Missouri changes teaching requirements to combat teacher shortage

Those who score below a passing grade on the assessment can still get their license if they’ve managed to complete other requirements. (Source: WGEM)
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 4:07 AM CDT
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VANDALIA, Mo. (WGEM) - With schools across Missouri struggling to fill teaching open positions, the state board of education is making it easier for people to get into the field by changing licensing requirements.

Previously those looking to get their teaching license would have had to pass an assessment. Now those who score just a below a passing grade can still get their license if they’ve managed to complete other requirements, such as maintaining a 3.0 GPA in their college work and supervised student teaching

Van-Far R1 superintendent John Fortney said these changes can be good for schools. He said their three open teaching positions are proving tough to fill and he’s not worried that this could lead to less qualified teachers making it into their classrooms.

“We’re very concerned about having great teachers in the front of the classroom,” he said. “If that’s the case then we’re never, even through our interviewing and our vetting process, we’re not going to bring somebody into a classroom that we don’t think is gonna be good for kids, isn’t going to make a difference in the lives of kids in a very positive way.”

Special education director Melissa Deineke said the changes could also help get more people into the field.

“We need to remember to try to get people involved in educating,” she said. “It’s a very rewarding field to go into, just trying to get people interested into going into education, overall it helps our society.”

Deineke said when she was getting her certification she had shadowed teachers and worked in classrooms. She said teachers doing their shadowing tend to learn skills that they can use once they’re on their own.

Fortney said there are other factors that are driving the teacher shortage that are being looked into, but this is a step in the right direction. Both mentioned it might take awhile before schools start seeing any results.

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