As schools work to recover from the devastation and chaos of the past three school years, two things appear true that have implications for school design: to stay in the profession, many teachers will need a more supportive environment and many parents are increasingly comfortable with demanding that their preferences for their children are met.
The strain on teachers has perhaps never been greater. Across 100 large urban districts, 61 have reported instruction staffing shortages, according to the Center for Reinventing Public Education. Making matters worse is a lack of substitutes and a long decline in the pipeline of new teachers.
Philadelphia was a poster child for the challenges this past school year. Twice as many of the district’s teachers resigned between December 1 and February 15 compared to the prior year. On top of that, the district struggled with a 20 percent increase in daily teacher absences.