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Addressing the Teacher Shortage

Marleigh Gilyard Feb 16, 2024 10:17:05 AM

PBS recently released a report highlighting the alarming shortage of Special Education teachers in the United States. And with over 7.5 million students with individualized education plans due to disabilities, the demand for qualified educators in this field has never been greater.

Shortage in Special Education Teachers

At the onset of the 2023-24 school year, a staggering 70 percent of surveyed schools reported vacancies for Special Education teachers. This creates significant challenges for schools, most of which are already understaffed, to provide free and appropriate education (FAPE) and support for students with diverse learning needs.

In an interview with PBS, University Professor of Special Education, Kimberly Wilkerson, emphasizes the urgent need for additional supports and professional development opportunities to effectively retain SPED teachers.

Watch the interview here!

Supporting SPED Teachers

RoboKind prioritizes supporting Special Education teachers with engaging, gamified learning experiences, CASE-Endorsed curriculum, and extensive resources to create opportunities for generalization. At times the classroom can be chaotic, and RoboKind aims to support educators with teaching critical skills for self-regulation.

Our foundational programs (delivered by RK robots and Virtual Avatars) are specifically tailored for students in Special Education. Designed for learners with diverse needs, both Social Skills and Phonics curricula create personalized learning experiences aligned to student's individual communication, behavioral, and social skill goals.

Supporting SPED Classrooms

Our "Calm Down Anywhere" lessons are designed to teach emotional regulation skills that help avoid meltdowns, emotional outbursts, or harmful responses to feelings of stress or frustration.

The curriculum uses a Gradual Release Model to instruction, helping students master foundational skills such as behavior regulation, emotional understanding, and preparation for social situations.

Whether it's learning techniques to regulate emotions, or stacking the building blocks of literacy to encourage more effective communication, our curriculum provides the necessary tools for developmental progress across the learning domains.


Beating Burnout with Professional Learning

Professor Kimberly Wilkerson expressed that professional development can be an effective approach to SPED teacher retention. RoboKind's Professional Learning sessions and packages are uniquely crafted for Special Education teachers. Led by passionate educators who understand the challenges firsthand, RK Professional Learning is effective, engaging, and equitable- providing invaluable support and resources to enhance teacher success.

Danville School District 118, IL

As the Special Education teacher shortage continues to challenge schools across the country, innovative solutions like RoboKind offer promising pathways towards SPED teacher retention. 

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