get ready for the day before 1st hour because our day starts earlier every year and we're down to 1 prep hour, and many of us have a higher load now, I now teach 8 different classes 6-12 in 6 class periods.

Increasingly emphasis is put on test scores and STEM classes, with the arts and world languages being undercut as "unimportant", this seems wrong in the global society that we live in today. I have seen it foster a fear and dislike of the 'other' in students and a shift towards being close minded, which will have a negative impact on the future of our country if we don't encourage our students to be well-rounded.

Name
Anna Westaby
Comments

Solving the teacher shortage is about more than just raising salaries. Yes, more money would help in many situations. And yes, for many impoverished districts, that money eould have to come from the state.
But what helps even more han money is supportive administration who actually listen to teachers, and a positive work environment where we care about each other more than work place politics.
I am blessed to work for a phenomenal public charter school in a great district. I was ready to give up teaching after my first year, but I found a school with a principal and superintendent who both value my subject (as a music teacher, that's relatively rare), a close-knit group of teachers who are welcoming and truly care about each other and our students, and an environment where teachers feel empowered to share their opinions and effect changes in our school for the benefit of our students. I don't get paid a lot. I am part time, and my school being a public charter, I am paid based on my enrollment numbers. I often work much more than I am technically being paid for.
But I feel valued and listened to, I have a say in my curriculum and school policies, and I know that my admins and colleagues care about both my professional and my personal life. That is what allows me to have enough in the tank to give of myself to my students and make those personal connections, and it is those personal connections that keep me teaching.

Name
Scott H
Comments

1. Get rid of utopian theory from Administration.
2. Stop putting sole focus on state tests and back on the students as a whole. Our kids are not data on paper.
3. Strictly college prep curriculum is wrong and blaming teachers for kids who cannot handle the work load of such curriculum is wrong.
4. Give teachers back their voice (union).
5. Pay

Name
Jacquelyn Welch
Comments

Increase funding of schools immensely so that schools have the ability to...

Lower ALL class sizes to 18 & under (to make teaching more manageable & create better learning environments for students)

And enough funding to dramatically increase teacher prep/planning time (for example: 30 minutes of prep time for each HOUR they teach) in order to give teachers time to plan effectively, differentiate, give student feedback, review data, & all the other things (behavior paperwork, PPG, SLO, parent communication, grading, etc) teachers are expected to do OUTSIDE of student-contact time. Teaching has become much more than the time in front of children—so the work day should reflect that. For instance, 5 hours of teaching students per day, with 2.5 hours of work/prep time to do the ‘extra duties’ we now have.

It sounds crazy and would require a big shift in funding for schools. But I don’t know any of my friends who work in business/other professions who ever schedule themselves seven hours of meetings per day & give themselves only a 1/2 hour to 1 hour per day to do non-face-to-face work.

Name
MA
Comments

Parents and teachers need to be on the same team, supporting students. Teachers burn out because of parents, not because of the children. Parents can help in so many ways that don’t take time or money. They can start by thinking that the teachers have the best intentions. Parents can start by remembering that it isn’t all about them or their pride. Parents can do so much just by being kind instead of demanding and hurtful. Parents talk to us like they have all the answers but they wouldn’t go into such a low-level field. It’s dehumanizing.

Name
Jacquelyn Welch
Comments

Increase funding of schools so that schools have the ability to...

Lower ALL class sizes to 18 & under (to bake teaching more manageable)

And enough funding to dramatically increase teacher prep/planning time (for example: 30 minutes of prep time for each HOUR they teach) in order to give teachers time to plan effectively, differentiate, give student feedback, review data, & all the other things (behavior paperwork, PPG, SLO, parent communication, grading, etc) teachers are ec

Comments

District administrators should be hiring people who are experienced and passionate about public education, not their friends who they think they can work with. Public education is not a business where one person can simply promote their next best friend.

Name
Bring Back the Respect Teachers Deserve
Comments

One big issue I see is that school district administrators need to hire school principals with EXPERIENCE. More and more principals are being hired on with very little teaching experience and leadership experience in which they are charged with leading a school of 450 plus students, faculty and staff. Educators being hired on as a principal with less than 10 years of teaching experience do not lead effectively because they do not have enough knowledge to run a school. District admins should not be hiring people they feel they can mold into a leader that can be told what to do (ie. hired on to be a puppet for district admins to direct in which ever they please). There are districts doing this, and it is creating poor working environments for teachers that lead to creating a lack of trust among teachers and administrators. We need knowledgeable and experienced principals and teachers in our high need schools, not principals and teachers that will come in and enable students to fail because if this happens, we are spreading the prison to pipeline and widening the achievement gap. Teachers who are passionate about teaching are being pushed out of their career because they are standing up and advocating for the needs of students and families. Because they stand up and voice concerns, administrators see them as a threat. Rather than administrators listening and wanting to work together to improve the situation, they are intimidating teachers which drive teachers out of the teaching profession. Teachers and administrators do not have the same goals anymore because all administrators care about is their DATA. Students are not numbers!

Name
Mandy Meloy
Comments

Teachers need to be respected by society. They give everything that they have. They need a livable wage, public support, and resources in the classroom. They need small classes and more people helping students. Teachers need mental health services for students. Resources to find balance. They are burning out in part because they are getting blamed, bitten, kicked, yelled at by students, parents, and community. Teachers are amazing and watch, care for, and love our children. Legislators need to see teachers as the experts, come in classes, and visit and ask what they can do to meet the needs of students and educators. It is a profession that all think they know because most of us went to a school, when in reality, we know little what a teacher actually does.

Name
Morgan Kitsemble
Comments

I am going to be a teacher and seeing news that we could possibly by debt free in Wisconsin makes me want to be a teacher even more. I am so worried about student debt and having a low yearly income when I am older. I 100% agree that having teachers be debt free is a great idea. Everyone needs teachers and it would help the state of Wisconsin education programs immensely.

Name
Morgan kitsemble
Name
Morgan
Name
Christine Peterson
Comments

As you very well know, this is a complex and multi-faceted issue. My comments address just a slice.
I think loan forgiveness is key to lowering a huge barrier for folks who would otherwise be interested in teaching. Parents, even those in education, are actively discouraging their kids from teaching. Loan forgiveness should extend to other critical shortage areas in WI as well, such as school psychology. All education related specialties are suffering from potential candidates being driven away from education, in part due to the expense and the loans on the other side..
As we have experienced shortages, we have also seen some dodgy pathways open, along the lines of degree mills and other pre-service models built on "fast and easy" lines to a teaching degree. Bad idea and we need to commit to high standards for education degrees, even as we move through a shortage issue..
A widespread public awareness campaign, to promote the respect educators deserve, could also help! Commercials the feature the special work educators do, that highlight the expertise and intelligence of teachers, etc...
Thank you for your work on the task force.

Comments

As an educator for over 10 years I can say that everything has gone down hill since ACT 10. I was hired to teach Art at the Hs level and now I teach 6-12, replacing 2 other art teachers in our district when they retired. Our districts only focus is sports, math and English. We care way to much what the community think and are constantly throwing money at ways to make our building more open to the public than worried about what our kids need. We have cut teachers only in the related arts area and then expect them to do the jobs of what multiple teachers used to do with the same pay. I teach 7 classes a day in a 7 period schedule, given one prep and expected to teach more than one curriculum in a class period. My pay is still under 50,000 and new teachers have come in making more or similar to me. Districts are so worried about getting new staff they ignore their current. Our district keep pushing us to get our master for a 3,000 raise. 3,000 isn’t enough to pay off the debit. This year our superintendent decided to give us a $1000 raise (under CPI) and then give anyone with a masters a raise to 50,000. The current pay scales mean nothing and now administration is free to pick and choose leaving Whatbtheynfeel is less valuable in the dust. To fix this we need to make sure our current and new teaching staff is appreciated and paid accordingly to a fixed state wide salary schedule that also compensates teachers who teach multiple different curriculums in a day. Get rid of all this testing and start teaching the whole kid through multiple class experience instead of shoving reading and math down their throats! I would be more than happy to discuss the issues of being an art teacher in today climate.

Name
Stacy Spencer
Comments

I think one of the issues could be that parents don’t parent their kids like they used to. So you have so many kids starting school that have zero life skills and all of that knowledge is the responsibility of teachers now. But it seems as soon as the kid screws up, rather than use that as a learning experience to teach their kids, parents blame others; teachers, other kids, the school, etc. Kids are not learning that sense of personal responsibility so when they get to be older students they have the attitude that they don’t have to do things they are supposed to or respect their teachers. So not only do teachers have to teach and have their students achieve high test scores, they also have to do the bulk of the parenting that isn’t being done at home with kids and deal with parents who won’t accept responsibility when something goes wrong. Also, competing with phones, tablets etc for the kids’ attention would get old. I’m not sure the answer, but maybe schools need to add more life skills classes (separate from the home room teacher having to do it) for kids starting at a young age since the parents aren’t doing it or figuring out a way to hold parents accountable for it (I.e. have to pass certain life skills tests before entering kindergarten, middle school, high school). If they don’t then it’s up the the parents to complete that education with them or pay for special classes within the school that will get them up to speed. Just ideas. There is a shortage of workers in many fields and I feel like young people don’t go into careers for the passion anymore. Anything that sounds challenging is not appealing to them. It’s going to be a challenge to turn this around, that’s for sure! Good luck!

Name
Kevin Schiebenes
Comments

I see the effects of the teacher shortage everyday. It is a devastating problem that will affect generations. I think everyone can agree that the solution to getting more respect for the occupation and to adequately recruit for the future is not paying teachers less, cutting benefits, increasing workload, and taking away much of teacher's union rights to fight for themselves and their students. I think we can clearly see from the teacher shortage that these do not work and never work for any industry. I think we should try a different experiment to increase the pool of potential educators. Most career choices are made for 2 reasons: do you feel connected to your occupation and believe in its purpose? And can you make enough money to feel adquately compensated?. Teaching will fulfill the first requirement because of the nature of the the occupation. Currently it is only the second that I feel needs to be fixed. In order to address the issue, we need to at least restore teacher rights and pay to inflation adjusted compensation before ACT 10. But I fear that this will not fix the problem for the long term. Unfortunately, a radically different compensation plan may be necessary to fix the problem for the long term. The old saying of "put your money where you mouth is" applies heavily here. If teachers are one of the most important occupations, then society needs to treat it that way. I believe teachers should be the highest paid public employees. Further, I think they should be compensated to the extent that they would be in the top 1% of wage earners in the country. This is how America shows it values something. It spends money on it. Lots of money. This radical increase in pay will definitely increase the teacher candidate pool. The profession will still attract people who are very idealistic and would be teachers for free if they had to. But with a radically increased pay, it will send a message to society that we care about teachers and will allow people who would be great teachers if they had security and support from society to make it their life's work. It would be very expensive to pay for this proposal, but we have spent more money on less Noble things in the past. I think this is a valuable experiment we should try.

Name
Nicole H
Comments

In response to another concerned citizen’s post below.... don’t forget to have legislators spend time in special education.... teaching a targeted reading class for students with learning disabilities, teaching a full day in a program for kids with intellectual disabilities and a day doing the job of a teacher who works with kids with emotional behavioral disabilities ... just for fun add in a speech path who has 47 kids she has to provide services for.

Name
Nicole H
Comments

In response to another concerned citizen’s post below.... don’t forget to have legislators spend time in special education.... teaching a targeted reading class for students with learning disabilities, teaching a full day in a program for kids with intellectual disabilities and a day doing the job of a teacher who works with kids with emotional behavioral disabilities ... just for fun add in a speech path who has 47 kids she has to provide services for.

Name
Anne Snieg
Comments

I was working as a school librarian at an expanding charter school. I loved what I was doing and was getting better at it. At the birth of my second child, I was finishing my masters in Library Science and had chronic pain. I asked to have shortened hours for the next year as a transition to the school expansion and a second library specialist would be needed. The only extra was extension of benefits for the school year to afford daycare. My school president said that “it was hard when his wife decided to stay home with the kids too”. I ended up leaving and finished my degree. I now work outside schools at a hospital library. And I love what I do there. I would’ve stayed. I would’ve been loyal. But they replaced me with a teachers’ aide, because I asked for a one year accommodation.

Name
Tony Hurd
Comments

If school boards around the US would sponsor qualified non-American teachers that would probably ease the shortage greatly. There are many Canadian teachers that would take up a full time position anywhere in the US but cannot get sponsorship for a proper work visa. I have contacted multiple school boards that are supposedly "desperate" for teachers only to be told they will not sponsor a teacher for an H1-B visa. So, if school boards would act as a sponsor, that would expand their hiring pool. If you aren't willing to do that then I would have to ask how desperate is the shortage? Obviously, not that bad.

