I fear what will happen next
The principal of a prestigious secondary school in Warsaw finds me a few minutes between job interviews with teacher candidates. Since the beginning of the holidays, he has not stopped looking for m.in. geographical. – We received a record “up to” three offers. One gentleman quit at once because he had been given a job in England, the second candidate only wanted a few hours, because he was already working elsewhere, and the third had no idea about working with young men, and I had to turn it down – she says.
The biologist demanded an increase from her in the form of an incentive allowance of 2,000 zlotys. – Even the headmaster doesn’t get that much laughter, – the headmistress laughs. By crying because the biologist quit her school and found a job elsewhere. Next problem: physics. The teacher works part time. This year, he requested a special schedule because he’s working overtime at another school. He wants nine hours, three consecutive days without windows. I do crosswords and sudoku to write lesson plans better. But I will not be able to develop such a mixture for him, – says the director.
So he is looking for a physicist, and this is an impossible task, because only in Warsaw more than 30 schools have officially reported vacancies in this specialty. Last year, a female mathematician came to work at the same school in mid-September, and after two weeks she decided it was hard for her and left. She had a one-and-a-half-year contract, which is 27 hours.
Graduated in Mathematics with a Bachelor’s degree. He didn’t have the right to attend high school, we funded his supplementary education, and I gave him the highest stimulus allowance. He’s cool, he has a great connection with the guys. A year later, he announced that he wanted to change his profession. To make him stay, I gave him paid lessons in theater and film to pursue his personal passions. Now I’m trembling about what will happen to him next, – says the director.
It wasn’t that bad yet
The Knowledge Traders portal, which is managed by Robert Jornjak, a teacher and deputy headmaster of a school in Sosnovik, reports that at the end of July the number of teaching vacancies exceeded 25,000. Activists counted job offers officially submitted on the websites of all education bodies of the country. Of course, August is the hottest period of employee turnover. The thing is that ads are 25 percent off. more than the same period last year. Then there was talk of a crisis. “This is more than at any other time in the history of Polish education,” the Knowledge Merchants admonished. Three provinces exceeded the 5% threshold. Vacancies in the field of education: Lubuskie, Opolskie and Małopolskie. This means that each class in these districts will not have two lessons per week. Mazowieckie has more than 4,600 performances, which means there are 80,000 driving instructors. hours a week!
Junior teachers can earn as much as a ministerial table: a total of 3,690 PLN per month. This is slightly more than the national minimum wage
The education department sees no problem. When schools woke up to the difficult situation last year, Minister Przemyslaw Czarnik said it was a myth and manipulation, and teacher vacancies during the holidays were “normal”. In the spring, he admitted that he saw a shortage of personnel, but underestimated them anyway. “There are about 2.9 thousand missing teachers who fill the hours and carry out the basic curriculum. It is as if one school lacks teachers for four hours a week,” – the minister counted in the middle of the school year. He stressed that the matter mainly concerns the major cities. “That is why local governments can add money to salaries to make the teaching profession more attractive in the center of a big city like Warsaw” – he said.
Wic is how to calculate teaching vacancies. Schools do not report staffing shortages when they are able to distribute vacancies among working teachers. As a result, the problem with statistics is much smaller than it actually is.
I have three history professors. One working full time and two part time. Similarly with mathematics: five teachers, of whom two are part-time pensioners, the rest are full-time and half-time – says, for example, the director of the Warsaw Lyceum.
I take these lessons myself
Marcin Józefaciuk Deputy Director of the Handicraft Schools Complex. Kilińskiego is famous in Łódź for teaching up to seven subjects. Takes replacements for missing teachers. He came up with it when he couldn’t get a physics teacher. He did postgraduate studies and taught these classes himself. “I’m the cheapest worker because as a director I don’t get to work overtime,” he jokes. He is an English teacher, but if necessary, he also teaches Polish, physical education, physics, computer science, and ethics. Recently he also completed a postgraduate diploma in optometry and a so called revalidation. He is also graduating from Business Administration, because a new subject is being introduced in schools and, of course, there are no teachers for it.
– Immediately after the epidemic, the school was seen as a safe place to work. Private entrepreneurs went bankrupt or laid off employees, he says, so it was easy to find tutors. Now the job market has stabilized, so teachers are running away wherever they can. This year, Józefaciuk is looking for almost every profession teacher, for example gardening, horse breeding, hairdressing, car and tractor driving instructor, architect, teaching assistant, ethics, biology, German, psychologist and educator. The school has approximately 500 students and more than 70 teachers.
