Solving the Teacher Shortage with Better Equipped Classrooms

back of classroom, students sitting at desks.
Solving the Teacher Shortage with Better-Equipped Classrooms

Nearly everyone, especially those with children, is well aware that there’s a serious teacher shortage across the United States, and the problem is only expected to get worse.

A study conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found a 7% drop in the number of teachers between 2019 and 2021, resulting in 233,000 fewer public school teachers. The problem is particularly serious in Western states as well as rural and urban areas and high-poverty communities, the study found. Among the most affected subject areas are foreign language, science, and special education.

The issue shows no sign of abating.

Why is there a teacher shortage? 

The reasons for the current teacher shortages are many, including low pay, time demands, and ever-increasing classroom sizes. And with school staff often taking the blame for behavioral issues among students, it’s easy to see why more and more teachers are quitting the profession.

Complicating those issues is outdated technology. According to the Foundation for Economic Education, many schools are failing to accommodate the variety of learning styles by which students process information, instead opting to aim primarily for high scores on standardized tests. Some aren’t incorporating the technology that’s an integral part of today’s business world, leaving students unprepared for life beyond the classroom. And in the case of some large classrooms, some students simply can’t hear what the teacher is saying, putting them at a distinct disadvantage. back of lecture hall classroom.

Unfortunately, there’s no quick and easy solution to the nationwide teacher shortage, but modern classroom technology equipment can help teachers more easily deliver lessons to larger classes. Additionally, with most of today’s students being digital natives who grew up with technology as an integral part of their lives, there’s a good chance that AV equipment in the classroom will improve learning outcomes and help keep students more engaged.

Increased classroom sizes present audio challenges

One of the most common ways school systems are dealing with teacher shortages is by increasing classroom sizes. According to research conducted by career search firm Zippia, elementary school classrooms in several western states including California, Utah, and Nevada have an average of between 21 and 25 students each, while secondary school classrooms have an average of 29 students each. Nationwide, the average is 24 students.

In some lecture classes, a teacher may be working with as many as 100 students or even more.

Such large classrooms can have a significant impact on learning, with nearly 70% of teachers surveyed by Zippia saying that the subject they teach is negatively affected by the number of students they have in their classes.

One of the main challenges in working with such a large number of students is simple acoustics. Along with the noise generated by the students themselves, when it comes to being heard instructors may be competing with the sound of HVAC systems, an instructor in the room next door playing a movie, noisy students in the hall, and even the sound of traffic or construction noise from outside.

Poor acoustics has been clearly demonstrated to negatively affect learning. A study by researcher David Lubman published in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America points out that “acoustical conditions in many classrooms are unsuitable for such tasks as learning to read, to listen or to understand unfamiliar material,” and that in some cases as much as 25% of educational content can be missed because of poor acoustical conditions.

Those conditions can contribute to teacher frustration and burnout as well. Lubman found that teachers can more easily become fatigued and will talk with students for shorter periods when noise levels are high.

Solving the teacher shortage with the latest classroom AV equipment

lecture-hall-yamaha-uc-microphone.jpgAlthough no single solution will address the myriad of reasons for the continuing teacher shortage, there is one that can help overcome the issue of poor acoustics and ultimately help reduce burnout and fatigue: a voice amplification system in the classroom.

Yamaha Unified Communications, for example, offers a variety of microphone systems, including several solutions that are perfect for the classroom or large auditorium.

Here are some of the best audio upgrades that can set your educational facility apart from the rest.

ADECIA Wireless Microphone & Line Array Speaker Solution

The ADECIA Wireless Microphone & Line Array Speaker Solution is a great all-in-one audio solution for classrooms and training spaces. Yamaha's Easy Set Up wizards and automatic acoustic technologies simplify implementation, device configuration, and room acoustics by providing all components required for a successful installation, reducing cost, time, and complexities.

Case study: Learn how ADECIA made strides in classroom learning improvements at the Keio University Graduate School in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

YVC-200 & YVC-330 Portable Speakerphones

For those who might be teaching in an online or hybrid learning format, portable speakerphones from Yamaha UC such as the YVC-200 or YVC-330 are great options for more interactive settings.

Teachers can enjoy crystal clear audio and relay crisp lectures to students in any virtual learning environment, and enjoy the ability to set up anywhere with a portable form factor.

Choosing the best microphone for your classroom needs can be a complicated task, and these are just a few of the technological tools from Yamaha UC that can aid an educator. Visit this site to learn more about education technology and to download our free Education E-book. For expert guidance, feel free to reach out to the experts at Yamaha UC!

Frequently asked questions about teacher shortages

When did the teacher shortage begin?

Teachers have been in short supply for decades due to the demanding nature of the job and less-than-ideal pay. The problem has been recently exasperated by the 2020 pandemic due to changes in learning environments and added stress from new expectations for teachers and students.

How to fix the teacher shortage?

Schools can help alleviate the teacher shortage through improved compensation and treatment for those in the teaching profession. Schools can also abate the teacher shortage by better equipping classrooms with modern technology solutions that improve the teaching experience for educators and students alike.

How does the teacher shortage affect students?

The teacher shortage affects students negatively due to the lack of qualified educators available, increases in classroom sizes, limited course offerings, and high turnover leading to inconsistent and lower-quality learning environments.