Name
Gilberto Colon
Comments

I was a MPS teacher now retired, I noticed a that before 2009-10 the local teachers had more input and saying regarding practical curriculum development, we even picked by popular vote our teaching instruments like books and other materials, then slowly I noticed that the system started to centralized more and more, giving this teacher bound responsibility to the school administrators or central office and in the last few years all hell have broken loose, standards testing probes most of the time unrelated to classroom teaching culture, even the last year I was teaching, we needed Science books at my school, we picked very capable teachers to review the various offering by the publishers, we even sample many good series,,,,long story short the district cancelled the whole thing...and our science books were about 20 years old...they still had Pluto as a planet....this is just one of many stories..

Name
mike wittig
Comments

1. License teachers based on their knowledge rather than (or in addition to) their 'credentials' (courses, degrees, etc)
... expand teacher pool by recruiting based on what folks know rather than how they learned it
2. Flex-time. Yes, teaching is very intense. Increase retention through reduced work load. Recruit folks who only want to teach a few hours a day
3. Pay by the "teaching hour". Enable teachers to select best compensation package for them. Offer different pay for different jobs within a school
... Assume 'compensation package' to TEACH 1 class for 1 year is $20,000, HALL MONITOR 1 hour for 1 year $8000, ADMIN ASSISTANT 1 hour for 1 year $12000.
... Enable folks to meet their stress/stamina level by mixing jobs or reduced hours. Enable folks to choose compensation best for them (salary, health, retirement, etc)
4. Team-Teach for part of day reduces stress. Knowing 'other' team member can cover reduces absence stress. (The 'sub' system does not do this)
5. Define course objectives so teachers, parents, students know exact expectations for each course for the year on the first day of class. Definition reduces stress.
6. Have defined during/after school options for student discipline/academic problems. (No homework, fail test, discipline issue, go to study hall)
... "group" teaching requires a (somewhat) homogeneous group. Those too far out of the norm (special needs, lack control, lack motivation) need to be removed
ALL employers have the same problem. The labor force is changing, has different needs. Other employers get it. Schools do not. Other employers offer flex time, team projects, social interaction, volunteer options etc. Schools need to get on-board if they want to compete for today's employees. Days of the "super" teacher are gone.

Name
Denise Pray
Comments

Certify older degreed workers, who are done with the Corporate grind. Often we don't want to go back to college.

Name
Gretchen Klein
Comments

I was a teacher in Wisconsin for 15 years, my last five years were under Governor Walker. His cuts to many benefits for teachers, decreased funding for public schools- which caused increasing class sizes and more duties to be placed on teachers, decreased the morale so many teachers in Wisconsin- including myself, that I decided to do a different career.
Teachers need reasonable class sizes, which is under 27 students. Teachers need to feel supported by Administration and the public. Administration needs to not give teachers so many extra time consuming duties outside of preparing lessons, teaching, and grading papers. Those three basic things of being an educator take at least 45 hours a week, if not more. We need to prevent burnout of teachers who want to do a good job and spend a lot of time doing it. A higher salary and loan forgiveness would also be clear benefits to attract and retain good educators.

Name
Wendy Pliska
Comments

Undergrad schools need to get their act together. Young teachers come into the profession burdened by debt and underprepared. They get class after class in philosophy and theory but little to no practical instruction in classroom management, assessment, culturally responsive instruction, or trauma sensitive instruction. They are forced to work full time as student teachers with no payment - rather, they are paying full time tuition to their college and receiving maybe a few hours a week of instruction and mentoring. Let's get our act together - better prepared and better treated new teachers are more likely to stay in the profession.

Name
Nicole H
Comments

In response to another concerned citizen’s post below.... don’t forget to have legislators spend time in special education.... teaching a targeted reading class for students with learning disabilities, teaching a full day in a program for kids with intellectual disabilities and a day doing the job of a teacher who works with kids with emotional behavioral disabilities ... just for fun add in a speech path who has 47 kids she has to provide services for.

Name
Another Wisconsin Citizen
Comments

Teaching is the one profession I know where everyone has an opinion of how to do it best, based entirely on the fact that they were students for 12 years. Seriously - can you think of any other profession that requires years of education, training, and continued professional development that people think they could do better simply because they have experienced it? Can just anyone be an accountant simply because they've balanced a checkbook for years? a nurse because they've taken First Aid and CPR? a chef because they've cooked for years? Of course not, yet there is a pernicious perception that anyone can teach and that it's just not that hard.

On top of this, the devaluing of teachers has been going on for decades. The history of education in the United States over the past 75 years is one of increasing intrusion of administration and politicians into the classroom, while simultaneously stripping power from the teacher. In the late 80's, I was recruited into a program that trained people with bachelor's degrees in STEM disciplines for high school teacher certification. I taught science briefly in a rural high school in the south - long enough to realize two things: 1) I was not adequately prepared to teach the student population I had (no training in dealing with diversity, preparation that focused on the technical and content aspects of teaching without a deeper understanding of cognitive development in adolescence and how people learn) and 2) a new focus on standardized testing was going to dramatically change the relationship of teachers with their students, administration and community.

I believe that education programs have, on the whole, improved in their preparation of teachers before they go into the classroom, not least because we've learned a great deal about the actual science of how people learn. Unfortunately, we have continued barreling down a path of standardized testing that puts an incredible amount of stress on the students (I have two children in K-12 right now and see this every year), limits teachers' ability to best serve the students they have, and yields scores that are essentially meaningless unless you truly believe that a one-size-fits-all approach to education is working.

With all of the complaints about how we keep throwing money at education, I'd appreciate some transparency in how much school districts have to spend on these standardized tests. I don't doubt that the budget for some of this comes at the expense of cutting programs that would have much greater educational benefit to our students, especially in early years. We have ample evidence that a) learning a second language results in overall improved learning and cognitive development; b) learning to play a musical instrument improves neural activity and creativity, and helps students learn self-discipline; and c) physical activity improves learning and brain development. Yet, particularly in our rural schools, how much funding is there for second languages? music? phy ed?

Suggestions?
Recruit a few legislators to spend some time actually teaching. Visiting a showcase class isn't going to do it. Let them observe a class of 7 year olds for 3 days, then have them replace the teacher for two days. Then do the same thing for two different classes in middle school (I'm going to suggest 6th grade social studies and 8th grade algebra, just to get a range of experiences). Finally, do the same thing for high school (let's go for 10th grade English and AP physics). In addition to the actual teaching and behavior management in the classroom, they would also need to serve on lunch/recess and/or bus duty, develop lesson plans, grade homework, enter student grades in the school's learning management software, participate in school meetings, possibly coach an athletic team and/or other extra-curricular activity (let's say forensics or Science Olympiad), supervise a student teacher, and respond to student and parent queries that come into their inbox after school hours (I'm sure I'm overlooking several additional responsibilities the average teacher has in any given week).

More seriously:
1) Reduce standardized testing. It's unreasonable at this point to even imagine that we would eliminate it (despite the fact that a great many of us managed to be successful in life with less of this during our own education), but it's not working. I'm now a college professor and see impacts of standardized testing in my undergraduate students. Speaking broadly, they have been trained for 12 years to think that there is "one right answer" to every problem, have no clue what it means to actually study and learn something, and, overall, lack the ability to think critically or creatively. How could they have developed these skills when their classroom experiences have had to focus on preparing them to perform well enough on a high-stakes standardized exam (created by a committee somewhere in New York) to keep their schools funded?

2) Pay teachers salaries that communicate that we value what they do. People dismiss increasing teacher pay as a solution, but I question their priorities. As a society, we have no problem with athletes and celebrities being paid outrageous amounts of money for entertaining us for a few hours, but we balk at providing a living wage for those who are teaching our future city clerks, construction workers, administrative assistants, business managers, computer programmers, health care professionals, financial and legal professionals, and so on.

3) Reduce class sizes, particularly in the early grades. Ask any parent who's held a birthday party or chaperoned a school trip - there's a big difference between managing 15 eight-year olds and 25 (same for 13 year olds...) - and then extend that to seven hours.

4) Allow teachers the flexibility to tap into the creativity and passion that led to their choice to enter this challenging profession. Support them so that they don't burn out in their first five years. Provide professional development that helps them continue to add to their pedagogical toolkit by renewing and reinvigorating their teaching. Provide a mechanism in which experienced, excellent teachers can truly mentor younger faculty and facilitate their development.

5) Increase state support for higher education so students don't have to take on outrageous amounts of debt. This, of course, applies across the board for all college students, but why do we, as a state, assume that large numbers of people will be attracted to career in which they will amass debt during their training, then go to a job where they are underpaid and undervalued?

There really are easy answers - get the legislature out of our classrooms, get rid of the emphasis on standardized tests, increase state support for higher education, and improve teacher salaries. Somehow we managed to have an educated population when teachers were paid enough to support themselves and before standardized tests existed, so it is possible.

To act as if it's a surprise that the policy decisions of the past 20 years in this state have resulted in our young adults fleeing from education as a profession is disingenuous. One begins to worry that there really is a conspiracy to undermine American democracy by ensuring that its citizens are poorly educated, because that's the model we've achieved due to the combined efforts of our legislators and the educational testing industry.

Name
Kevin Schiebenes
Comments

I see the effects of the teacher shortage everyday. It is a devastating problem that will affect generations. I think everyone can agree that the solution to getting more respect for the occupation and to adequately recruit for the future is not paying teachers less, cutting benefits, increasing workload, and taking away much of teacher's union rights to fight for themselves and their students. I think we can clearly see from the teacher shortage that these do not work and never work for any industry. I think we should try a different experiment to increase the pool of potential educators. Most career choices are made for 2 reasons: do you feel connected to your occupation and believe in its purpose? And can you make enough money to feel adquately compensated?. Teaching will fulfill the first requirement because of the nature of the the occupation. Currently it is only the second that I feel needs to be fixed. In order to address the issue, we need to at least restore teacher rights and pay to inflation adjusted compensation before ACT 10. But I fear that this will not fix the problem for the long term. Unfortunately, a radically different compensation plan may be necessary to fix the problem for the long term. The old saying of "put your money where you mouth is" applies heavily here. If teachers are one of the most important occupations, then society needs to treat it that way. I believe teachers should be the highest paid public employees. Further, I think they should be compensated to the extent that they would be in the top 1% of wage earners in the country. This is how America shows it values something. It spends money on it. Lots of money. This radical increase in pay will definitely increase the teacher candidate pool. The profession will still attract people who are very idealistic and would be teachers for free if they had to. But with a radically increased pay, it will send a message to society that we care about teachers and will allow people who would be great teachers if they had security and support from society to make it their life's work. It would be very expensive to pay for this proposal, but we have spent more money on less Noble things in the past. I think this is a valuable experiment we should try.

Name
Nicole H
Comments

First solution? Repeal Act 10. I have been teaching for 17 years and Act 10 hit me hard. My school district at the time used the “tools” and decided a great way to save money was to reduce staff by about 20% and have high school teachers teach 4 blocks with no prep. Sure staff is compensated more but I can tell you that the turn over rate there is extremely high. When this happened I chose to leave, which I don’t regret, and took about a 7% cut in pay, which was then exacerbated by the requirement that we had to pay into our pensions at a rate of around 6-7% of our gross salary, higher contributions to healthcare, and the loss of some money from extracurricular pay I made... all combined my monthly income dropped about $600 that first year, which meant I had to foreclose on my home because there just wasn’t enough money and the housing bubble had popped (my home lost half of its value and I owed more than it was worth so no bank would allow me to refinance. I LOVE my current district, but it has taken me 7 years to make the same salary I did when I left my previous district. I’m fortunate that my district has great leadership and does try to listen to staff and has worked really really hard to keep our health insurance great, but I have lots of other friends who went from a $500 per year deductible to $4000 and are also paying more for that. Like many in the article said, we are simply stretched too thin.... the demands of teaching now are significantly more than when I started .... the increase in high stakes testing is a big part of it.... the educator effectiveness model is time consuming for teachers and admin. I probably spent a solid 20 hours completing mine. I’m a special education teacher and co teach science all day and am adapting curriculum for kids with extreme learning differences.... this fall I was at school at 545 am daily until anywhere between 6 and 8 pm trying to adapt curriculum, write IEPs, problem solve various issues, grade etc. first semester I averaged 61 hours a week where I was PHYSICALLY at school... not counting anything I didn’t weekends. Students are coming in with fewer social and emotional coping skills and more mental health issues which adds another layer... I have kids in my office as early as 615 begging to talk... and so we do, but I don’t have any real backup... guidance is busy with act, aspire, forward preparation, administration, and then going over results with kids. Our school psych and social worker both are split between multiple schools (and our high school is almost 1500 atudents). Parents are much more demanding than 10 years ago and if a child is doing poorly it is “how are you going to fix this” and not “what can my child/I do to help.” Constantly being told by the public we are lazy and overpaid because we only work 9 months of the year is disheartening. These are the issues I face.

