Addressing the Teacher Shortage in Virginia

Addressing the Teacher Shortage in Virginia

As the urgency to prepare more teachers grows, as reported in the November 7 article “Virginia Report Documents Steep Learning Loss, Teacher Attrition,” Virginia colleges and universities can play a critical role in building the teaching pipeline for future generations.

At James Madison University College of Education, we have done a lot of work with initiatives to address teacher shortages in partnership with Virginia’s community colleges and local K-12 school departments across the state.

Increasing flexibility and affordability during the teacher admissions process can help overcome the most obvious hurdles students face when considering a future teaching career.

Graduate licensing programs can offer flexible options that meet the unique needs of today’s professionals and adult learners inspired to become teachers, allowing them to complete coursework at a faster pace or on a work schedule.

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“Grow Your Own” initiatives, such as those recently established at JMU with $4.2 million in government support, are creating a no-cost path with academic and professional development support programs for eligible high school students and teaching assistants to grow become licensed teachers in their hometown school districts.

The Virginia New Teacher Support Program and The Virginia Principal are programs designed to work with school departments in the Shenandoah Valley and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia to build the professional capacity of our classrooms with highly qualified teachers.

There is no easy answer or panacea to address the teacher shortage. But by offering creative new approaches with innovative solutions to recruiting and training future educators, it is possible to strengthen the pipeline of teachers in the Commonwealth.

The election day exemplified the sense of community

Election day was more of a routine for me. I got up early and went to my polling station and set up my table. Radford is a friendly place. I knew the Republicans next to me. Some of them, like myself, have been doing this for years. One of them brought me a cup of coffee. He was a candidate I voted for. We distributed sample ballot papers. I try not to get involved in the problems with them. However, I spoke to a gentleman from the side about the refusal to vote. He mentioned a video showing people illegally putting ballots in boxes (or so he thought). We discussed the subject and I asked him a question that I thought was important. I asked him if he thought it was statistically significant. That ended the discussion. He had no answer.

The mayor came by early and gave me some materials to distribute. Later he also came by and talked to the people. I think he did a really good job as mayor. Radford is growing and one of the reasons is our low taxes compared to Blacksburg. Our parks are well maintained and we have businesses that draw people from all over the world, like Longway Brewery. There is also a coffee house just around the corner. I look forward to visiting with the other side on election day. Politics aside, we understand each other.

The comment writer must have missed the news

Dirk Padgett’s wailing November 10 comment (“Morgan Griffith is perfect for Southwest Virginia”) was largely based on commenting on the “ridiculous and fabricated story of ‘Russian collusion’ allegedly carried out by Russian President Vladimir Putin to get her.” to undermine our democracy? Were you offended by the millions of dollars spent investigating a lie?”

Maybe Dirk was too busy supporting the MAGA election deniers and missed this week’s news. From NPR:

Kremlin-linked businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin admitted Monday that he had and would continue to interfere in the US election – confirming for the first time allegations he has denied in years.

“‘Gentlemen, we have interfered, we are interfering and will be interfering. Carefully, precisely, surgically and in our own way as we can,” Prigozhin boasted in comments posted on social media.”

We all know who the real patriots who support democracy are. Note: They don’t wear red jester hats. And they’re not voting for Morgan Griffith.

What’s a name when you’re in jail?

Congratulations to the Roanoke City Council for taking a significant step towards solving the city’s crime problem. By renaming The Roanoke City Jail to The Roanoke City Adult Detention Center, you took a step that would shame Solomon.