One of the biggest draws to teaching is the growing numbers of students and the shortage of teachers. It seems like the perfect job. You get to work and educate children, have a great schedule including long summers, plus all the benefits of working for the government.

If you love kids then this seems like the perfect job, but everything isn’t as rosy as it seems. By the time education majors graduated from college they were confident about their ability to find a job even in this tough economy. Now that idea has dwindled. After several months of looking for teaching jobs many students still can’t find one because the economy forced school systems to cut positions.

The shortage that was so obvious a few years ago but has now turned into a surplus of unemployed educators. Not only can they not find jobs as teachers, but many are struggling to even substitute teach.  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported since last fall school systems including agencies, schools, and colleges have cut approximately 124,000 jobs.

These cuts have affected teachers at every angle. Many seasoned educators have lost their jobs, while many that were planning on retiring or switching jobs are staying on. Plus, there are individuals that were laid off from other careers that started trying to make it as teachers again or applieed to work as substitutes.  Then there are thousands of graduates trying to find work.

In Texas one school district had over 5,000 applicants and only 322 open positions. Even substitutes almost doubled. So schools currently have 2.5 times as many as it needs even during flu and swine flu season. Because of the tough job market many individuals are trying to become substitute teachers.

It’s strange that for years we have been hearing about the teaching shortage that we were going to have along with nursing. Well the economy took a dip and now we have thousands of teachers that are unemployed. Originally experts believed there would be a shortage because baby boomers would be retiring from the classroom and with a strong economy, education wasn’t as attractive as it had once been.

The nationwide demand for teachers is decreasing. Out of 61 subjects there were declines in 60. Math was the only subject that positions didn’t go down. There was such a shortage of teachers that all math educators remained at their schools unlike other subjects.

Education is no longer a safe guess. Their is no longer a shortage and educators are struggling through the economy just like everyone else. Lilli Lackey is just one example of an unemployed educator looking for work. She remarked at an educator’s career fair that “Teaching isn’t really the place to go into. A few years ago it seemed like the place to be if you wanted a job.”

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