So for solutions:
1). Study Finland. They have extremely high achievement for students. They also don’t believe in standardized teaching and teachers are held in extremely high regard ... why does that happen?
2). Increasing salary would be nice.... helping districts to decrease passed on health care costs would be more helpful for many
3) provide more time off for teacher in terms of sick days etc. Pre Act 10, I had 12 sick days and 1 persons day a year. If I was sick, I could actually stay home. I was also able to bank days which I had been doing for when I wanted to start a family. When I left I had 90+ days accumulated over 10 years... those didn’t get paid out or rolled over in any way... they were just lost. Now I get 6 sick days and 2 personal. I’ve had the unfortunate luck of having emergency surgery 2 times in the 7 years and broke my ankle which eliminated any time I had saved (and the rest of the time I took without pay until long term disability kicked in as I don’t qualify for short term) My sick bank/Fmla bank has a whopping 4 days in it meaning should I get pregnant I will be unable to take maternity leave because I literally couldn’t afford it. Many coworkers with kids go through all their days yearly, have no bank and end up taking days without pay. Suffice to say most of us go to work sick regularly when it would be better to be home. I have a friend who had a baby on a Thursday and was back to work on Monday because she didn’t have the time due to having to take days when her other child was sick and for doctors appointments. That is a problem. We work with kids... they are sick all the time!
4) change or get rid of educator effectiveness ... yes we need to be held accountable but the process is ridiculous
5) I don’t honestly know how to fix the time commitment and life/work balance
6) take the focus off of testing. We overtest our kids.
7) fund schools fully so there can be mental health professionals on staff... our kids legitimately need that
8) mandate that kids at all grade levels participate in social emotional wellness learning.... this will decrease mental health issues and behavioral issues in the classroom. I regularly spend my entire prep and time after school with kids who just can’t cope with demands of high school.
8) of you have a magic wand to wave that will help parents see us as equal players and work with us as a team to help their child instead of blaming us for their child’s failure, that would be great.

I realize this is a lot of information but it all weighs heavily on my mind. I love what I do but I am tired, exhausted, stretched thin and frankly stressed out all the time. Every year I wonder how much longer I can do this and the idea of another 20 years without some major changes seems impossible. I’ve had quite a few friends who are veteran teachers leave their jobs in the last year or two because the cost (physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially) has begun to far outweigh the rewards :(. I don’t want to end up there but I do worry I will eventually because my physical and mental health are important too.

Name
Sara K
Comments

I am an 11-year veteran teacher with urban and suburban experience in 4 districts. Here are my suggestions:

1. Raise teacher wages by 15-25% across the board. High wages will reward good candidates who want to teach.

2. Raise the quality of insurance benefits teachers get back to pre-Act 10 levels and have the state or federal government pay for it, not teachers. Again, reward good candidates who want to teach.

3. Do not lower the bar for teaching standards with more alternative licensing options. We improve the field by getting better trained candidates who can make more money. We degrade the field by getting poorly trained candidates who we can compensate less.

4. Fix the federal funding flaw by asking the federal government to equally and fully fund education. These would be the positive ripple effects of this:

-For kids in poorer communities, they will have access to the same resources as their more affluent peers, without more heavily taxing poor communities.
-For districts in poorer communities, they will then have the funds to pay their teachers more and attract more qualified, passionate candidates. Right now, less affluent rural and urban districts suffer most under the funding flaws. Fix them!

5. Voucher schools need to stop having it both ways: the state either needs to fund them but with the exact same levels of oversight and legal requirements as public schools, OR stop funding them altogether. Right now they are a drain on public funding without accountability and this is wrong.

6. The federal and/or state government needs automatic, paperwork-free loan forgiveness and retroactive loan forgiveness for all teachers in Wisconsin public schools. I’d like to see all loans teachers have taken out from 2011 (the advent of Act 10) on forward forgiven at something like $5000 per year. I’d also like this money to automatically come back into the bank accounts of all teachers who HAD those loans between 2011 and the present who paid them off. And, make no mistake, paying them off is difficult and involves second jobs, extra duties, tutoring, donating plasma, and other hard ways to pay a debt.

These would all make teaching more appealing to qualified applicants.

Name
Nicole L
Comments

I agree with all of the comments made about Act 10. I was a teacher for 18 years and quit because of the stress and time that was negatively impacting my ability to be a mother. Too much is expected of teachers with very little time and resources. Also, most districts (like mine) are making teachers teach more classes without compensation. And “required” participation in meetings or activities during prep time or after school. When can teachers plan or grade? Or call the parents we should be calling? We are also supposed to “build relationships” with our students but that is very difficult with 35+ students in a classroom with half having learning disabilities or mental health issues. (Not to mention competing with cellphones.) All of these factors also makes it difficult to plan or even attempt to differentiate lesson plans. And when teachers do get involved to try and help the district by attending planning and strategy sessions, their feedback, research, or even planning is ignored by administrators. I have a masters degree in education for director of instruction and attended curriculum planning and district oversight committees to help with strategy along with several other teachers who also had MAs. Our “involvement” was patronized and administrators did what ever they wanted even if it went against best practice. Teachers are NOT respected, we are patronized at every level. Who would want to work in an environment that treats you like a pawn in chess to be sacrificed? I quit and I no longer feel that debilitating stress. I feel sad that I can’t teach but it feels better to be stress free. I do worry about the state of our schools but after hitting brick walls for so many years, I just can’t do it anymore. Oh, and FYI, I still have $8,000 in loan debt to finish paying yet.

Name
Kaley Stoeberl
Comments

Here are a couple of thoughts. First, lack of discipline is a huge problem. Parents wonder what you did to make their son:/ daughter upset. Administration backs student and teacher has been given the impression that it’s okay to be verbally, or on rare occasions physically hurt.
Second, way too much standardized testing. Teachers have to teach to these tests and be in the same place as other coworkers teaching the same content. The art of teaching is disappearing because teachers can’t take the time to teach units, concepts they feel are important and interesting for students to learn.
Finally, no flexibility in their schedule at all. Teachers have a very hard time getting time off to see their own child’s Christmas concert, scholarship award ceremonies, field trips etc. So many school events are during the day, and teachers can’t be there. Even when a coworker offers to cover a class while the teacher goes to the event, it is frowned upon unless it’s your prep hour. Have to get permission from administrators to leave 5 minutes early from your contracted hours, after students are gone, to go to an appointment. Even though all teachers spend countless hours after school and on weekends doing school work. We are treated like students not professionals. Actually, the students get more support and freedoms than the teachers.
These are a few of the big issues that come to mind. The professor has changed dramatically over the past decade.

Name
Jacqueline Hayes
Comments

1. Make the DPI accessible: give out a phone number, stop replying to emails with “refer to this link”- people have questions that are not easily answered with the literature on the site, and actually process applications for licenses in a reasonable time frame.
2. ACCEPT OUT OF STATE TEACHING LICENSES IMMEDIATELY. Trying to transfer my credentials from Illinois has been a 3 year process. It’s ridiculous. On top of having my master’s, I have had to jump through hoop after hoop to satisfy DPI. I’m still not done.
2b. If you are going to use the edTPA, accept scores (when they are appropriate) from out of state! Why are you not accepting my score, which was far higher than WI required? Why do I have to take 3 tests and 5 courses to prove that I’m a “highly qualified” educator? My academics and licensure from another state already prove it.
2c. If WI has a teacher shortage, than go back to reciprocity with the other states for teachers. Perhaps only require the WI State History exam for a test from out of state.

It’s been incredibly frustrating to come back home after grad school and find my state complaining of a teacher shortage when they make it so difficult to transfer a license. I have spent close to $3000 trying to satisfy requirements in WI that I’ve already done from my schooling and experience in Illinois.

For someone who really loves to teach and wants to do so, WI’s process is heartbreaking. It discourages educators from even trying to teach here.

Finally, in the schools, stop tying our hands with poor measures of success and the inability to hold students accountable.

Name
Michelle MD
Comments

The news article failed to mention Act 10. The number of retirements and staff leaving has dramatically gone up since Act 10. Act 10 has taken away teachers ability to have influence over the curriculum; evaluations; classroom environment, etc. Without the support of unions, teachers no longer have the ability to speak up without fear of reprisal from administrators. Teachers no longer have control over their grades or attendance. Administrators overrule teachers and change grades despite evidence that the student hasn't earned a passing grade. Teachers are directed to mark students' attendance as present despite the fact the student may have been in the class less than 1 minute. Teachers are verbally and physically attacked and assaulted daily by students with no consequence or response from administrators. I have just left the field of education after 33 years; supervising 20+ graduate students and teaching future educators for many years. While I am happily working elsewhere and am extremely proud of my public education record, my story is just one of many similar stories.

Name
Loretta Ocampo
Comments

Either get more psychologists in classrooms or find a place other than my classroom for some kids that are traumatized beyond my level of education and experience.

Name
Insistent Persistent
Comments

Smaller class sizes
Debt reduction esp for those teaching in underserved rural areas and inner city
Better pay
A voice at the table through education associations
Less standardized testing
Less voucher participation that drains funding from public schools into private. We need a strong public school system that is open to all students.

Name
Frustrated Teacher
Comments

We get paid little with the education we have. I make less with a master's and credits pass that my nephew does in a bank. We're not respected and treated horribly by the public yet I created everyone for their future. Treat me like you treat Aaron Rodgers and pay me my worth. Parents do your job and help me not criticize me.

Name
Wisconsin Citizen
Comments

You micromanage teachers, you bash them for being lazy (or for being "thugs"), you decimate their unions, you reduce their pay to the point that they have to get 2nd and 3rd jobs just to be able to afford to keep teaching, you keep increasing their class size and workload, you inundate them with bureaucratic paperwork, you cheat them out of the public service loan forgiveness they believed they would get, you keep blaming teachers for your allegedly "failing schools," and you expect more people to want to go into that line of work? You must've been absent from school the day they talked about, "Things that negatively affect the talent pool."

Name
Kyler Westerfeldt
Comments

As one who has multiple friends as teachers, and my mom was a teacher for about 28 years, here are my thoughts:

1. Teachers are now tasked with being parents and teachers, but not equipped to be a parent (legally can't discipline, I believe).
2. There is no ability to really discipline students. Can't touch them, can't in some cases fail them for not doing work, hold them back a year, etc. There is not a high bar.
3. Lack of or abdication of parental support (they don't discipline, divorced parents, they don't care, they don't assist with homework, they don't teach over summer). Especially in standard tests, from what I interpreted my mom to say, it negatively affected the teacher instead of realizing the root issue was parents not teaching over summer, etc. For example, she could not send a textbook with a kid back otherwise it likely would be sold. Another parent didn't do any teaching over the summer and so the kid slid back.
4. Administrators/principals who do not understand leadership principles (favoritism, do not delegate responsibility to teachers like in curriculum, etc.)
5. Student manners, due to a lack of morals in society and by parents, and without any way to discipline them properly result in numerous issues for teachers. There ought to be real consequences.
6. Politics too involved (teaching for the standardized tests [as that's what the school is graded on, therefore the teacher], not being able to discipline, not allowing local governments to raise funds for schools, etc.). I agree with Acts 10 in general, but it was over harsh to unions (yearly union renewals, unions may have to represent non-union people in negotiating contracts [which they shouldn't]).
7. Teaching politically correct (LGBT encouraged) curriculum, only causing further social ills of kids not knowing who they are, increasing anxiety; and also abstaining from discussion on religion (central in history, music, etc.) that can be done in a way that is not evangelizing.
8. Student debt.
9. Realizing students are different. Some are not going to college or even tech and should be encouraged on a different path.
10. Focus on GPA rather than learning. A 4.0 student is great, but can they think critically, can they embrace mistakes and learn from them?

I would submit a survey to all WI teachers (anonymous survey), maybe breaking it down by school, elementary/middle/high school to see if any statistically significant difference in thoughts.

Name
Alysha Brooks
Comments

As a substitute, I think you have 2 problems. One, is that we need to GET OUT OF THE WAY. There is way too much “telling teachers how to teach” in an effort to teach to tests. A great example? The Bridges math program. How much money are districts wasting on fancy programs to do exactly what teachers have spent thousands of dollars getting a degree for? It is wasteful and insulting.
Second - I always wanted to teach. But I was originally deterred by the climate of schools (lack of support, rough kids, etc) For those of us who want to enter teaching after our bachelors, it is HARD. Programs are expensive and there is little to no financial aid available. On top of which, your experience often seems to count for very little (if you have teaching experience via subbing, etc). We need to offer financially feasible ways for people to become teachers, and make sure that experience is much more meaningful - not an endless series of rosy, sometimes barely applicable classes, but something more like a medical residency. Where we would observe a mentor teacher, teach under that mentor, and then finally be given our own jobs (student teaching is too often not adequate to prepare students).

