Fairman discusses solutions to teacher shortage with Maine Monitor

The Maine Monitor interviewed Janet Fairman, co-director of the Maine Education Policy Research Institute (MEPRI) and associate professor in the College of Education and Human Development, about Maine’s teacher shortage. Fairman said three main questions need to be addressed before solutions to the teacher workforce shortage can be determined: Schools and policymakers need more information about open positions; there needs to be more research on why teachers are leaving the profession; and more information is needed about why high school students don’t seem to be interested in becoming teachers anymore. Fairman talked about a study currently being conducted by MEPRI that will survey undergraduate students who are studying education about why they chose their major, what their perceptions of teaching are, and what might incentivize them to teach in a rural district. “As we learn more about what attracts people to teaching, keeps them in the profession, and what is causing them to leave, then we can start to identify where the problems are and try to form a plan to address some of those challenges,” Fairman said. The Bangor Daily News and News Center Maine shared the Maine Monitor report.