K-12 school systems nationwide are facing unprecedented staffing shortages, and the problem is only expected to get worse: Forbes reports that nearly half of teachers in a recent survey admitted they had thought about quitting their jobs in the last 30 days as the stress of teaching during the pandemic continues to mount.
The current teacher shortage is affecting all aspects of education and has K-12 leaders desperate for effective solutions. How can education companies help?
View the Webinar: How to Bridge the Teacher Hiring Gap
Adam Newman, founding partner at B2E consulting firm Tyton Partners, explored this topic during a recent CB&A Expert Series webinar. Newman shared key insights that his firm has gathered from surveying K-12 leaders, including three ways the growing teacher shortage could be an opportunity for business-to-education (B2E) marketers who have thoughtful solutions to offer.
Create value by streamlining teacher workflows.
“We talk about student outcomes a lot, but we don’t talk enough about productivity and efficiency for educators,” Newman says. “In the current environment, with overworked and inexperienced teachers, the efficiency and productivity that technology can bring in the delivery of instruction is going to be critically important.”
Products and services that can save teachers time and streamline their workflows “are going to be incredibly valuable for many districts,” he noted.
Become an instructional partner by offering supplemental online courses.
School districts are rethinking how they partner with external organizations, Newman says, noting: “If it used to be, ‘We’ll take your products, but leave them at the door,’ districts and schools are now at a point where they can’t survive and be effective that way.”
With this paradigm shift in mind, the reasons for using supplemental online courses are expanding. While only 17 percent of K-12 leaders said they used these courses to address a shortage of teachers during the 2021-22 school year, 28 percent said they anticipate doing so by 2024-25.
“More than a quarter of schools believe they will offer supplemental online courses (to help solve) a teacher shortage,” Newman observes.
Provide supplemental academic services.
There is a growing need for supplemental academic services (or tutoring) to help close achievement gaps and aid in learning recovery. About 60 percent of districts already have these services in place, and another 25 percent are planning to implement them soon.
“We think tutoring is going to be pretty fixed in the K-12 community going forward,” Newman says.
Before COVID, 90 percent of districts provided these services with the help of internal staff; just one in five used an external service provider. But that’s changing—and 30 percent of districts anticipate using an external provider within three years.
“As we all know, staff don’t have the capacity, the energy, the wherewithal to wear the number of hats they’ve had to wear (before), given the marathon they’ve been on the last two years,” Newman explains.
Teachers who leave the profession don’t stop loving the experience they have working with students. “Right now, they are leaving the environment in which they are teaching,” Newman says.
“If organizations are creating opportunities for teachers to continue working with students, but they create a buffer from the challenges that teachers have had to face over the last few years, that’s going to be a profound value proposition.”
And those are the types of organizations that districts are going to be looking for when they’re choosing external tutoring providers; he adds—companies whose tutors are former classroom teachers.
For more insights from Newman, you can watch the full webinar here.