Leadership magazine March/April 2017 V46 No. 4 - Page 16

Preparing new teachers with technology

As districts confront the current teacher shortage , technology might be the key to keeping good teachers .
16 Leadership
When the economic recession forced school districts to lay off teachers , some with more than ten years of experience , college students began choosing different career paths . The CTA recently reported , “ Attracting and keeping quality teachers in California classrooms is a constant challenge . With about a third of the teaching force nearing retirement , the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning estimates that California will need an additional 100,000 teachers over the next decade .” In August 2015 , EdSource Today reported that enrollment in teacher preparation programs in California has dropped by 75 % over the last decade , hitting a new low of just 11,497 people enrolled .
The result : districts statewide have reported having difficulty filling positions , particularly in rural and urban schools . It ’ s not just about luring new people to the profession . Districts need to work to retain people once they are hired . One way to retain qualified teachers is to offer them the appropriate support early in their careers to avoid burnout and to refine their teaching practices .
Enter technology . Becoming a new teacher is somewhat daunting . However today ’ s technological advances can make it easier to reach new teacher candidates , while at the same time immersing them in the very technological environment we are asking them to use to reach our students .
Over the past two years , approximately 160 new teachers have been hired in the Palmdale School District . We have been working hard to meet the challenge of preparing them for the classroom . Last year Mary Rees , our coordinator of teacher support , took on the challenge of integrating
By Christine Jones