Name
Sheryl Stidham-Gebert
Comments

I am a teacher, 22 years of experience. I now am expected to teach classes of 28-32 students--when I started teaching 1997, I had class sizes of 22-24. I have the same amount of prep time that I had when I started but am now expected to do a ton of data collection, student makeup work, test retakes (multiple times), individualized instruction to a wide range of ability levels and learning needs with no extra time compared to 20 years ago. My annual review involves data collection, setting complex goals, assessing students periodically throughout the year, and meeting with superivors or colleagues as well as meeting a requirement for 40 hours of continuing ed eveyr year. I am expected to attend IEP's after school on my own time, supervise student organizations, write letters of recommendation, tutor students and do lesson planning outside of the school day. I haven't had a raise in the last 6 years--I got a 2% raise this year which was immediately wiped out by a 3% increase in my insurance with a much higher deductible, higher copay, and a decrease in coverage and who I can see for treatment. I supervise a student teacher every year, for no extra pay. I run a field experience team for a local university to give students hands-on experience in science for no extra pay. I sacrifice time with my family every day to meet the needs of my job, I have sacrificed many hours over the years that I could have spent with my 3 children so I could be there for my students. Classroom behavior gets worse every year--cells phones and personal electronic devices are out constantly and I am competing with them for my student's attention. With no deadlines for work, my students turn in their assignments at any time throughout the year--I usually grade 60-100 makeup assignments every week, some dating back to the first week of the semester. My students do not do their practice work, so do poorly on tests & quizzes, so retake them over and over and over.

Here are my recccommendations:
1. Get rid of cell phones & limit use of electronic devices in class, this is supported by all the scientific research.
2. Firm deadlines on class assignments so teachers are doing so much extra work to try keep grades accurate.
3. Take some of the funding from school sports and put it into funding all the other curriculuars that don't pay teachers for their involvment.
4. Raise the pay enough meet the increase in insurance every year.
5. Pay teachers to take student teachers--I have had 10 students teachers in 11 years and never got a penny for this, eveni with all the extra work it entails. I did not take a student teacher this year, I'm tired of volunteering for this.
6. Lower class sizes--I can't teach a student reading at a 6th grade level who need intensive one-one-one help when i have 29 other kids in the room who need my assistance. This is especially important in the lower grades.
7. Listen to the teachers, put them on government committees, let them be the ones guiding policy decisions. They are the ones with experience on the ground and know what will and will not work.
8. Increase pay, especially for younger teachers. Many of my coworkers are working second jobs, limiting their family size, leaving the profession after a few years since they can't pay daycare and other daily expenses with what them make. Many of my co-workers are still paying off student loans as they approach retirement.
9. Show some respect for teachers. Quit bashing them for policies they didn't set, don't believe in, but have to institute because we are contracted to follow school board decisions. We are not bad people, we just end up having to do practices that don't benefit students because people with no teaching experience are impressed with it.
10. Deal firmly with student behavior issues. It's hard to teach a class when I have 5 students who don't care about school and will do anything to entertain themselves because they are bored and don't care about doing well in school and have no plans to attend college.
11. Start more vocational training and apprenticeship programs--my district has been doing this for the past few years and the students in these programs are flourishing.
12. Cut down on the amount of standardized tests. The kids don't care abou them and don't try to do well, they just take them because they have to. Data driven instruction is a valuable tool, but not when the data is to be examined and broken down on the weekend when many teachers are working second jobs or trying to keep up with their school work.

Name
Sheryl Stidham-Gebert
Comments

I am a teacher, 22 years of experience. I now am expected to teach classes of 28-32 students--when I started teaching 1997, I had class sizes of 22-24. I have the same amount of prep time that I had when I started but am now expected to do a ton of data collection, student makeup work, test retakes (multiple times), individualized instruction to a wide range of ability levels and learning needs with no extra time compared to 20 years ago. My annual review involves data collection, setting complex goals, assessing students periodically throughout the year, and meeting with superivors or colleagues as well as meeting a requirement for 40 hours of continuing ed eveyr year. I am expected to attend IEP's after school on my own time, supervise student organizations, write letters of recommendation, tutor students and do lesson planning outside of the school day. I haven't had a raise in the last 6 years--I got a 2% raise this year which was immediately wiped out by a 3% increase in my insurance with a much higher deductible, higher copay, and a decrease in coverage and who I can see for treatment. I supervise a student teacher every year, for no extra pay. I run a field experience team for a local university to give students hands-on experience in science for no extra pay. I sacrifice time with my family every day to meet the needs of my job, I have sacrificed many hours over the years that I could have spent with my 3 children so I could be there for my students. Classroom behavior gets worse every year--cells phones and personal electronic devices are out constantly and I am competing with them for my student's attention. With no deadlines for work, my students turn in their assignments at any time throughout the year--I usually grade 60-100 makeup assignments every week, some dating back to the first week of the semester. My students do not do their practice work, so do poorly on tests & quizzes, so retake them over and over and over.

Here are my recccommendations:
1. Get rid of cell phones & limit use of electronic devices in class, this is supported by all the scientific research.
2. Firm deadlines on class assignments so teachers are doing so much extra work to try keep grades accurate.
3. Take some of the funding from school sports and put it into funding all the other curriculuars that don't pay teachers for their involvment.
4. Raise the pay enough meet the increase in insurance every year.
5. Pay teachers to take student teachers--I have had 10 students teachers in 11 years and never got a penny for this, eveni with all the extra work it entails. I did not take a student teacher this year, I'm tired of volunteering for this.
6. Lower class sizes--I can't teach a student reading at a 6th grade level who need intensive one-one-one help when i have 29 other kids in the room who need my assistance. This is especially important in the lower grades.
7. Listen to the teachers, put them on government committees, let them be the ones guiding policy decisions. They are the ones with experience on the ground and know what will and will not work.
8. Increase pay, especially for younger teachers. Many of my coworkers are working second jobs, limiting their family size, leaving the profession after a few years since they can't pay daycare and other daily expenses with what them make. Many of my co-workers are still paying off student loans as they approach retirement.
9. Show some respect for teachers. Quit bashing them for policies they didn't set, don't believe in, but have to institute because we are contracted to follow school board decisions. We are not bad people, we just end up having to do practices that don't benefit students because people with no teaching experience are impressed with it.
10. Deal firmly with student behavior issues. It's hard to teach a class when I have 5 students who don't care about school and will do anything to entertain themselves because they are bored and don't care about doing well in school and have no plans to attend college.
11. Start more vocational training and apprenticeship programs--my district has been doing this for the past few years and the students in these programs are flourishing.
12. Cut down on the amount of standardized tests. The kids don't care abou them and don't try to do well, they just take them because they have to. Data driven instruction is a valuable tool, but not when the data is to be examined and broken down on the weekend when many teachers are working second jobs or trying to keep up with their school work.

Name
Madison Teacher
Comments

I am in my 14th year of teaching special education in Madison. Education in this state is in a shambles. The achievement gap both in Madison and in Wisconsin is appalling. It's time to stop looking at bureaucratic ideas and listen to teachers and students.

We need to:
- Raise teacher salaries by at least 20%. Why in the world would any journalist ask a college teacher how important pay is? It is VERY important. We should be paid at the same level as college professors. I've done both jobs. Public school is much harder.
- Ensure planning time, classroom/set-up and clean-up are paid
- Limit Professional Development time because few districts (if any) do it well.
- Eliminate the $300 video assessment that pre-service teachers are required to do. It is a poor assessor of good teachers. I know from watching many student teachers. If anything, it selects for poor teachers.
- Eliminate the year-long, excessive educator evaluations. Many of us are leaving the field rather than continuing with this ridiculous system.
- Districts need to speak out in defense of their staffs in the face of a verbal onslaught against teachers.
- Stop making teachers do unprofessional duties: playground and lunch duty, tardy duty, etc.
- Limit class sizes to a max of 28 at the high school level
- DPI needs to streamline IEP paperwork. At this point, the agency adds unnecessary details constantly -- even though federal law doesn't change that often.
- Stop the central planning (which has become reminiscent of the old Soviet 5-year plans). Good teaching is thoughtful, inspired, and generated by great professionals.
- Districts need to spend less money on overpaid bureaucrats and more on teachers.
- Less testing. We don't need testing to know how our students are doing. We see them every day.
- 1-on-1 devices has been proven to be expensive and ineffective. We need to stop wasting money.

I have been very discouraged UW-Madison's lack of interest in communicating with those of us who are in the field. Stop talking to other bureaucrats. Talk to us. Talk to students. Students -- especially those with a low SES -- want and need more teacher time.

Thank you for listening

Name
Olivia Murwin
Comments

I am an art teacher and recent graduate of UW Stout. As a specialist, I go between three different buildings to work full time in my district. At the moment, I get paid a little over $1,000 per biweekly paycheck. At the moment, I pay $650 a month towards student loans. After contributing to my household bills, that leaves me a little under $200 to spend on myself for two weeks, including gas (to drive 80 miles every day to and from work) and food. I cannot afford to get a new car to continue going to work because I don't have money to save. There are two things I would suggest to help teachers. First would be a military approach to loans. If a teacher stays in the field, they get 10-20% of what they owe in loans forgiven for each year they teach(10% part time, 20% full time). As soon as they stop teaching, they owe what is left back. That would give new teachers time to save money, start a life, find a home, etc. The mental health of teachers does not improve if they cannot have a life outside of work. I also feel that class sizes need to stay small. 15-20 kids per class. Classrooms are overcrowded, and the reason is because we work in buildings that were built 100 years ago, when the population was half the size it is now. We need to expand our schools. We need to invest in our schools. Thank you for listening. If there are any questions about what I have brought up please let me know. I'll be happy to sit down and discuss more.

Name
Ruben Olvera
Comments

I graduated from UW-MADISON with an international studies BS. I was told by my counselor that I did not qualify for post Bachelorette teaching programs because I did not have an appropriate degree. I now teach in another country. Opening up access to the programs would likely help more people see teaching as an option. It did not make sense to get another bachelor's degree to then be able to enter the certificate/masters program at UW-MADISON. Too expensive and too much time.

Name
Laura Geissler
Comments

As a parent of a student on an IEP, I think that establishing stronger and a health provider and school collaborative relationships would both help the children and families, but also take some of the load of behavior related issues off of the shoulders of the teachers.

Name
Concerned Parent
Comments

I have a son who would probably teach Physics or Math, except that the salary is too low to pay his student loans. He makes more as a waiter in Milwaukee. Also, he's told me that he doesn't want to work with kids and families that don't want to learn. He saw too much student entitled laziness and "helicopter" parenting while teaching undergraduates and became fed up with dealing with it. He sees the news reporting on the current state of public schools and wants no part of it.

As someone who used to have kids in schools, and watches education issues, the fact that schools are failing to educate so many of our children would be a HUGE disincentive to encouraging someone to teach as a career. People want to be successful in their careers. Schools are in such chaos now that it's impossible to be successful. Sure pay's an issue. But, there are also the issues of personal safety, of having disruptive students being repeatedly returned to the classroom, of large class sizes and weak Department of Ed. programming. Men are doubly disincentivized because of the current political climate surrounding their interactions with women. For some who would be good teachers, there isn't enough money in the world to stick their necks out like that. There are so many other career options that don't have all of this to deal with, where success is rewarded. A lot will have to change before teaching becomes a viable career option again.

Name
Laura Jennerman
Comments

I am currently working in a school district that has a large number of students, compared to the district i used to work in, that is more rural and so there are fewer students overall. My perception is that academically, the smaller rural students are more advanced than those in the bigger district, while the bigger district also has more poverty and related issues. In the past two decades, the smaller district has had to cut important programs like FACE and World Languages due to budget cuts, while the bigger district offers everything under the sun; Ag classes, orchestra, thriving FACE and tech ed programs. The smaller district has seen a reduction in enrollment that has led to the budget cuts, while the class sizes in the bigger district can be overwhelming. At the smaller district, I had a K-12 Spanish program that turned out students who aced their college placement tests, until they cut the program, and now in the bigger district, I teach the hardest grades and feel little satisfaction with my job. In the smaller school, everybody knows everybody, so if you have something to discuss with the superintendent, you don't need to talk to his/her secretary to find a time in his/her schedule. You can just talk to them in the hallway. If you want to take care of an administrative task, you aren't pointed to a clunky system that is all internet-based. You can just fill out a piece of paper and hand it to someone. The personal nature makes it nicer in some ways to work there.

I think: the smaller schools should have the funding to offer programs like FACE, Tech Ed, and world languages. I also think that a working group of those concerned from all over the state should really be given the job of re-envisioning how our public schools could serve the needs of students better and function better so that they're a more positive environment.

To keep me wanting to teach, which I am very much considering leaving the profession, I would want to be able to see what I do as a craft. At this point, working in the large district, Sometimes I feel like I am seen as a warm body that can occupy the classroom; i.e. fill the position. Right now what i mostly have is students who are forced to take my class and don't want to, disrespectful kids who I simply don't have the energy to deal with anymore. I want to teach people who want to learn. The possibility of teaching groups of homeschool kids looks appealing to me.

These two schools are only a half-hour away from each other. Why does the smaller rural school struggle to stay open and maintain the most basic programs? Why does the bigger school to keep increasing class sizes? Why can't there be more equity in the allocation of resources?

