Recent studies indicate a current and prospective shortage of language teachers. The recruitment and retention of a highly qualified teaching force is essential. Recognizing the reported 50% attrition rate of teachers new to the profession, we support high quality professional development for experienced teachers and mentoring services for new teachers. The recruitment and retention of highly qualified teachers must occur for all languages, including, but not limited to, those deemed critical by the federal government and by the business community with special efforts to attract the nation’s heritage speakers. To that end, ACTFL and its member organizations
- Initiate and support the active recruitment of teachers into the profession through various incentives
- Provide leadership in new teacher induction and ongoing professional development for mentors to provide the necessary in-service training for teachers new to the profession
- Work to ensure that high quality professional development is available to language professionals through national, state and local education agencies and professional communities.
In June 2022 the American Association for School Personal Administrators (AASPA) convened PK-20 stakeholders, including ACTFL, which resulted in the National Educator Shortage Summit Whitepaper.
This white paper moves beyond surface-level responses to examine deeper, systemic issues that contribute to mismatches between educator supply and demand. Five comprehensive shifts are presented in contrast to traditional calls to action. A discussion of each shift contains high-level recommendations, along with examples of actions that different stakeholder groups can take to address the educator shortage.