Teacher Shortages in Texas Were Worsened by the Pandemic’s Toll on Educators
Thomas Garcia was in a lot of trouble after last school year, but he believes he made the correct decision to leave his teaching job after 15 years.
Garcia, like so many other educators, has loved her job since she first started teaching in Mexico in the early 1980s. He arrived in the United States in the late 1980s and worked in an unusual job before opting to return to school. Garcia was a sophomore bilingual teacher in the Houston Independent School District’s Lacquer Elementary School. He gradually transitioned from teaching Spanish to social studies to math.
Nothing made him happier than seeing a child’s face light up when he solved a difficult arithmetic issue. Garcia returned to the school every day, year after year, because of these interactions.
However, as the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on both his physical and emotional health over the last year, that love has faded. He didn’t feel safe or appreciative any longer. Finally, it was summed up in his life-or-death choice. He got infected with COVID in September 2020 and did not need to be hospitalized as a result of the virus, which killed over 57,000 Texans, but he was terrified for his life.
Garcia stated that “Although it will be difficult, I decided to save my life and go back. You have to start caring about yourself, and that’s what I decided to do.”
Garcia left her employment after concluding her school year this spring, assisting numerous school administrators in claiming a teacher shortage. The job is available, but the manager claims that there aren’t enough teachers. There is a particular need for multilingual, special education, and STEM teachers.
This has been an issue for school administrators for years, but the pandemic has worsened it. Teachers say that the demand for distance learning has thinned out as a result of ongoing health worries. Substitute teachers were affected by the shortage. Most agents, according to authorities, are retired teachers who do not want to return to the classroom at this point of the pandemic.