Name
Beth Caldwell
Comments

Coming from a family of all teachers I can say that taking away the teachers abilty to teach how they feel the students learn best versus teaching kids how to take a standardized test has been a big factor. When the focus is all on math and reading and less on science kids suffer. Kids get excited about science! We are handicapping our children by not getting them excited about learning. This is the reason we have chosen private schools versus public. My child is more than a test score

Name
Jay
Comments

The notion that salary doesn't matter is driven by the simple, generally Republican led, notion that teaching is altruistic and that the 'hard-working taxpayers of Wisconsin' matter much more than paying teachers what they are worth. Dramatically raising teacher salaries would create a much more dynamic workforce interested in teaching - just basic economics. Any other retelling of that is the fiction of the selfish.
As a career educator, I can look back at the changes surrounding Act 10 and it is clear. Demonizing the profession and painting teachers, along with other public employees, as somehow being takers vs the makers elsewhere in the economy was enough to sour attitudes both within and outside the profession. I've continued true to myself and my passion/mission throughout, but it has been difficult. The cumulative lost income from Act 10 cost our family dearly (my wife is also a teacher) in terms of college savings for our children and our own retirement savings. As the world turns and I watch recent hiring trends, our district has been lucky to get a few, good, young staff members, but the losses to students and the profession due to early retirement and staff members choosing other professions has been incalculable. Most districts have not been this fortunate.

Top down administrative decisions that don't make real, not just superficial, room for teacher voices are another trend that has accelerated in that 10 year span as well, and while predictable, those have turned out to be just as devastating to morale, effectiveness and continued passion for the profession. Without strong, meaningful representation of teachers, the admin teams have taken unfettered control of decisions for which in many cases, they just aren't well equipped. Not being in the classroom, not feeling the pulse of what is truly happening and what is most effective, while simply relying on test scores to buoy or sink their own, and what they see as the public's perception of teaching and learning, just doesn't cut it. It leads to loss of autonomy, loss of motivation for both staff and students, and in the end a much lesser product than we were once able to create. I will teach through the last segment of my career enjoying each and every day with my students as I always have, but our two children, who might have both been wonderful educators in their own rights one day, will not borrow money (far more than they would have to prior to Act 10) to pursue that passion if they had it. Without dramatic changes in the current system, they will be much better served elsewhere in their lives. That is sad.

Name
Local Citizen
Comments

I have worked as a Police Officer in the Madison are for nearly 14 years. I have had many encounters with educators in the course of my duties, usually in the form of responding to incidents at schools involving students. I have repeatedly heard complaints of teachers not feeling valued, that their opinions mean nothing, and they have effectively given up due to large class sizes and school administrators not supporting them and bending to the will of every parent.

To me, the overarching theme of these complaints is lack of support by administrators and lack of resources to address problems. I would imagine that seeing these struggles, combined with low pay, makes the field less appealing to undergraduates. Morale is also important. If teachers are not happy or passionate about their job, they will not be likely to sell the position as appealing to future generations.

Name
Career Professional
Comments

I read an article regarding the teacher shortage and was directed here to give feedback for the task force. I am a lawyer with 20 years of experience, who started college intending to be a teacher, but diverted my attention to other majors, unfortunately. After law school I actually enrolled in a post bac teaching program, but had to drop out because the loans from that program, combined with my loans from law school, and faced with a teacher salary? just would have plunged me into too much debt. I have frequently thought about trying to transition into teaching, high school English or civics, but now with a family and financial obligations I cannot afford to quit my job and attend a post bac teaching program, and there appears to be no emergency licensure path for the areas in which I would like to teach. My point is that with a teacher shortage, I would ask that you explore more realistic paths for career professionals wanting to transition into teaching. I am an adult with children in the public school system - I know the frustrations, I know the limitations, and I already have a great job - and I’m still interested in transitioning to teaching, but there is no easy, cost effective way to do that. If you have such a shortage, please also focus on realistic paths to teaching for career professionals with advanced degrees, in soft subjects. I am certain I would be a good teacher, I work with high school students in volunteer settings and love it, but Wisconsin seems to discount the 20 years of high level work I’ve bern doing, and my advanced schooling, and make a late in life path to teaching soft subjects nearly impossible. Just something else to consider. Thanks for all your hard work!! You do not have an easy task!!

Name
C N
Comments

Pay really is the number one factor. New teachers are getting paid almost as much as teachers who have been on the job 5-20 years. This is done to attract new teachers; it isn’t equitable to those with more experience and degrees. Teachers are working with a child’s mind and should be paid like medical professionals. This is the message parents and the community need to understand. Change the message!
Administration doesn’t listen to teachers. They keep throwing the next new initiative onto teachers w/o teacher input or allowing teachers to get better at their current craft. Ask Harvard professor for his input on this point: https://pasisahlberg.com/bio-pasi-sahlberg/bio/.
Teacher effectiveness yearly observations, evaluations and the amount of work that goes into SLOs and PPGs is uncalled for as the majority of teachers perform very well. We set goals every day. The extra paperwork to track and record this is overwhelming just so that there is a paper trail. If a teacher is being monitored bc of ineffectiveness on the job, then put just this teacher under the microscope.
Thanks!!

Name
Adam Smith
Comments

This "task force" is a waste of money and people's time. The answers have already been out there for years. Look at how the Scandinavian countries educate. First, its valued by everyone in the country! Meaning, it's the highest paid position. How do doctors, lawyers, politicians, scientists, become who they are...teachers! You have to pay the profession. Second, get rid of standardized testing. Allow teachers more time to build trust and relationships with students. Allow students more time to play. Allow students to learn at their own pace. It should be manditory teachers have a masters degree in teaching. Start school at the age appropriate time for students. Up-to-date facilities and resources. Assessment at the beginning of a students school career to better understand what each individual student needs moving forward. Year-around system.
Again, all the research has been done. The answers have been staring us right in the face for decades. Get off the beach of status quo, dive into the water, and move our profession, students, and community forward.

Name
James Maynard
Comments

I think staffing is more important than just money. Specialists at behavioral issues, Autism, family engagement, and health and wellness are all needed positions in a successful learning environment in addition to counselors and teachers. I also believe public perception of Teaching and Teachers is at a low point in some ways caused by the state legislature and governor Walker in his efforts to curtail public service costs, and demonize his detractors. There are plenty of new strategies for learning, and we need people with the courage to try new things. I like the idea of loan forgiveness as an incentive.

Name
James Oates
Comments

Reverse Act 10 and start treating teachers like valuable members of society instead of second class citizens.

Name
Gabrielle McBride
Comments

I am so saddened by the teacher shortages nation-wide, but I also am not surprised. I have been teaching for 6 years both in Chicago and in Verona, WI. I have taught Kindergarten on the South Side of Chicago in an impoverished community and I have taught Resource (Tier 2 Reading & Math Support) and now 1st grade for the last 4 years. I absolutely love teaching and I am passionate about working with kids. There is nothing else I would rather do and I’ve wanted to teach since I myself was in 1st grade. But, I have started to question my chosen professional path as I struggle to pay rent, bills, insurance and other life costs. By the end of each pay period, I’ll often have less than $20 in my account. This makes it difficult to save, to travel, to live comfortably. I have worked 2nd jobs, will tutor, participate in paid surveys, even dogsit and babysit like I did when I was a teenager. It’s not right. On top of the salary issues, the job demands and student needs have increased dramatically. From licensure work, Wisconsin Educator Effectiveness demands, observations, morning and afternoon duty, Personalized Learning, etc etc workload has greatly increased while prep time and salary have remained as is or lessened. We hardly have time to eat lunch or get work done during the day. By the end of each day we are all physically and mentally drained. Students who have high emotional, academic or behavioral issues/trauma are not receiving the level of support needed to promote a healthy future for themselves. There is a major lack of Student Services (social work, guidance counselors, interventionists, psychologists, resource teachers, special education, ELL, Speech & Language, etc) to support students changing needs that classroom teachers end up supporting or struggling with. Teachers are unqualified to work with students with such high needs with a full classroom of students who also deserve a superior education. Administrators don’t always seem to understand what is going on day in and day out in the classroom and struggle to support teachers. They are pulled so many directions, too. All of this is not to say we aren’t fulfilled. I am deeply fulfilled by my work and my students each and every day and that is what keeps many of us going. The lightbulb “ah-ha!” Moments, the connections you build, the growth students show, the excitement for learning, the gains made...its all worth it but would I support my own children in the future going into education with low salaries, high demands, little preparatory time, difficult student populations with little student service and administrative support? Honestly, I’m not so sure. And that breaks my heart. Things need to change. Teachers need to feel valued in society rather than feeling like they’re seen as babysitters. Happy teachers make happy kids and children are our future. We should want the absolute best for them and I don’t feel many people value or prioritize education today. But I will keep teaching in what I feel is one of the most noble professions there is. I know I am making a difference in my students lives and that I am teaching them skills to be the best person they can be - to love themselves and be kind to others, to advocate for themselves, to fall in love with learning, to empathize, to self-motivate, to be productive members of their communities. It’s powerful stuff.

Name
Middle School Teacher Teacher
Comments

I have been a special education teacher for 24 years. I have to say the turning point in this state was Act 10 and the culture our former governor created. The lack of respect that started for teachers at that time, the elimination of unions (teachers don't have a voice), and the stagnation of pay have not changed in ten years. Most teachers put in well over 8 hours per day and do paperwork on the weekends. Being a special education teacher, I have seen my paperwork double over the years. I am expected to get it all done within a specific time with no compensation outside of school hours. There are some weeks that I work 47-50 hours to get it all done. Both of my children wanted to be teachers at one time. Before Act 10, I would have supported them. After Act 10, my children saw how it affected our family (my husband is a teacher as well) and decided to pursue other degrees. Until there is a shift in respect to the profession and teacher salaries are in line with other professionals, I would not encourage anyone to go to college to be a teacher.

Name
KAREN KAMINSKY
Comments

I taught for 34 years, including a stint as a teaching asst. principal for 10 of those years. I was able to retire at age 57 due to a combination of our wonderful state pension system and my family's frugality. Today's students live in the moment and their moment is debt. When they do procure a teaching job, they are often overwhelmed by student loans, along with their own desire to settle into housing and perhaps, a family. In addition to providing for a decent salary, WI could attract teachers with a multi-pronged effort to retain them through a) student loan forgiveness, b) housing incentives, and c) financial planning.

Housing incentives make so much sense. Having low/no interest mortgages as an incentive to live in the community one teaches in seems to be a no-brainer. Partnering with the WI Realtors or the WI Builders Assn' would be a path to this goal. Teachers then have a stake in the community beyond their jobs, and perhaps starting families there, becoming stakeholders in the school system in multiple ways.

Back to my pension: I am by no means wealthy. I am comfortable and do not need to get a part-time job in retirement. Teachers need to be provided with wealth management tools. This would include an up front intro to the state pension system, an assigned financial planner who works with the teacher on their financial goals and a constant reminder to teachers about the benefits that lie ahead when they stay invested in the system. I was lucky to have made the right decisions, not because I was so smart: it was more luck and some discipline that allowed me to achieve my current status. This is so far removed from a teacher's current thought process but they need prompting to see the big picture.

Finally, administrators and school boards are far too subjective with their staff. Favoritism is rampant and these people are charged with recognizing teaching staff with everything from "teacher of the month" parking spots to movement on the pay scale. I am embarrassed by every "Golden Apple" award I've seen on tv, This type of recognition divides staff: for every teacher that is awarded, there are others doing exactly the same work. This type of motivation is "old school", pun intended. It is time to begin treating teachers as contributing adults by instituting meaningful incentives that reward the staff rather than try to pick out one person. Look at a business model. I don't see Northwestern Mutual or Spectrum brands handing out cutesy monthly trinkets.

As far as wages and benefits are concerned, it is time to move toward a statewide compensation system. Teachers in Hayward, WI are just as valuable as those in Mequon. We should not rely on the wealth of individual districts to fund the future of our children. I look forward to hearing about your survey results and would be happy to participate in further research. You have my email.

Name
Marsi Plaunt
Comments

As a teacher who is retiring from 35 years of teaching elementary school in rural school district, one of the biggest challenges our teachers today face that was not as severe even a decade ago is students with severe mental health issues. Our small school once had maybe one or two students K-6 who might be labeled as “EBD” for various reasons. These students would be assessed and then taught much of the day by a special teacher. Now we have at least one of these students at each grade level ( 1/30) and often are expected to modify and address issues within the regular classroom while teaching to the standards. Frequently the parents of these students are struggling as well so the challenge is multiplied. Addressing mental health in a variety of ways is essential going forward.

Name
Mike Iselin
Comments

Come up with 2 year training programs at Tech schools. Make it easier to come in from another state if you're already teaching. A training program for those who already have a 3 year sub license and a certain amount of hours subbing.

