How to Fill Teacher Vacancies in the Second Semester

Chelsea Penney
November 9, 2023

As the second semester approaches, are you still struggling to hire certified teachers? You are not alone. Fall vacancies grow with holiday resignations, and your students are left with substitutes in the spring. The teacher shortage crisis isn’t going away.

“Based on data from the last few years, most states have more vacant positions and/or more underqualified teachers in the classroom than in previous years,” states Teacher Shortage research. “We estimate there are at least 55,000 vacant positions and 270,000 underqualified positions. At the same time, we are seeing a decline or stagnation in enrollment for teacher certification programs for most states as well as a sharp increase in teachers leaving the profession in the last two years compared to the last decade.” 

Teacher shortages in the spring semester

A handful of open positions in the fall widen to large gaps in the spring as additional teachers leave the classroom. It puts schools in a difficult position. Now there are more courses without a qualified teacher, and more students approaching testing without the support they need. We all agree that students deserve to be taught by a certified teacher, but when they aren’t available locally, schools are forced to increase class sizes, hire long-term substitutes, and discontinue course offerings.

Additionally, degree and certification requirements have eased, allowing for underqualified instructors to enter the classroom. Students are at a disadvantage without experienced teachers who know how to prepare them for upcoming assessments and grade advancement. Don’t rely on emergency certifications as state testing approaches. 

Keep upcoming testing in mind

State testing is at the forefront when addressing spring semester issues. We want students to excel in end-of-grade exams, but they need support to do so. Many schools are forced to stretch their resources to cover as many learners as possible. However, increasing class sizes worsens student outcomes, and they’re already behind due to years of change.

Students need more than a substitute to catch up and succeed in end-of-grade testing. New innovations allow students to access certified teachers through live synchronous instruction. An in-class facilitator manages your classroom, while your Proximity Learning certified virtual teacher delivers high-quality instruction, preparing students for exams. 

How Schools Are Leveraging Technology to Fill Teacher Vacancies with Certified Educators

It’s not too early to plan for spring. It’s time to get innovative with solutions to put kids in the best position before testing. Synchronous learning gives students access to the expert teachers they deserve.

The benefits of online live instruction include:

  • Increases student achievement
  • Improves content comprehension
  • Boosts student/teacher satisfaction
  • Enhances the learning experience
  • Improves instruction and coursework

Read more: Top 5 Reasons Synchronous Learning Works and Async Doesn't

“Unlike traditional online education platforms, which can often feel isolating and impersonal, Proximity Learning uses advanced technology to provide students with a virtual classroom experience that’s as close to the real thing as possible,” explains Director of Innovation, Dr. Daryl Chesley. 

“While Proximity Learning’s technology is certainly impressive, it’s the human element that truly sets the platform apart. Teachers play a crucial role in the success of Proximity Learning, providing students with personalized instruction, feedback, and encouragement. Because teachers can connect with students in real time, they can quickly address any questions, concerns, or challenges that arise in the course of a lesson. This level of engagement and communication helps to create a more supportive, stimulating learning environment for students.”

Synchronous instruction is effective and can fill some of the gaps caused by the national teacher shortage crisis.

Learn more about our teacher vacancy solutions.

about the author
Chelsea Penney

Chelsea Penney earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Writing from University of Colorado Denver and her Masters of Science in Marketing from Texas A&M University Commerce. She loves living in Austin, TX and working on the frontline as Content Marketing Manager for Proximity Learning.

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