Academic journal article Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

Teacher Recruitment and Retention: Personal Conflicts, Social Dilemmas

Academic journal article Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge

Teacher Recruitment and Retention: Personal Conflicts, Social Dilemmas

Article excerpt

The social dilemma that I explore in this paper has great relevance to my life. I have chosen to investigate the recent shortage of teachers in our educational school systems. I view this to be a major social problem that will affect almost everyone. This topic will also relate to my own life in various ways. First, I will look at the reasons I have chosen to enter the educational field. I will relate my personal career choice to those of others that are in a similar situation. Next, I will look at the problem of teacher shortages. I will look at some of the personal dilemmas that I am facing and link them to the social factors surrounding teacher shortages. Lastly I will explore the ways that society is combating this problem and look at how these solutions connect to my own life. I hope that this exploration will provide me with some answers, or at least some options, as to where my career is headed. Throughout this paper I will look at the issue of teacher shortages in terms of my own experiences, ideas, and emotions that are related to the educational field.

I begin by informing you about why I have chosen this topic. I believe a short life history will prove imperative in revealing the relevance of this matter to my own life. In high school I was sort of a troublemaker. Reflecting on my adolescence I would say that many of my actions were self-destructive. As many are at that age I was having trouble defining who I was and wanted to be, and how I wanted to come across to others. I was considered a "late bloomer" and was very small stature wise in comparison to my peers. In retrospect, I think I would often overcompensate my "small stature" with "large rebellious actions," which usually got me into trouble. Needless to say my education suffered, I failed some classes and barely passed others. A college career began to look unattainable. During my senior year I got into more trouble and was beginning a downward spiral. This led to my mother kicking me out of the house. I moved in with one of my friends and continued on as I had been. Due to my grades and attendance history I was pushed into a BOCES vocational program by my guidance counselor. This was common for students with "below average performances" in high school. I began to take building trades in the morning and then a few regular academic classes in the afternoon. I started to really like the construction business and soon aspired to work in the industry after finishing high school. My building trades teacher set up a "vocational college day" in our class. Finding out that I could go to college for construction sparked some interest in me. This new prospect helped me to graduate and receive my high school diploma; it also helped me to convince my mother to let me move back in!

When I moved back in with my mother I agreed to make some life-style changes. We both agreed to do some volunteer work for a local charity. Throughout my life I had always been great with children. I had always taken an interest in them and enjoyed caring for them. My mother and I agreed that we would focus our volunteer work in some way that would benefit children. We soon got in touch with catholic family services. This institution set us up with a family that consisted of three children, a father, and a mother who had the AIDS virus. We began seeing the children once a week and progressively more. I believe that this showed me my first true calling to childcare and education. When their mother passed away later that year we began to see the kids quite often; they even moved in with us for a while. I loved it! I would help with their homework, play sports with them and most importantly be there for them to talk to.

Late in my senior year I applied for the vocational college and got accepted. I spent the next two years in a rural town in upstate New York. The classes were a lot harder than I was used to but I did all right. I maintained my relationship with the children throughout my college years. …

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