Name
Erin
Comments

I specifically wanted to address the shortage of math teachers as well as recruiting candidates who are not straight out of undergrad. I'm not an expert in what teachers go through, but I've seen what it's like to make a career change into teaching. While recruiting traditional undergrads is important, there are a lot of people who have graduated in the past 10 or 15 years who are working in the corporate world that might be able to fill some of the gaps. For math, I think one problem is the lack of candidates with the required math prerequisites to enter teacher education programs (particularly the Masters program at UW-Madison). There should be an easier way for potential teachers who do not have degrees in mathematics to complete those content area requirements without having to leave their full time jobs. Those courses that are required for entry into teacher education masters programs should be offered either in the evening or online for working adults so that they do not need to leave their jobs for non-degree seeking coursework and instead can wait to leave until they are in a full-time degree seeking masters program.

Similarly, for adults who are not currently enrolled in college who have an interest in teaching, there should be free programs that give them an idea of what teaching is like that they can engage in before they apply to/enter a degree program. A lot of people are not sure that they would enjoy teaching and there isn't an easily accessible way to see if it's something that would be a good fit for them. It's a big risk to quit your job and take out a ton of student loans, so some people may just not take that risk because they are okay with where they are at and don't want to leave for something they may not actually enjoy. I think that having free, informal programs where people with an interest in teaching can mingle with current teachers and talk to them candidly about their experiences may be helpful. Perhaps, UW/the state's department of education should have a resource on the education department's website that encourages people who are interested in teaching and not sure about it to get in touch and then connects them to mentors/the possibility to do some informal observations.

On a different note, I think the state of Wisconsin should consider having a certification in statistics that is seperate from the certification in math. Statistics is becoming a more important area in colleges as well as high schools and giving people who love statistics an opportunity to teach it without also having to teach other areas of mathematics might attract some people that otherwise would not be interested in teaching K-12.

Name
priscilla Gresens
Comments

I was hesitant to comment here because it would for all to see. But here we go with my opinion

First of all, we need better administrators. We need principals that will stick up for their teachers and staff. Principals are so worried about what the numbers and kissing the superintendent's butt that don't take care of their teachers. The superintendents are too busy doing their own agenda to look clearly at this. It is a vicious cycle that needs to end.

Secondly, we need to stop encouraging one group of children. One race, one gender, one anything. The list goes on. Yes, those people need help, but not at the cost of everyone else. We need unity and solidarity, not segregation and putting one person/group of people on a pedestal.

Thirdly, we need to get the politics out of our schools, except in the political science classes, were all sides and area of the spectrum are taught. The school is here to make us think, not think for us. We are putting political agenda above the welfare of the students.

Finally, in my opinion, we need to protect our teachers from the students that are coming in to our classes. Fights, guns, etc are all too real. The more we see of it on the news, the less people want to go into those rooms.

Name
Scott Anderson
Comments

I am a teacher in a small rural school - and there is really 2 things money and respect.

It is more than salary -- it is money -- having enough funding to allow for adequate staff (teaching, aides and counselors - all with market driven pay compared to other professionals). And often we ask too much of staff - stretch them too thin (due to shortage of people due to budget).

Couple that was a fundamental shift at ACT 10 - it used to be lower salary, okay retirement. (I worked the private sector before teaching - there was nothing about teacher retirement that was "gold plated" compared to my professional retirement plans) Now teachers must fund their own retirements - all the while salaries after inflation have been decreasing.

In the end it is simply supply and demand -- if we want a larger supply of teachers, salaries must increase. There can be alternative pathways but they should not lower the standards.

And finally we need a shift about the importance of teachers in the public -- I often find "my school is great, but other schools...." going on.

Name
Erin
Comments

I specifically wanted to address the shortage of math teachers as well as recruiting candidates who are not straight out of undergrad. I'm not an expert in what teachers go through, but I've seen what it's like to make a career change into teaching. While recruiting traditional undergrads is important, there are a lot of people who have graduated in the past 10 or 15 years who are working in the corporate world that might be able to fill some of the gaps. For math, I think one problem is the lack of candidates with the required math prerequisites to enter teacher education programs (particularly the Masters program at UW-Madison). There should be an easier way for potential teachers who do not have degrees in mathematics to complete those content area requirements without having to leave their full time jobs. Those courses that are required for entry into teacher education masters programs should be offered either in the evening or online for working adults so that they do not need to leave their jobs for non-degree seeking coursework and instead can wait to leave until they are in a full-time degree seeking masters program.

Similarly, for adults who are not currently enrolled in college who have an interest in teaching, there should be free programs that give them an idea of what teaching is like that they can engage in before they apply to/enter a degree program. A lot of people are not sure that they would enjoy teaching and there isn't an easily accessible way to see if it's something that would be a good fit for them. It's a big risk to quit your job and take out a ton of student loans, so some people may just not take that risk because they are okay with where they are at and don't want to leave for something they may not actually enjoy. I think that having free, informal programs where people with an interest in teaching can mingle with current teachers and talk to them candidly about their experiences may be helpful. Perhaps, UW/the state's department of education should have a resource on the education department's website that encourages people who are interested in teaching and not sure about it to get in touch and then connects them to mentors/the possibility to do some informal observations.

On a different note, I think the state of Wisconsin should consider having a certification in statistics that is seperate from the certification in math. Statistics is becoming a more important area in colleges as well as high schools and giving people who love statistics an opportunity to teach it without also having to teach other areas of mathematics might attract some people that otherwise would not be interested in teaching K-12.

Name
Vicky
Comments

A good start would be to address the lack of administrative support. Principals frequently treat teachers with disdain and as if we are the enemy. A friend of mine was told her teaching was "painful to watch" and that she was "doing a disservice by teaching these children." That is not appropriate, nor supportive, and absolutely will not motivate an employee to improve. I was flat out told that I was set up to fail by my principal. She would ignore teachers who said hello to her in the hallway, and rarely did observations. Administrator accountability is severely lacking in many districts.

Name
Elizabeth Belz
Comments

In our school district class size is the major issue along with support for mental health issues. Teachers feel powerless and overwhelmed each day how to meet the needs of all their students. At the Elementary level class sizes should not exceed 20 and teachers should feel they have someone to support them if a child is not learning or acting out. Special Ed and Counselors along with the teacher need to be part of a team plan in working in our schools today. This will ensure those good teacher feel supported and will stay in the field.

Comments

Teachers need support from parents. So many times parents believe their child and not the teacher, which leads to kids not respecting teachers. Teachers need higher pay so they aren't working 2 jobs and can gain control of their mental wellbeing. Districts need more people to do the data entry, paperwork, office type work so teachers can focus on students and curriculum. We need fewer meetings that waste time and we need fewer hoops to jump through just to keep our jobs. We pay for our own continuing education, license renewals, extra supplies, things for our students, etc. 10 years of teaching in a high scoring district and still making under 50K is an insult. Also, we are paying more and more for our "awesome" benefits and we are getting less coverage.

Name
Skip Jackson
Comments

I feel teachers need support to deal with unruly students. If their day is interrupted by students that cause disruption how can anyone learn. Let’s not give so much power to the trouble makers. There needs to be rules and everyone must follow them or be removed from the class room.

Name
Skip Jackson
Comments

I feel teachers need support to deal with unruly students. If their day is interrupted by students that cause disruption how can anyone learn. Let’s not give so much power to the trouble makers. There needs to be rules and everyone must follow them or be removed from the class room.

Name
Amber Schulz
Comments

I have a question, from the news article it says the the UW-Madison numbers are down for teachers but have you looked at numbers from the other UW schools? I graduated from UW-Platteville with an education degree and know that there are quite a lot of students going into teaching from there.
Also, as for suggestions to bring more people into the profession. There is the student loan forgiveness if you stay in the same state you got your degree in but if you leave the state to teach does that loan forgiveness still apply? From going to UWP, I know a lot of people come from Iowa or Illinois so if they do not get the loan forgiveness if they go back to teach in their home state then is it worth for them to become a teacher?
Once I finished college I moved out of state to Nevada. Here, they have an alternate route to licensure for teaching. It might be something to look into to see if Wisconsin can provide a similar service for those that want to switch careers and go into teaching.

Name
Winona Storms
Comments

I have long been interested in returning to school, and becoming a teacher - however, I continue to hold back due to how expensive it is to become a teacher, with the lack of salary to pay back to the school.
We need programs - like what other states have, where if a teacher signs a contract with a school district that is sorely hurting and needs teachers, that the state will pay for the schooling of the teacher as long as the teacher works X amount of years. This is similar to what the news article I read stated about a loan forgiveness for teachers that teach for X amount of years - which would also be an awesome program.
For the last several years, I’ve been searching for any sort of programs that would help me pay for the education needed to become a teacher - because I can not rationalize, as a mother, spending so much on furthering my own education to work in a job that pays so little.

Name
Athena Bollig
Comments

Just as a thought, because I would like ring a teacher. I'm a social worker drowning in my own student debt. It would be nice if it was easier to become a teacher out of a different career. I know there are options to do so, but a) I cannot afford it and b) I can't travel across the state to obtain. the education or spend x number of years teaching in an inner city school to be trained, because again I live in rural wisconsin. Yet I see that even my school area there are shortages.

Name
Shelley Mertig
Comments

I agree that the heavy student loan debt coming out of college is a huge factor. My daughter, for example, is a gifted writer, and has considered going into teaching since she graduated high school. But seeing how one of her siblings grappled with huge student loan debt has made her reluctant to pursue college. If there were some type of loan forgiveness, in return for staying in Wisconsin to teach, that would be an enormous draw, I think. Thank you for looking into ways to encourage students to pursue teaching careers. Some of the most inspirational people in my life have been teachers. They make a big impact in a lot of lives!

Name
Wesley K. Davis
Comments

I am a teacher with nearly 50 years of experience in Wisconsin public schools. I have taught different grade levels in Beloit, Janesville, Blackhawk Technical Intitute and U-W Rock County College for Kids. I have also been a past president of the Beloit Education Association, Rock Valley United Teachers and various political groups. I am glad to see some mounting interest in something that I have been worried about for the past 25 years. Please feel free to contact me. I am a busy "retired" person being active on the County Board and sometimes teaching in a Homebound Program. I also am active in environmental/farm-related issues. It is good to see some developing interest on an important public policy issue which has been exacerbated by public demonization of hard-working, sincere public servants. Public service should not be confused with indentured servitude. Recognition, pay and respect still matter in this world. Sincerely, Wes Davis.

Name
WI Citizen Dad Traveler
Comments

Hello! You might want to consider providing a form that allows people to choose whether or not their contact information is made public. I suspect that many people might want to engage in a dialogue with you but won't want their names known outside of your researchers.

For example, I'd love to share a deeper perspective with you, based upon years of experience working in the capitol, the campaign community and in other countries, where I've had many conversations with friends and colleagues with kids the same age as mine. However, I'm not going to because I still need to work within the community.

I'll leave you with this. My daughter is attending a neighboring state's flagship university in pursuit of a bachelor and master's degree in elementary education. We've encouraged her to stay in that state which has maintained its tradition of strongly valuing education and their support of teachers. She's been able to participate in practicums in urban settings and in France. She's also been able meet colleagues, teachers and mentors from all over the world in her school work and travel. We have advised her to NOT come back to WI. This is hard for her to accept because of the inspiration, nurturing and love her teachers gave her. Yet here we are.

Teachers and the education community will not be able to serve the state and each other until you come to grips with the existential assault that democracy is under from economic royalisits, oligarchs and others that want to prove that democracies, made up of all of the citizens, cannot succeed. As in OK, KY, AZ and other states, WI teachers and their loyal communities need to take to the streets.

This is about political power. Once you have the power you can start working on the underlying issues to deal with economic inequality-racial inequality, family stability, broken families, school discipline, resources, pay, child care, student debt and more.

Teach civics as soon as kids can speak. Develop your grassroots networks one family, school, neighborhood, city and county at a time and we will have a fighting chance.

Name
Jay Hatheway
Comments

I teach future teachers, and have done so for 30 years until recently, as no one is signing up. In addition to the extensive and great points made below, I can only add a few thoughts.
The growing collapse of education is welcomed by many as an antidote to challenging the status quo; teachers have become pawns in a massive power struggle in which political, historical, economic and social ignorance is encouraged. In short, our political elites have turned their backs on public education and the general public now blames teachers for this unfortunate development. Unless and until we determine that education is vital and necessary, nothing will change. Sad but true.

Name
Lynn Montgomery
Comments

My sons recently graduated from High School & chose to attend college now. They would be able to give you a clear idea of what goes on in a class room, what teachers have to deal with & how dedicated a good teacher needs to be. They had great teachers ( for 12 years!) having to work in difficult environments on a daily basis!!

Not only do decent salaries encourage future quality teachers, but almost more importantly, what kind of support do teachers get in the classroom?!!! If they have disruptive students, students coming in to class late, students disrespectful to teachers & others, how in the world can Teachers do what they love to do....Teach!?!

And how do kids that WANT to learn, actually learn when disruption from a few takes up so much valuable time in the classroom??!?

And when do students & family start taking responsibility for their actions or lack of respect?? And when does Administration stop blaming teachers right out of the gate!!

All I see in the news lately, is how school administration is ‘throwing a teacher under the bus’ before full details are out. Stand behind good teachers, instead of jumping to conclusions & believing twisted allegations! Who in the world is running the districts & classrooms!!

