‘Teachers for Tomorrow’ help with shortage

Published 8:30 am Thursday, April 18, 2024

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A teacher shortage is plaguing public schools across the country. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, officials with 45% of public schools reported feeling that they were understaffed in August 2023, and hiring for elementary and special education remains a challenge. 

Central Virginia faces the same issue. The U.S. Department of Education reports that the state will be facing shortages for elementary school core subjects during the 2024-2025 school year. 

A solution Randolph-Henry High School has adopted is looking to their own classrooms to train future teachers.

“Given the teacher shortages across the nation, it is critical that we provide and support programs such as these that allow schools to ‘grow their own’ future educators,” said Principal Erin Davis. 

The school has implemented the Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow program into their course options. The curriculum allows students to learn the history of teaching, gain field experience, and develop leadership skills over the course of a semester or a year. 

“These students are learning valuable skills that will serve them in any child centered career, but they are also participating in real-world internships that place them on the front lines of education. These opportunities were not afforded to most teachers until college,” said Davis. 

Davis said they began the school year with 13 students taking Part one of the course with teacher Rhonda Benn. There are currently three students enrolled in part two of the course with teacher Kari Joyner. 

The course also offers students a peek at different career options within education. Students get the opportunity to understand learner differences, apply teaching techniques, and work in the community to build on their teaching experiences. 

“Getting involved and having these experiences now can help students solidify their plans for post secondary life whether that includes working in child care, day care, or education,” said Davis. 


Charlotte County is in a better position than most, when it comes to filling positions. As it stands currently, the district only has seven full-time classroom spots still open, including just five teachers. 

Davis believes that no single initiative will solve the shortage crisis, “but programs like these definitely help.”

“Students who grew up in Charlotte County know and love our school division. They have strong connections here,” said Davis. “If we can support these students and prepare them well for a college degree in education, we can hope they will return to us and give back to our students right here within Charlotte County Public Schools.”