Pennsylvania School Study Council Conference

Teacher Leaders and the Crisis in the Teaching Profession: Global Perspectives/Rural Realities
Wed, March 15, 2023

Concerns about “teacher shortages” have a long history in the U.S., but since the pandemic, these have taken on a new urgency with many organizations sponsoring summits on how to address the teacher shortage. We wish to take a different perspective that looks at the current situation (not enough teachers for the positions open, persistent difficulties in recruiting teachers of color, and the striking decline of college students deciding to enter into teaching) as emblematic of a larger crisis for the teaching profession that is occurring worldwide. Globally, many nations face “teacher shortages” but also have seen the erosion of social support for teachers and schools. Rural schools, in particular, may feel the effects of this crisis in more severe ways. This conference focuses on how teacher leaders might offer a way to address the crisis in the profession and in particular, provide key leadership in rural areas.


Bring together rural teachers and administrators with academic researchers, reform advocates, and policymakers to:

  • 1) identify the areas or issues most critical to recruiting and retaining teachers during this crisis;
  • 2) identify new forms of collaboration between local school districts and institutions of higher education;
  • 3) envision new ways that districts and universities can engage with and support the activities of teachers as leaders within their schools and communities.



Draft Agenda:
(Greens Restaurant Opens at 7 am)
9:15 am – 10:45 am Panel Discussion of “Crisis in the Teaching Profession”
A panel consisting of two student teachers, 3 current teacher leaders, and one teacher educator will respond to materials from national surveys that indicate a crisis in the teaching profession. Panelists will provide their own concerns and ideas about how teacher leadership might address this crisis. The moderator will ask three questions:

  1. We all got Santoro’s article “Good Teaching in Difficulty Times.” Did you resonate with that article, or do you think that talking about a “crisis” in the teaching profession is overstating the situation?
  2. Looking forward, what do you see as the biggest difficulties ahead in your teaching career?
  3. Given your experiences for far, where do you think teachers, parents, principals, and professors could come together and agree on what is important for teachers to succeed?

Stephanie DeLuca, Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development Coordinator, Brentwood SD
Jessica Fellin, Finalist, PA Teacher of the Year 2021; Assistant Principal Penns Valley SD
Jacqui Fisher, PSEA Student Association Board Member
Alicia McDyre, Coordinator of PK-4 and 4-8 field experiences, Asst. Prof. Penn State
Beth Patten, 7th Grade Social Studies, Kutztown Area SD
Emma Wolf, PSEA Student Association President


10:45 am – 11:00 am Break


11 am – 11:45 am Response/Reflections from Policy Makers and Reform Advocates
Panel members will respond to the concerns raised by the first panel and reflect on the issues that teacher’s raise. They will also provide the concerns that policymakers and advocates have around challenges facing the teaching profession.

Eric Hagarty, Former Acting Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Education
Heather Peske, President, National Council on Teach Quality
Sherri Smith, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators
Amy Morton, Executive Director, Educational Policy and Leadership Center
Zakiya Stewart, Pennsylvania Policy Manager for Teach Plus
Chris Clayton, Assistant Director for Education Services- Pennsylvania State Education Association
Ed Albert, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools


12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Lunch Break Initial discussions


1:15 pm – 2:30 pm Expert Presentation on Teacher Shortages
Three scholars who have done extensive work in the area of teacher shortages (Richard Ingersoll, Ed Fuller, and Axel Gehrmann) will respond to the concerns presented by the morning panels and present additional data on aspects of “teacher shortages” that they think will likely impact the profession.
Richard Ingersoll, Professor of Education and Sociology at Penn GSE - Click for the PowerPoint Presentation
Axel Gehrmann, Professor of Education and Director of The Center for Teacher Education and Educational Research at the Technical University of Dresden - Click for the PDF Presentation
Edward Fuller, Professor of Educational Leadership at Penn State and Director of the Penn State Center for Evaluation and Education Policy Analysis - Click for the PowerPoint Presentation


2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Group Breakout sessions
Pre-determined groups, including teachers, administrators, and researchers will identify what they see as the main issues currently facing the teaching profession in terms of recruiting and retaining new teachers. They will consider the data presented and their own personal experience. One rapporteur/reporter per group will support the summary of main issues.


3:30 pm – 3:45 pm Break


3:45 pm – 5:00 pm Consensus Building around the Problem
Using board papers from each group, this general session will attempt to achieve consensus on what the most important issues are, and then discuss what stakeholders need to be involved in coming together to address these issues.

Teacher Leaders and the Crisis in the Teaching Profession: Global Perspectives/Rural Realities Panelists and Guest Speakers

Wednesday, March 15, 2023 | ZOOM Here