Fairfield Teacher Village Is Solution for Housing
Teachers are leaving their profession in increasing numbers. At a time when students, their parents, and communities need experienced and talented teachers as perhaps never before, the profession is falling short of attracting the quantity and quality of recruits needed to ensure our nation’s future.
Enrollments in teacher preparation programs in colleges and universities continue to decrease. This diminishing supply of “new blood” in the profession’s pipeline is increasingly alarming because more experienced teachers are now retiring early, or simply leaving the profession for other careers.
The reasons given for not pursuing a career in teaching and the reasons given for abandoning that career are both familiar and new. They include: poor pay and working conditions; lack of administrative support; student behavior; and insufficient professional autonomy. But, more recent reasons also include: the risks and the demands created by the pandemic; inability to afford to live near their work; price of fuel; and inadequate professional and emotional support.
So how can a district, or state, or a nation for that matter begin to address such a complex and varied set of circumstances? Thanks to the informed generosity of Dominion Energy and the visionary leadership of educators and community volunteers, Fairfield County is pursuing a unique approach to addressing a number of the causes of the shortage.
The Fairfield Teacher Village will be the first of its kind in South Carolina – and one of the very first in America – when it opens next summer. It is coming at a time when the U.S. is needing to aggressively and creatively address so many of our problems. This one, however, having the quantity and quality of teachers to adequately prepare our children for our collective future, must be solved for the others to be resolved. The need is urgent. Thankfully, Fairfield is an example of educators, corporate and business leaders, and community volunteers showing that they-and all of us-are up to the challenge.