Cross-Regional Community of Practice: Educator Shortage Planning During COVID

Educator shortages are impacting schools across the country and have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In collaboration with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) and the Departments of Education in Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, Illinois, Colorado, and the Virgin Islands, Regional Comprehensive Centers 1, 3, 9, and 12 created a community of practice (CoP) that will explore solutions to educator workforce challenges that have emerged as a result of or have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This CoP will include five 60-minute virtual meetings, each focusing on a relevant educator shortage topic. For each meeting, a state education agency (SEA) representative will share their challenges and solutions on the discussion topic, followed by feedback and questions from the other participants, regional comprehensive center staff, and experts from the GTL Center. Each session will conclude with a review of best practices and available resources.

Participants in the sessions will engage in a collaborative inquiry process for five individual topic sessions related to educator shortages, including:

  • Leveraging Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) and engaging teacher candidates to fill learning gaps;
  • Addressing substitute teacher shortages;
  • Developing innovative staffing structures;
  • Preventing attrition/retirements; and
  • Developing policies and guidance on educator layoffs.

Participants will learn from one another through structured/facilitated conversations led; consider implications for professional learning, policy, collective bargaining, equitable access, and short- and long-term outcomes; share insights and develop solutions to COVID-specific educator shortages; gain access to available tools and resources curated for each topic area.