Teacher Residency Program Helps Lower Merion and Other Local School Districts Address Labor Shortage


A nine-week residency program with Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia is helping local school districts deal with the teacher shortage and bring more diverse educators into classrooms, writes Marcella Baietto for CBS Philly.

“The program is for nine weeks, the teacher fellows are with us for nine weeks,” said Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia’s Michelle Palmer. “They learn everything from what you need to do to run a classroom from classroom management, lesson planning, DEI everything that it takes to be a teacher.”

The teacher shortage has been affecting schools across the state, according to Pennsylvania Department of Education. Lower Merion School District is among those that have been having trouble finding educators to fill key positions.

“We had about 60 teaching positions that we for the most part have been able to fill,” said Amy Buckman with the Lower Merion School District. “It’s been challenging in a couple of areas. Those are subjects like advanced sciences, computer technology, chemistry.”

In addition to teachers, the district has been struggling to hire enough bus drivers, substitute teachers, nutritional staff, and building engineers.

“We have more than a dozen open bus driver positions,” said Buckman.

Read more about the program at CBS Philly.

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