Sometimes we learn the most about education by seeing it through the eyes of the people outside of it. Last month, I had the opportunity to deliver the closing keynote address at a large leadership conference for Human Resources professionals across the Pacific Northwest. After the keynote, I held a smaller breakout session, where I led a group of these HR pros through an exercise examining the connection between how we’re educating our students, and how they’re showing up in the workforce. I asked them: As HR professionals, what do you need from the K-12 system to better prepare your employees for success in the workplace?
There’s a lot of talk about the teacher shortage sweeping the nation these days. Some say we knew it was coming. Others blame seemingly obvious factors like low pay, long hours and lack of respect. As fingers point in all directions about the cause of the shortage, and districts scramble to find busloads of new recruits to fix it, we may be overlooking an incredibly valuable resource just under our noses: the new teachers already in our classrooms.