Let’s Talk About Hawaii’s Teacher Shortage

Hawaii’s vigorous teacher recruitment has received a lot of media attention recently. This fall, the state is expected to have 1,600 vacancies in the classroom.

So, why is Hawaii facing such a massive teacher shortage? First of all, it should be known that Hawaii is not alone in this. The there is currently a nationwide teacher shortage, in part because the baby boomer generation is retiring. Because teachers receive a pension, retiring for them is easier than for those in other industries who receive comparable pay.

Additionally, teachers are becoming increasingly less satisfied in their profession. From 2008 to 2013, teacher satisfaction declined 23 points, and the majority of teachers reported feeling “under great stress” several days a week. Much of this has to do with an added emphasis on standardized testing. This allows teachers less flexibility to teach what they feel is important. Standardized testing also makes teaching more high stakes since many teacher evaluations are based in part on how well their students perform on standardized tests.

Hawaii has an especially difficult time keeping teachers. Many teachers from the mainland leave Hawaii soon after they begin teaching there because they cannot adjust to the lifestyle and cost of living.

A case like Hawaii’s is exactly why Proximity Learning, Inc. exists. Teachers who want flexibility in their work hours and location can teach remotely via video chat, and we can help combat teacher shortages in the process.