Illinois has a teacher shortage. Veteran teachers, step up to help train the rookies.

Think of the future of the profession and consider mentoring a student teacher. If we don’t start giving these students opportunities, we won’t have enough teachers to staff our schools.

SHARE Illinois has a teacher shortage. Veteran teachers, step up to help train the rookies.
A teacher walks with a preschool student at Dawes Elementary on the first day of the return to in-person schooling in Chicago Public Schools, Jan. 11, 2021.

A teacher walks with a preschool student at Dawes Elementary on the first day of the return to in-person schooling in Chicago Public Schools, Jan. 11, 2021.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

We have a teacher shortage in this state, and it’s become a critical problem in education.

Good teachers are leaving the profession in droves, and qualified substitutes are extremely hard to find, particularly in small, rural areas.One thing we can do within the teaching profession to combat this shortage is to mentor a student teacher.

Few experienced teachers are willing to take on a student teacher in the best of times, much less during a pandemic, because of the added responsibility in addition to entrusting one’s students with a young teacher who is just learning the profession.

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I was a high school English teacher for 33 years and now work as a supervisor for student teachers at Illinois State, and we are having serious difficulty placing our students with mentor teachers.If you are a teacher, I implore you to think of the future of the profession and consider mentoring a student teacher next year.If we don’t start giving these students opportunities, we won’t have enough teachers to staff our schools.Is that the future we want for our children?

Jim Rodgers, clinical assistant professor, Illinois State University

No leadership on tree protection

I am writing with an update on an issue I brought up last November in response to your Nov. 6, 2021, editorial “The World Needs More Trees. Chicago and Illinois Must Help.”

The days are numbered on the 40 oak trees in Downers Grove after School District 58 sold the property to McNaughton Development. On Feb. 8 at 7 p.m., the Village Council was scheduled to have a first reading on a change to the municipal code to allow McNaughton to build the maximum number of homes on the property.

There will be no protection for these oaks and no requirements for replacement. Again, I am not sure why Downers Grove was mentioned in the editorial as being a leader in tree protection. It is certainly not something to be proud of, but I believe it to be newsworthy as an example of decision-making that contributes to climate change.

Irene Hogstrom, Downers Grove

What baseball fans need

Regarding the ongoing collective bargaining negotiations between the baseball owners and players, both sides need to read the room. We keep hearing that the owners need this and the players need that, but we never hear about what the fans need — and what the fans need is baseball, now more than ever given the troubling times in which we live.

Millions of people lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, but billionaire owners and millionaire players can’t figure how how to equitably share $10 billion annually — this is shameful.

If this work stoppage results in the cancellation of any games, we will boycott Major League Baseball and start spending our money on minor league baseball — which frankly offers a much better value for the entertainment dollar.

Glenn Bischoff, Bartlett

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