Math Teachers: A Nationwide Epidemic


Image Courtesy of Chloe Newton

Ashton T. Livingston and Gage Landauer, Entertainment Editor and Opinion Editor

      As many juniors know YC has had a constant flow of math teachers for those not quickly enough to have Jordan Slavish or Kristen Watson. The Junior class since their 8th-grade year have had six different math teachers.

    Many Juniors, including Cameron Ricketts, Benito Risch, and Ramon Avila, all feel they’ve been set up for failure by having an inconsistent relationship with teachers. “We have a new one every year and it sucks,” says Risch. Staffing issues such as this have been reported nationwide. Richard M. Ingersoll, University of Pennsylvania professor, did a study and found the reason it is so hard to find math teachers is a mixture of poor working conditions and under qualification. Many teachers are made to teach a math course after taking only a refresher course.

       Students have to adjust to the teaching methods of a teacher. Junior Kate Gomes said that, “…it takes a while to adjust to a new teacher after Slavish.” Tori Pakizer at SimpleK12 talks about how building relationships with students is the key to success.

         Matt Wiles, YC’s Vice Principal, gave a statement on the matter. “While true we have had some inconsistencies in our math department in recent years our goal remains to educate our students at the highest level,” says Wiles.

   It is important to acknowledge the shortage of teachers that affects the country. A University of Pennsylvania professor did a study and found the reason it is so hard to find math teachers is poor working conditions. Many of the teachers that teach math are not confident in math and may be under qualified. Some are teaching after only taking a refresher course in basic math.

Some are saying the reason for such a shortage is that becoming a teacher just isn’t worth it. Tim Sweeney, a superintendent at the Coquille school district told “The World” that it is hard to expect students to become teachers if it means 150,000 dollars of debt and a starting salary of 40,000 dollars.

          As students of the Junior class, we both feel held back by the constant inflow and outflow of math teachers. Each year we have to adjust to a new teaching method and a new teacher. But this is a problem not just for us but for students across the United States. Math teachers are hard to come by and it’s hard to find the right teacher but we as a student body need our mathematics education.