Teacher shortage was inevitable

An article in the Wall St. Journal this week highlighted yet another area of a labor shortage in the country that has been fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic: 

“Burned out teachers are leaving the classroom for jobs in the private sector, where talent-hungry companies are hiring them‚Äîand often boosting their pay‚Äîto work in sales, software, healthcare, and training, among other fields. The rate of people quitting jobs in education rose more than in any other industry in 2021, according to federal data. Many of those are teachers exhausted from toggling between online and classroom teaching, shifting Covid-19 protocols and dealing with challenging students, parents, and administrators. According to LinkedIn, the share of teachers on the site who left for a new career increased by 62% last year.”

It was inevitable that COVID-19 would impact the field of education.

Public school teachers have long been the most-underpaid and under-appreciated groups of workers in our country.

The pay for teachers has been substandard for decades in the U.S. compared to many other countries, but the teaching profession always has attracted those who truly have a love for teaching and who have been willing to work for less pay in return for what had been a rewarding career path.

But it has been only fairly recently that teachers have become a favorite foil for the usual suspects (i.e,, Republican politicians) in our overheated political environment in which teachers are deemed the enemy and not worthy of respect.

Now, thanks to COVID-19, teachers have been pushed over the edge and are leaving the profession in droves for greener pastures where their skills, abilities, and work ethic actually are appreciated.

The Wall St. Journal article goes on to say:

“The exodus is worsening a nationwide teacher shortage and proving a boon to hiring managers in industries such as IT services and consulting, hospitals, and software development. Teachers‚Äô ability to absorb and transmit information quickly, manage stress, and multitask are high-demand skills, recruiters and careers coaches say. Classroom instructors are landing sales roles and jobs as instructional coaches, software engineers, and behavioral health technicians, according to LinkedIn.”

The Biblical admonition, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap,” finally has caught up with us — and teachers today now are able to take advantage of another, more-modern aphorism: “Take this job and shove it.”

Pres. Biden’s Supreme Court pick

There has been criticism from the usual suspects regarding President Joe Biden’s declared intention to choose a Black woman for the U.S. Supreme Court seat to fill that of Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced his imminent retirement last week. 

We’d like to make two comments:

First, there are thousands of lawyers, of all races, ethnicities, and genders, who are qualified to be a Supreme Court judge. Statements such as those by U.S. Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi that the selection of a Black woman constitutes “affirmative racial discrimination” are both absurd and offensive.

Second, we firmly believe that every institution in our democracy should reflect the diverse make-up of our country. It is axiomatic that the only way that the three branches of our government can be truly representative of our citizenry is to be composed of those who bring the unique life experience of every American to that institution.

We applaud Joe Biden’s commitment to broaden the breadth of our nation’s highest court by appointing a Black woman for the first time in the court’s history.

We look forward to the perspective that she will bring to the highest court in the land in this, the third decade of the 21st century, bringing us another step closer to fulfilling the promise of the words written in the Declaration of Independence 246 years ago.

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