A Planned Supply of Teachers for Vermont
by Francis L. Bailey - 1940
In the present study a program is set forth for planning and controlling a supply of qualified teachers for Vermont elementary and secondary schools in such a way that the supply of teachers for each position may balance as nearly as possible the demand for the same.
VERMONT, as a small state, must conserve with utmost care all its resources, both in funds and in individuals, in undertaking to provide an adequate educational program of wide diversity. In the present study a program is set forth for planning and controlling a supply of qualified teachers for Vermont elementary and secondary schools in such a way that the supply of teachers for each position may balance as nearly as possible the demand for the feasibility of such a program should have an important bearing on the solution of the problem in all states.
Following an examination of the teacher personnel in Vermont in 1937-1938 and a study of the demand for teachers during the periods 1936-1938, an estimate of the demand for teachers in the state for the four-year period 1938-1942 was made. By use of the Evenden formula for estimating the number of beginning teachers needed in a given year, and of the estimates of the Vermont Teachers Guidance Association, the number of beginning elementary teachers was predicted. Similarly, and in consideration of data from placement records of teachers for the years 1936-1938 and of expected added services in particular fields, quotas for beginning secondary teachers were estimated.
Examination of all sources of supply of "new additional" teachers in Vermont in 1936-1937 and 1937-1938 (that is, of teachers employed in any one year who were not employed in Vermont the previous year) showed that although Vermont institutions had furnished approximately two-thirds of the number of beginning teachers during that time, they had not produced enough graduates to meet the demand for "new additional" elementary teachers, or for "special" and secondary teachers in such fields as agriculture, art, biological sciences, health and physical education, music, and trades and industries. Difficulty was encountered by the Vermont Teachers Registration Bureau in the attempt to secure from other states qualified teachers of agriculture, home economics, and business.
In planning an adequate supply of both elementary and secondary teachers for Vermont and in adjusting the supply so as to furnish the numbers needed in the different fields, guidance plays a large part. Desirable enrollment quotas for each institution are now determined by the director of teacher training in the State Department of Education in cooperation with the normal schools and colleges. Vermont colleges have already cooperated in the endeavor to direct and redirect students into fields in which there is" known to be a demand.
Parallel with this work in the colleges is a constructive program of guidance beginning in the high schools of the state. Results of this work in the secondary schools and of the advantages of further guidance in the normal schools and colleges should be of great value in assuring a high caliber of student personnel in preparation for teaching.
The selective process is further refined by the admission requirements for the institutions of higher education, by permitting only those students who show promise of becoming good teachers to do practice teaching, and by the certification specifications for elementary and secondary school teaching. The Vermont Teachers Registration Bureau is the final clearing house for the selection of the best candidates, experienced and inexperienced, to supply the demand for teachers in the state.
It is recommended that further effort be made to bring about the realization of the following goals of the program:
1. Complete, accurate, and continuous records concerning students in pre-service training who expect to teach in Vermont and concerning teacher personnel should be maintained by the State Department of Education.
2. Steps toward further goals in the adjustment of supply and demand should be undertaken only with the support of a public alive to the desirability of such goals. In this connection, the importance of contributions of lay committees working in cooperation with the Vermont Teachers Guidance Association in a long-range program should be stressed.
3. As soon as feasible, the minimum requirement for preparation for all beginning elementary teachers should be made identical with that for beginning secondary teachers, that is, four years of pre-service training beyond completion of high school.
4. All "special" teachers should be certified to teach only in those fields in which they have made the required minimum amount of preparation.
5. Secondary school teachers should be certified only for the specific fields in which their preparation meets minimum standards. Raising of standards should be gradual in order to allow ample opportunity for teachers to meet new requirements.
6. As soon as state and local support offer sufficient guarantee of adequate salaries for teachers, the Vermont law on teacher retirement should be amended to require all Vermont public school teachers to become members of the Vermont Teachers Retirement Association; to permit both men and women teachers to retire at the age of sixty and to make mandatory the retirement of all teachers at the age of sixty-five.