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(10,366 posts)
Sun Oct 29, 2023, 02:55 PM Oct 2023

This teacher shortage solution has gone viral. But does it work?

School custodian Jenna Gros is teaching a group of fourth-graders how to convert fractions to decimals.

"How would you write 6/100 in decimal form?" she asks, and then waits patiently for them to come up with the correct answer.

Gros, pronounced "grow," has been a custodian at Wyandotte Elementary School in St. Mary Parish, La., for more than 18 years, and now she's also a teacher in training.

"Everything is about kids and relationships. We don't just do garbage," she says, laughing.

For Gros, helping children learn is a dream come true — and it wouldn't be possible if not for a Grow Your Own program, an alternative pathway to becoming an educator. She's working toward a bachelor's degree in education, and as part of her studies, she has to get 15 hours a week of in-class training, which can include observing a teacher, tutoring students or helping design lessons. Best of all, the fees for her schooling are minimal: $75 a month.

Gros' school principal, Celeste Pipes, is eager for Gros to complete her training. She thinks Gros will be a wonderful teacher, and Pipes has also been struggling to fill teacher positions.


I think this is a good idea, especially if it's people like custodians, who are often people of color.

5 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
This teacher shortage solution has gone viral. But does it work? (Original Post) Jilly_in_VA Oct 2023 OP
There were some posts a while back about reich wingers supplying schools with unqualified teachers. paleotn Oct 2023 #1
What You Said ProfessorGAC Oct 2023 #2
If you actually read the article Jilly_in_VA Oct 2023 #3
At same time, Georgia Lt Gubnor wants to pay teachers a $10,000 bonus for toting a gun in class. Silent Type Oct 2023 #4
Experience and history... Sancho Oct 2023 #5


(18,413 posts)
1. There were some posts a while back about reich wingers supplying schools with unqualified teachers.
Sun Oct 29, 2023, 03:05 PM
Oct 2023

The general view was it was a dumb idea and I agree.

Want to fix the teacher shortage? Pay them and treat them as the trained professionals they are. Oh, but that would mean higher taxes. Can't have that now.

Personally, I think home schooling should be considered child abuse and outlawed unless the teacher is a trained and licensed professional. You wouldn't want your cousin Jim Bob the mechanic doing your appendectomy. Same applies to teaching children. And don't give me any anecdotal " I taught my kids and they turned into brain surgeons" bullshit either.


(10,366 posts)
3. If you actually read the article
Sun Oct 29, 2023, 03:49 PM
Oct 2023

these people are working toward their bachelor's in education and most have been around the kids already, so they know what they're up against. That's a pretty good start, I'd say.

That's a lot different from what the above replies are talking about.


(9,073 posts)
5. Experience and history...
Sun Oct 29, 2023, 06:25 PM
Oct 2023

We have decades of experience in teacher training. Beyond a minimum of content knowledge, teachers today need more pedagogy skills than ever before (and often have to be multilingual) to be effective. Yes, teacher values and beliefs can be predictive of long term teacher success.

Alternative routes usually result in teachers who leave the profession unless they get solid support. Most alternate routes spend more money on failed teachers than simply paying tuition for teacher training in approved programs.

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