Name
Julie Bass
Name
Stephen Chene
Comments

The root of this issue is the stagnation of the lower and middle class and this is a political issue outside of your control This leads to the following:
1) Pay and benefits have been at best stagnant, a recent study I saw dropped us from 16th to 33rd nationally. When I retired I was losing 16.5% of my take home pay to Act 10 and increasing healthcare costs.
2) Act 10 vilified state workers, especially teachers.
3) If a student misbehaves or underperforms it’s now the teachers fault. I just watched a parent mount a viscous Facebook attack that drove a long-term elementary teacher into early retirement. The foundational respect teachers once enjoyed has been destroyed by the politics of the state.
4) We are now a “right to work” state, in other words anti-union, in other words, require more work for less pay.
5) There is a foundational issue with city vs rural which sadly equates to Republicans vs Democrats.
6) Mainstreaming special needs kids without providing the extra support the teacher needs is another major issue. These students need a higher level of one on one attention and that directly takes away from the attention the rest of the students need.
7) The private school voucher system is a major threat. It siphons funds away from the public system, it can cherry pick the students it takes, it has much less accountability, and its curriculum can be highly questionable.
8) Teach to the test must end. Tests must be looked on as a gauge of ones progress not a force demanding higher excellence.
9) Teacher licenses must return to requiring a continuing education component. The teachers must remain highly trained, active, and dynamic.
10) In addition to fixing the pay/benefit problem teachers should be supported in the classroom. Their spending their own money to support their and student needs must stop. Additionally support for the buildings, staff and administrators must be addressed.

Name
Jessica Christenson
Comments

My husband comes from a family of teachers and has thought about going into teaching off and on for a number of years. The cost of going back to school has really been a sticking point. Right now we are a family with young kids and it would really be great for our home life balance if he could be a teacher. He would enjoy teaching and be great at it, but we are concerned with taking on student debt at this stage in our lives.

Name
Ann Berns
Comments

In addition to low pay and difficult work conditions and stress, I feel that getting the initial license has become difficult especially in some subject areas. EdTpa is expensive and if there is no pass then another large amount of money has to be spent to retake it. I have had several excellent student teachers in World language that didn’t pass EdTpa by 1 point. They have moved out of state and have become excellent classroom teachers elsewhere. As a cooperating teacher, I do not see EDTpa as a good tool to determine if someone can teach. For the people that didn’t pass by one point, it was that the evaluator thought the video reflection wasn’t to their liking. Video reflections are not what teaching is. Yes self reflection is but then these students are teaching and dealing with that, doing EdTpa and also a portfolio all at the same time with the knowledge they may not pass. This tool has only a 70% pass rate and I know no one who has passed it in a World language. No wonder we have 80+ job vacancies on WECAN for Spanish and French. Some of my colleagues that do have their license did EdTpa in another subject (English speaking one) so they could pass EdTpa. Cooperating teacher evaluations on a regular basis are really all that is needed to see if someone is ready to go out and teach. Withholding someone from a license because of this tool is a flawed system.

Name
Tammy Landre
Comments

As a parent ,of three public school children. There too much pressure on our teachers to deal with the at home conflicts , that burden the education. The educator can only be responsible for so much childhood development. The children and teachers are always preparing for some required testing. I also firmly believe if our educators are taught in our state university’s, all loans should be forgiven. The community must value those whom , we entrusted with minds of our future.

Name
Former Teacher
Comments

Discipline and support were why I left. I didn't leave for a bigger paycheck, I in fact took a pay cut. I had a student that tried to start a fight with me, accused me of being racist, started fights regularly with others. I had him for 3 years in a row, despite complaints and him repeatedly failing my course. After he literally set the school on fire, I had a "support" aide in the class. She sat by and did nothing when he had tantrum after tantrum. I had classes that could have been fine, but three class clowns can quickly turn a group of 38 against the teacher. I had a fight from the hallway spill into my class, and it took 4 calls to the office before anyone answered. When they showed up, we had managed to separate the girls, and in front of the class I was asked, "Why did you call us? You have it under control." A colleague of mine went to the hospital for a broken wrist after a student attacked him, and he was disciplined for using force on the student. And I taught at a respected high performing college prep high school.

I could go on with the war stories. But we need real support in the classrooms. We need interventions that work with the student and not just pull them out and sit them in front of a computer. (I subbed for a while in a school with the Running Rebels program, and that model worked for that school.) Once those are in place, teachers need to have the ability to call those tools when needed. We need manageable classes that aren't large enough for mob mentality to take over.

Name
Janet Hayman
Comments

Hi

I'm a parent of a social worker in the school districts and support is definitely needed more for teachers and staff in general.

To combat the shortage a good idea would to offer "benefits" to individuals qualified to work part time for a school district. I worked for a school district for a year, but had to leave to obtain health insurance for my family. The pay is not enough.

Since teachers have a package of benefits why not figure out a way to offer some benefits to part time workers in the school districts. I think you would find more subs and others willing to work.

I am currently semi-retired and would love to work for a school district, but I'm looking for health insurance coverage because I am not yet 65. A lot of are faced with this issue and if they take away Obamacare we need good jobs with healthcare benefits. You'd think our tax dollars would be enough to aid in this idea of opening doors to get people willing to work for a district.

I know teachers today are very stressed and carry heavy workloads, maybe teaching assistants are needed like they use in the college level in certain classrooms. I know there is a cost tied to all of this, but there should be more incentive for older workers or subs that can't find permanent jobs to work part time with some other benefit and not just an hourly wage.

Thank you!

Name
Scottt Zembrycki
Comments

ACT 10

Name
KP middle school teacher
Comments

Shout out to “school support staff” many great ideas that I am seconding

I've been a teacher in Madison for 28 years! Every year seems to get more difficult but this year I feel abused, devalued and if I bring up an issue to parents or administration, the blame is usually placed back into me.

I believe the devaluing of our schools has been going on for a long time but it took a severe turn with Scott Walker and Act 10.

As “school support staff” stated kids are coming to school with more and more challenges and trauma! Deaths, suicides, drugs, shootings - so many children have witnessed these things!! Also so many children are addicted to technology - I probably spend about 1 hour per day dealing with cell phones and trying to stop students from playing games on their Chromebooks. We waste at least 11 teaching days doing standardized testing.

Again I agree that we feel like no one has our backs. If you try to discipline a student or if you are in the wrong place in the wrong time when a physical confrontation breaks out, you might be calmed a racist and fear for your job.

When I went on an AVID field trip last week to the UW, I remarked on how nice it is to have clean toilets that flush and soap dispenser and paper towel dispenser that work!! A convenience that most take for granted. Also no air conditioning, boilers that are old & temperamental in the winter, and roofs that leak.

Special education has become a joke. Many years ago when my school first integrated students with cognitive disabilities, I was given over five days of training to prepare for my students (most in summer). Currently a student may be assigned to one of my class with only one days notice and no training regarding the disability.

Also we now need to do Educator Effectiveness portfolios that take hours of work for little to no apparent benefit.

I am literally counting the days until retirement and I am telling my own children to NOT become educators!

Name
Tara Villalobos
Comments

Hello, I have gathered information from staff at my district. The information shared represents the ideas of individuals within the district, not necessarily the district's view, though several overlap. From the survey feedback several themes emerge, and several good ideas are listed. To name a few:

* free/reduced tuition and immediate student loan forgiveness; visibility of student loan forgiveness; scholarships and grants for future educators
* paid student teaching experience
* assistance with passing Praxis and other exams
* return "respect" to the service of educators: value educators; refreshed image of teaching; use of social media to promote the value of teaching
* lobby for increased school district funding so that educators can be compensated at a more competitive salary
* lobby for less unfunded mandates, and therefore less initiative fatigue

File
Name
c k
Comments

I had 2 sons that wanted to pursue teaching. One son has a learning disability and could not pass the PPST test on comprehension. He worked all summer long with his high school speech and language teacher before taking it for the 4th and last time. He had passed the other two sections. He missed the cutoff by one point and appealed to the board to allow him an exception. They denied him. His disability was documented and he had accommodations for the ACT. After that disappointment, he switched majors from Elementary PE to Human and Health Performance and Business minor and after 7 long years graduated from Platteville. All his teachers from middle school on told him he would be a great PE teacher. He helped in High School with Elementary gym classes, coached and refereed grade school sports. He still would have liked to be a PE teacher, but he is burned out from school. I know for a fact his is not an isolated incident. My other son went to Baraboo to get an associates degree and transferred to La Crosse to earn a history and social studies education degree. He was turned off because the advisor told him he had 3 1/2 years MORE to go to school to earn a degree. He also decided on a different career path. As long as education degrees take so long to achieve, have hurdles and salaries are low the trend will continue.

As a substitute teacher for 10 years, I have also seen the lack of support given to teachers and teaching assistants with regards to discipline and passing kids on to the next grade without the necessary skills.

Name
Cyndi Voeck
Comments

I would hope that this question has been directly sent to every single teacher in Wisconsin. That's where you'll get the best insight.

As a volunteer at Windsor Elementary School and DeForest Middle School, I see some amazing and hard-working teachers, aides, and administrators. So many challenges handled with such compassion. I'm so very proud of them all!

Hope you can find some good quality answers. Perhaps we could begin by pulling back on Act 10!

Name
school support staff
Comments

I'm not a teacher but I work in a school and I can tell you that lack of investment in our schools in general, not only but including teacher salaries, is a big hit to morale. The kids coming to school have more and more challenges, technology creates new opportunities but also new things to learn and new problems with keeping kids focused, you waste precious teaching days doing testing that yields absolutely no useful educational information, and staff feel like no one has their back. You can get fired for saying the n-word once in a historical context, or if you are in the wrong place in the wrong time when a physical confrontation breaks out--and since Act 10, no union to back you up for those kind of things. And you are working in a building that classes go on til mid-June with no air conditioning, and the boilers are tempermental in the winter, and the roof leaks so you have to have a bucket in the middle of your room. Pretty soon at the end of the year there will be lots of lip service to how great teachers are but already the legislature is putting the breaks on plans to actually fund special education, which would give districts a huge financial break. Just the other day I saw a teacher who is very dedicated and caring for her students breaking down in tears because a child went out of control and it did not end well and she felt awful about what happened but also powerless to help the child and improve the situation for next time. Not having money to hire enough special ed assistants puts teachers in a no-win situation--not to mention all the students in the school, special ed or not.

Name
Milwaukee area
Comments

The traditional route of earning a college degree through a university school education is time intensive and requires significant effort and passion. as it should. Since Act 10, every District has developed their own unique compensation benefits package for professional staff. Guaranteed salary schedules, tenure, and retirement health care have significantly disappeared from District compensation models. When the general economic principle of supply and demand does not favor the employer, the general principal that the individual employee should have "bargaining" power and force wages higher, simply does not apply, because of the widespread use of emergency licenses and easy alternate certification programs. And private (charter,choice) schools can hire whomever, without any certification. Districts are free to non-renew older "expensive" faculty, and flat-line wages for newer staff to the minimal CPI rate of compensation.

Name
Stephanie Adrihan
Comments

It is simple: Improve the education system so people actually want to become teachers.
1) The public citizens and politicians need to show teachers Respect instead of treating educators like an expensive cost to society. This is one of the only careers where we are hired for what we know and can do, but are then unable to make our own decisions on how to teach based on what we know about our students as learners. We are given scripts we are expected to follow.
2) Administrators and Policy makers have to listen to teachers, understand where we are coming from, and respect that we know what we are talking about and know what we need. Teachers should have options for how to teach and assess student progress, not standardized tests. We know what best practices are, but we are so often unable to use them due to "school policy" and the need for uniformity. We end up teaching to the middle and hoping its enough for struggling students and those who excel.
3) Society as a whole needs to commit to compensating teachers/educators for the hard work we do. Very few other professions with equal education have to settle for such low salaries. We have a very low return on investment for our actual degree, much less post graduate degrees. What is the motivation? Why would I encourage anyone to start in this career? I only encourage people in lesser paid related fields (child care, teacher assistants, etc.) to join this field if they are good, it would be a step up for them but. Why would anyone switch careers to take a pay cut and join this one? Few people actually can even if they wanted to. I made this choice, things have gotten worse post Act 10, but I am too far invested. I am an educator. I will find a way to make it work, but I caution those thinking of entering this field to think about this. I'm still trying to recover what I lost in compensation once Act 10 took effect 8 years ago. The message sent was that if we want to be compensated what we are worth, we should leave the public sector. I sometimes think we should all leave and then our neighbors who would see that they once had a really good thing. Now we have a serious teacher shortage and the Milwaukee Bucks have a new arena. The state gets what it pays for.
4) Districts and policy makers need to commit to supporting special education, low class sizes (for all grades), student support services., mental health, and family social services.
5) Set high standards for teacher qualification, compensate teachers based on those qualifications, and stick to the high standards and qualifications. The recent changes in licensing requirements to fill the need allow almost anyone to teach while working towards an online certification. This is insulting. Who needs to attend a quality 4 year institution to become a teacher anymore? The new lifetime license am now transitioned to means that I could spend the next 25 years of my career without any additional training beyond that which a district offers for PD. Is that all they expect of me?
6) Fund building improvement projects so we can work in buildings that are well maintained and comfortable. Who wants to work in a old building with 50 year old heating and ventilation and windows that don't open.
7) Keep us safe! Our professional development should not be consumed with active shooter training. We signed up to teach, not enter a war zone.
8) Look at what worked in the past, small neighborhood schools, small class sizes, teachers who were welcomed and celebrated members of the community because they were able to form relationships with students and parents. Replicate that, and you will have all the teachers you need.

