The Dutch Association of Teachers of Mathematics is very interested in mathematics education in secondary schools: “If we continue with this, we will have a real problem in the future.”
High schools across the country are dealing with it Teacher shortage, but math is the biggest problem and it continues to grow. As a result, math lessons are canceled for a longer period of time. For years there have been an increasing number of vacancies and a declining influx of students into mathematics teacher training.
Over the next five years, the Department of Education expects the math teacher shortage to double to 513 full-time jobs by 2026.
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Math teacher Mart Hermanns, 73, noticed this, too. He retired thirteen years ago, “But every year I still get called up and posted. Then there’s someone who is, say, on maternity leave or is exhausted, or simply can’t fill a vacancy.”
Schools also often put unqualified teachers in front of the class to solve the problem: people who have not yet graduated or have a teaching certificate, but are in a subject, degree, or other type of education. “Schools require full-time students in teacher training as early as their second or third year to be paid a few hours per week in the classroom. Almost all part-time students come in with a job as an unqualified teacher,” said Desiree Ogterberg, Mathematics teacher, Amsterdam University of Science Applied.
She has been in training for ten years and has experienced a change of situation. “Students are no longer able to do their homework at all, because, for example, they have an evening with the parents or they have to take a class. What’s more, they sometimes cannot teach well. For example, they have a hard time keeping up on the system, but it is the most difficult of the classes. They are under high pressure and as a result stop training early.”
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