Flanders 'dares' people to become educators in bid to tackle teacher shortage

Flanders 'dares' people to become educators in bid to tackle teacher shortage
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Faced with a worsening teacher shortage so bad that school inspectors have been forced into classrooms as substitutes, Flanders is unveiling a new campaign based around the idea of challenging people to become a teacher.

Titled “lesgeven is alles geven” or “teaching is giving everything,” the new campaign from the office of Flemish Education Minister Ben Weyts targets “people who want to make a difference.”

“Teaching is about giving the best of yourself every day to get the best out of your students,” Weyts said in a statement. “So we are looking for people who have a lot to give.”

In terms of what Flanders is willing to give back, while the Region has tried a number of different measures to make the teaching profession more attractive, they stop short of paying higher salaries.

Flanders recently made changes to allow new teachers to qualify for structural raises sooner, carry more seniority from other professions when leaving the private sector for the classroom and enjoy improved support in the classroom.

Tackling recruitment with image campaign

“Flemish Minister of Education Ben Weyts and the education partners now want to boost influx with an image and recruitment campaign that points out the fantastic and unique aspects of the job to people,” reads a statement from his office.

“The campaign also shows people the way to the teaching profession, because few people know the various paths to becoming a teacher or know, for example, that you can already earn money in education while you are still in pedagogical training.”

The campaign has two objectives: highlighting the positive aspects of the job and showing the different ways to enter the field, apart from traditional pedagogical training.

“The many different paths to the teaching profession may seem complex, but actually it means that there is a tailor-made route for everyone,” Weyts said. “Unknown, however, is unused. We now want to bring the many possibilities to the attention of a much broader public.”

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The campaign will utilise social media, TV and cinema ads and run for the next three school years.

“Teaching is not for everyone,” said Weyts. “The campaign does not paint an idyllic picture of a peaceful life in education. It is about giving everything every day. Education is not the place to be if you want to fizzle out or go through life on automatic pilot. We are looking for driven and ambitious people, who really want to make a difference and still have a lot to give.”

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