Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The sad state of social studies teaching

We're over a quarter of the way through the school year, and I still don't have a social studies job. I needed to know if I was alone in this case, so I decided to check up on my former colleagues from the U. I still have my cohort contact list, and I was able their names on the Minnesota Department of Education's License Look-Up function.

I felt a little weird about this, like it was some sort of a violation, but that quickly passed. This is all public information, available to all. Enter your favorite teacher's name, and find out what they're licensed in, and since when!

Turns out that only eight out of thirty-two of my colleagues are teaching in Minnesota for this school year. Seventy-five percent of my colleagues who got their social studies license in 2001 do not have a job three years later. I know for a fact that several had planned to move out of state after receiving their licenses, either to Wisconsin, California, or Arizona, so the numbers are skewed a bit. I also know that some probably never planned to teach in the first place. But there are several (me included) whose last teaching job was one or two years ago. I can assume that those people still want to teach, but can't find a job.

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