– In the past, full-time work was the norm, I gave extra working hours, for example two hours, to teachers when there was a sudden need and only to those who wanted to earn extra money – says Józefaciuk. For two years, the norm was an hour and a half, after which the teacher would run to another school anyway. Record holders teach 40 (!) Hours per week in one institution. “It’s a perversion.” I often hear from my colleagues that they can no longer work this way – says Józefaciuk.
I give as many hours as possible
– Mathematicians take as much as they can: six or seven lessons a day, until they fail, – admits Andrzej Wyrozembski, director of I LO im. Boleslav Limanowski in Warsaw. He was the one who was looking for a mathematician on a Facebook group. He was met with hatred and ridicule there, but at the same time the candidate – a recent graduate – spoke out. As I write this script I am just signing a contract at LO im. Limanovsky. What did the director do to her? “You promised long hours.
According to the regulations, a teacher can teach up to 27 hours a week in one school, that is, an hour and a half. However, in the event of necessity, such as the illness of a colleague, the principal may, with his consent, add more. – It usually takes up to 30 hours. a week – Wyrozembski admits.
It will be worse, because in connection with the double year, Minister Czarnek abolished the restrictions on the number of overtime hours in secondary schools.
– I have professors who are multitasking, they are finishing their graduate studies, and they teach many subjects. But they are heavily burdened, – says Katarzyna Szyska, deputy director of the school complex with sports departments No. 1 in Poznań. Example: WOS, HiT, and Career Counseling “Making Money” history teacher. As a result, he will have approximately 30 teaching hours per week in 10 different classes of 30 and 25 students. Almost 300 students! This year the school is looking for a mathematician. Candidates try to negotiate rates, and we don’t have that option. They will earn as much as it is in the ministerial table – says the deputy director. For a junior teacher, that means a total of PLN 3,690 — not much more than the national minimum wage. It happened last year at school that a new teacher came to the first teaching council and immediately quit. He explained that there was a lot of bureaucracy and he didn’t want to get involved too much. “We tend to work overtime and pay for extra scholarship-funded semesters,” says Szyszka.
They come, but they run away
Nearly 7,000 are missing. Psychologists and educators, according to Knowledge Merchants. Although an increase in the number of such specialists was promised by Minister Czarnik in connection with the increasing number of mental problems among young people. So what if few psychologists in school wanted to work.
“They come for interviews and run away right away, and I still have a vacancy,” says Vyrozembski, who can’t find a private tutor for the school.
“There’s a lot of change in psych offices,” Szyszka adds. “They come for a short time and leave to set up their own offices. The same goes for speech therapists and teachers.
A psychologist will not earn as much money as teachers of other specialties. And they are happy to take extra hours, because this is the only way to earn a living, especially in big cities. The only question is at what cost? Frustration and frustration grow. How well should a Polish teacher who has 250 students teach and have to practice essay with all of them at least once a semester?
– We got to the point where we’re afraid of winter, because then teachers get sick. And everyone has overtime, and how am I supposed to squeeze in alternatives for someone who works 30 hours a week? says Szyszka. The school has 600 students and nearly 80 teachers. – We fix the shortcomings, we walk on the eyelashes.
According to Minister Czarnik, the demographic decline will solve the problem within a few years. And for sure – the Minister announces that in two or three years every seventh teacher will lose his job, up to about 100,000. Indeed, in one year, half of the normal class will be enrolled in secondary schools (due to the withdrawn reform with lowering of the school age). And each subsequent one will not have the same number of previous ones. But will it change schools that much? – We will reduce overtime, but then the teachers will receive starvation wages – they warned the principals.
– We are raising a generation that will work for us, and we are not sure what level of education we will give them – says Józefaciuk.
– We no longer have trainees and trainees, despite the cooperation agreement signed with the university. We do not fill the employment gap or the age gap. Shishka warns that the demographic decline will not bring relief at all.
It is difficult to notice the crisis at school. After all, children go to school, and some lessons take place there. But the crisis in the teaching staff is serious.
“The wild privatization of education is advancing,” warns Iga Kazimierczyk, teacher and researcher, president of Space for Education. – Without private lessons, students cannot pass state exams, for which the public school must prepare them, because this is its task. So, in theory, we have free and universal education, but in practice families buy educational services with their own money, so that children get the opportunity to get a diploma and a job.
Echo Richards embodies a personality that is a delightful contradiction: a humble musicaholic who never brags about her expansive knowledge of both classic and contemporary tunes. Infuriatingly modest, one would never know from a mere conversation how deeply entrenched she is in the world of music. This passion seamlessly translates into her problem-solving skills, with Echo often drawing inspiration from melodies and rhythms. A voracious reader, she dives deep into literature, using stories to influence her own hardcore writing. Her spirited advocacy for alcohol isn’t about mere indulgence, but about celebrating life’s poignant moments.