Name
Barb
Comments

Teachers need to be able to teach in their classrooms without having to deal with the "extras" that have been added to their plates. There is a great deal of new programs or concepts that teachers must partake in becasue it is distrtict mandated, but do those programs actually benefit the children?
Teachers must also, at times, be teacher, confidant, parent, mental health counselor along with other roles that not are not part of being a teacher.
Teaching can be a fulfilling career for many. However, the lack of support and respect teachers recieve from students, parents, and administration is a driving force behind why quality teachers to leave the field early. These same issues make it difficult to find substitute teachers for some disctricts and why there are fewer students entering into the teaching profession. Some students also are being prompted by parents, friends, or teachers to choose a different career. Those entering college or the workforce also want a job that pays well without having to deal with the stress teaching can bring.
Think about it: How many people want to work in an environment where respect and support are lacking, violence or threats of violence are on the rise, and mental health/behavior issues are daily concerns?

Name
Donna
Comments

How can the UW System engage with key stakeholders to understand their concerns, and to consider how to raise public esteem for the teaching profession in the State of Wisconsin?

Minnesota is attracting our Wisconsin Teacher Education graduates and they are leaving Wisconsin. This is occurring especially for those Wisconsin Teacher Education graduates near the Minnesota state lines.

Data published in Articles such as "Five & Flee" : Today's Newest Teachers Will More Than Double Their Career Earnings By Leaving Walker's Wisconsin published on Teaching In Wisconsin (https://www.teachinginwisconsin.com) is concerning since it shows the salary comparison between Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Wisconsin needs address the pay differences and offer opportunities for our Wisconsin Teacher Education graduates so they stay in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin offers a Lifetime licensure which isn't available in Minnesota.

Name
Shannon
Comments

To attract new teachers to Wisconsin, we need to make benefits packages more attractive. The cost of health insurance, retirement contributions, etc. is increasing year to year, but salaries stay the same or only marginally increase. Of course, a salary increase would be amazing, but, as an educator, I would be attracted to great benefits packages similar to those our predecessors received in the past. I want to make sure my future and my family are taken care of in that way.

Also, for teachers transferring into Wisconsin who have not gone to Wisconsin higher ed. teaching programs, getting a license is a nightmare. For example, I have a Master's degree in reading and literacy from a school out-of-state (accredited), yet that degree is worthless in the state of Wisconsin as far as obtaining a WI 316 reading license. So, in order to get the special WI 316 license, I need to take higher ed coursework (which I am unable to afford on my salary as a single parent), putting me further in debt. These hoops cause promising candidates for a position to look elsewhere that will honor those credits and experience.

Name
Doug Swanson
Comments

The answers to how to get more people into teaching and keep them is quite simple. Value them. Respect them.

1. Pay teachers commensurate with the job they do -- educating the next generation.
2. Support them with supplies, facilities and fewer changes in curriculum (seriously my kids have three different math curriculum in 6 years)
3. Stop demonizing them as the root of all that is evil in society. This applies to a single political party and extends to all public workers, but teachers are at the front.

Do those three things and you'll have more teachers than you know what to do with.

Name
Lance Martin
Comments

I think what you need to really look at is to put getting teachers into the system into to boats, and address them equally. For the new young adult going to college, You need to make sure that teaching and learning are areas of need, but also an atmosphere of fun and safety. For those that have gone the route of college and different professions before, but are looking for a change in career paths, you need to make the getting a teaching certificate not a degree more appealing and also easier to get and or obtain. I myself when first coming to Wisconsin from Wyoming, would have loved to change my career path to teaching and get into the system. But when looking into and inquiring about how to go about getting a certification, I was met with a lot of resistance. I was told that it either could not happen or that what I had was no good and it would be worth more my time to get a second bachelors. Now someone that has a bachelors already, some of those classes in education development and 20 plus years of various employment and life experiences wanting to help and be a productive leader in the class-room or education should be looked at as a gold mine and a gift horse. Not a hindrance and someone to be turned away.

As for retention. You need to make sure that base salaries out there are brought back up to parity. If you are only going to hire teachers at 30k to 32k a year, and not give many to any increase or raise in pay. Then you are never going to attract anyone to come that way. Why should I go to school to get a bachelors, take teachers exams when you are going to pay me equally or just slightly above what someone in the fast food industry makes. Like wise for those of us that have education and have jobs. There is no reason at all or excuse on why an office program associate should make more or equal money to our educators.

Once you get the base salary taken care of, if raises and such are not the possibility then you need to make educators retirement plans the best in the state and make it lucrative and enticing on the back end of their careers, so that they know that they are prepared and covered in retirement. Also be an outside the box thinker for benefits. Find additional things that can be put into the comp/ben packages for teachers to consider as warranted and enticing instead of just pay.

If you can get a better understanding of these concepts and actually take strident steps to achieve and change these, the shortage problem will help take care of themselves. People will see the allure of teaching and helping shape our youth of tomorrow again. They wont have stress and worries of everyday life to say go do something else to allow you and your family to live and survive. They will see and bring brightness and fun with them. People who are older and see the need you speak of will be able to come and be a part of a solution instead of being alienated.

Thank you

Lance Martin

Name
Peter Nordgren
Comments

What can the UW System do to restore respect for the profession of teaching? I believe shining a brighter light on the successes of UW System teaching alumni is an important part of the solution. Let's make sure those stories are out there, and that they're accompanied by the message that teachers do the most important work to ensure the future of our society - because they do.

What can the UW System do to attract more students to the education professions? UW-Superior has one good idea: work with schools to introduce prospective future teachers to the profession while they're still in high school. This pilot program deserves more support, as it has potential for replication in other parts of the state.

What can the UW System do to ensure it provides quality educator preparation programs? I suggest taking a hard look at the status of education programs within the universities, and trends in recent decades. Provosts, almost always from non-education backgrounds, often don't take the time to understand these programs; when budgets get tight, teaching majors, minors, and certification programs are among the first to be eliminated. I'm aware of UW programs that have been eliminated over the protests of area school leaders, who asserted a critical need for their graduates. The importance of service to the education professions by our universities must be understood by our institutional leaders.

Name
Deborah Watry
Comments

I would hope that there could be some consideration of legislation that is being passed in other states concerning testing requirements for incoming teacher candidates
https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/in/2019/04/03/indiana-could-scrap-test-seen-as-a-barrier-to-training-more-teachers-of-color/

Name
Kevin Mason
Comments

The UW System should work collaboratively with teachers, teacher educators, administrators, elected officials, and the Department of Public Instruction to create a simplified system of educator preparation program approval and teacher licensure. The current overregulation of educator preparation programs and teacher licensure creates unnecessary barriers (i.e. hoops) to becoming a teacher and promotes a system with more exceptions and alternative pathways to the profession, which erodes public trust in the quality of teachers in public schools. The rules and regulations governing teacher education and licensing should be greatly reduced and the exceptions or alternatives to meeting these requirements should be eliminated or minimized. We should maintain several essential requirements for becoming a teacher to ensure high standards of teacher quality, such as completing a background check, demonstrating content knowledge (as measured by a content exam or minimum content GPA), and demonstrating teaching effectiveness (as measured by the Educative Teacher Performance Assessment). In addition, a reciprocity agreement should be reached with nearby states to accept the transfer of teaching licenses without stipulations. These changes would greatly streamline the process for becoming a teacher in the state of Wisconsin, while maintaining standards for teacher quality.

Furthermore, there are several potential solutions to addressing the affordability and financial incentives to becoming a teacher in shortage areas, such as science, technology, mathematics, and special education. First, the UW System should provide funding to offer scholarships and loans to teacher candidates in shortage areas, such as science, technology, mathematics, and special education. Similarly, the UW System should provide funding to offer scholarships and loans to teacher candidates in underrepresented populations to increase the diversity of the teacher workforce in the state of Wisconsin. Second, the state of Wisconsin should provide funding for loan forgiveness, signing bonuses, or supplemental salaries for new teachers in shortage areas, such as science, technology, mathematics, and special education. Currently, the salary of teachers in shortage areas is inadequate to compete with salaries in other careers related to science, technology, and mathematics. These issues must be addressed to make teaching more attractive to candidates in shortage areas.

Name
Maggie Beeber
Comments

Thank you for making this work a priority. I work with teacher education students and have done so for over 30 years. I am unable to make your listening sessions due to it being peak advising time in our department. I have seen a dramatic decline in the number of students going into teacher education in some fields across campus and across the state. There is also an increase in those leaving teaching or leaving the state to teach elsewhere. When I ask students if they have had someone try to talk them out of teaching or question why they would want to teach, almost every hand goes up. Their families are worried about salaries and their safety in the schools. Others infer that teaching is a lower level job due to lack of respect and lower pay compared to other careers requiring a college education. Some of the teachers they know may even discourage them because they themselves have been discouraged by what has happened to their profession.

Solutions:

We need to elevate teaching again as an admirable profession. In surveys, when the public is asked what the most admirable professions in our country are, teaching has always been at the top. However, that does not seem to be the message our students are hearing these days.

We need to get more students thinking about teaching. We are all trying to recruit students onto our campuses, but we need to actually increase the pool of students wanting to become teachers. I have traveled within the US and have noticed a number of states now have billboards and social media touting teaching as a profession to consider and thanking their teachers. Maybe offer free, strategic summer camps across our state for an on-campus experience for those wanting to become teachers. Recruit our best educators and teacher educators to provide positive teaching experiences within these camps.

Increase financial aid for those who want to teach. Possibly have a loan forgiveness program for any WI grad who teaches for so many years in a WI school. Right now, the programs available are only for specific schools and specific loans.

Rethink some of the assessments legislated for a teaching license. For example, the Foundations of Reading Test was legislated for anyone who wants to be certified to teach early childhood, elementary education, special education and reading. However, this test was initially designed for those with a master's degree in reading and years of experience. Undergraduate and graduate college students are struggling to pass this required assessment.

Let teachers do what they do best....teach. They are inundated with hours of required state testing, local testing and federal testing.

In lower enrolled programs, do not stop offering them at some schools. Consider sharing courses across schools in an easy way (right now the registration and financial aid process does not work very easily for students taking classes at multiple schools). When one university loses a teacher education program, the school districts within their service region typically see less candidates applying for their jobs. They also do not get students in their schools for practicum and student teaching experiences, which is a great recruiting tool.

Ask our students what it was that enticed them into teaching and what might entice their friends and family. Ask the faculty and advisers in teacher education what they see and hear. Ask teachers why they stay in teaching. These groups have something to say that you should be hearing.

Name
Tracey Sparrow
Comments

Thanks for the opportunity to share information. I wanted to draw your attention to an innovative program we are partnered with to bring more young men of color into the classroom, particularly preschool classrooms. Young men of color who are recent high school graduates are trained as literacy tutors and placed in preschool classrooms. They are paid and get a scholarship at the end of their fellowship year. There are many benefits, both to the young men and the children with whom they work and we are pleased with the success we have seen in our inaugural year. For more information: https://theliteracylab.org/our-work/leadingmen/

Name
Susan Cohen
Comments

The teleconference portion for the listening session, 02.02.2019, was very, very difficult to hear. Volume was poor and voices were distorted. The livestream was fine.

I am happy to see a teacher listed on the committee. If you want to know how to encourage people to enter education, ask people who are already there. If you want to understand retention, ask people who stayed.

Name
Brailey Kerber
Comments

I continue to be disappointed by the lack of student representation on the committee. As someone who is stepping into the education field, I believe that myself and fellow pre-service teachers have a lot of stake in these conversations but do not have a seat at the table. I have a lot of ideas and thoughts to share with this committee starting with this Resolution that I wrote regarding educator retention in the state of Wisconsin. It is the attached document and will be voted on in the next two weeks by the UWSP Student Senate. In addition, Illinois State Senator Andy Manar has released a 3 part plan to address the teacher shortage in Illinois (https://will.illinois.edu/news/story/triangulating-the-teacher-shortage). I believe that Wisconsin can adopt a similar plan to begin addressing the shortage here. This is a good starting place.
In order to build school leadership, we need to look at the demographics of those who typically hold leadership in the state and begin creating pathways for people communities that are not usually represented by Wisconsin schools. Mentorship programs for first-year teachers should be built up to get teachers through their first five years of teaching.

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