As many Iowa schools start classes this week, the state’s teacher shortage may be lessening, according to a source at the University of Iowa’s College of Education. Professor Mark McDermott, the U-I’s Associate Dean for Teacher Education, says he’ll frequently hear from K-12 principals and administrators who are scrambling to fill positions, even days before classes begin, but the demand is lessening.
Iowa has more than half-a-million students enrolled in some 13-hundred schools in more than 320 districts. Administrators routinely contact McDermott as fall approaches, checking to see if any recent graduates are available to fill teaching jobs.
The role of the U-I’s College of Education, McDermott says, is to work in partnership with the state’s K-12 schools, helping to support them.
Looking ahead, McDermott says he’s optimistic about the current crop of candidates who are just starting their journey toward becoming exceptional teachers.
While science teachers and those with special education training are often in high demand, he says the needs this year are individual to each district and there are few defined trends.