The Teacher Shortage Is Testing America's Schools : 1A The National Education Association estimates there's a shortage of roughly 300,000 teachers and staff across the U.S.

The teacher shortage is particularly pronounced in rural school districts, where the need for special education teachers and STEM teachers is high.

We hear from current and former teachers about the challenges of the profession.

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The Teacher Shortage Is Testing America's Schools

The Teacher Shortage Is Testing America's Schools

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Teachers in New York set up their classroom. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Teachers in New York set up their classroom.

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Annie Tan was a special education teacher for a decade in public schools in Chicago and in New York City. She knew she wanted to be a teacher when she was 6 years old.

"I had a teacher, Mrs. Sheridan who really inspired me because she made it joyous to learn," Tan says. "I wanted every kid to find themselves and to self-actualize like I did."

But two years into the pandemic as thousands of students got sick, standardized testing increased, and teachers' workloads grew, Tan had had enough.

She resigned in August of this year and is now working as an activist and author focused on making schools safer.

The National Education Association estimates there's a shortage of roughly 300,000 teachers and staff across the U.S. The teacher shortage is particularly pronounced in rural school districts, where the need for special education teachers and STEM teachers is high.

We hear from current and former teachers about the challenges of the profession.

Education reporter Anya Kamenetz, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, University of Illinois' Paul Bruno, Former NYC Public School Teacher Annie Tan and elementary school art teacher in West Tennessee Kathryn Vaughn join us for the conversation.

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