Essays in Education


For decades, school districts all over the country have struggled with a shortage of special education teachers. Many reasons have been suggested for the problem, but few solutions have been offered. The unique challenges special education teachers confront are frequently minimized by administrators and those in general education. It is thought that because special education teachers have smaller caseloads their work is easier. Contrary to this belief, special education teachers face intense pressure from a variety of sources; which if not adequately addressed leads to burnout. Ultimately, burnout results in special education teacher attrition which is not good for schools or students. As a response to the special education teacher shortage, Cultivating and Keeping Committed Special Educators: What Principals and District Leaders Can Do (Billingsley, 2005) provides sensible information on what can be done by school leaders to fight the hemorrhaging of special education teachers leaving the field.

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