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Teachers Inspire the Next Generation of Teachers

March 14, 2019 - 3 minute read

Take a good look at the faces in your classroom. Will one of those bright-eyed students be a teacher or principal? Our state faces a dwindling number of individuals who desire to pursue educational professions. Difficult circumstances, lack of adequate resources and the rising cost of living all put strains on the education profession pipeline. Though the need for competent teachers is evident, the simple truth is as a teacher you can create a classroom environment and support a school culture to spur others on to the noble profession of teaching!

A Daunting Need for Competent Teachers

As the principal of a Christian, private school, some might argue I have an easier time finding teachers. Each year that I look to hire quality, Christian teachers, I continue to see the strains from an ever-shrinking pool of teachers. A growing and diverse population in the United States continues to put pressure on all schools, public and private. St. John’s Lutheran School is the largest Lutheran school in the United States, and it is part of the second-largest parochial school system in the nation. Our need for highly-skilled, Christian teachers is still a daunting task.

All schools seek to hire a competent and professional pool of college graduates to fill teaching positions. Lutheran schools are unique in that historically, teachers in Lutheran schools attended Lutheran universities that are a part of the Concordia University System (CUS), of which Concordia University Irvine is a member. Graduates from the CUS who have completed the prescribed course of study for a teaching certificate and religious coursework earn a Lutheran Teachers Diploma.

With nearly 50% of all teachers leaving the profession within the first five years, it has become a challenge for schools to find ways to recruit teachers. Common reasons for teachers to leave the classroom were pressure to earn more money and new career choices. At the core of our Lutheran schools is the value of faith-filled teachers who instill moral and religious character into the lives of their students. There continues to be a growing number of children to teach, but a shortage of qualified teachers. We must encourage young people to consider vocations in school ministry.


Every educator has a story to tell of what person or life-event led him or her to be a teacher. A personal calling into the Christian-teaching ministry is more than recruitment. Significant events or relationships with people who God used to lead them to teaching are evident whenever I talk with my teachers, new or veteran. Recruitment into education happens person to person and through significant life events. Multiple exposures on a Concordia campus is often cited among the staff, but the most common recruiter was a person or event that God used to lead them to school ministry.

Spreading the Good News of the Gospel is a significant motivator to becoming a Lutheran, Christian teacher. Each teacher on my campus has a desire for students to learn in their classroom as well as share the love of Jesus. More powerful than a university recruiter making weekly calls, the call to ministry, paired with a positive and influential education advocate, is the most common predictor of teacher recruitment.

Which student sitting in your classroom, gym, cafeteria or office will replace you? Not only are teachers responsible for teaching standards, covering objectives and assessing learning; teachers are critical in building up the next generation of education professionals. Think about how you can influence a child or two in your classroom to consider teaching. You might be surprised about how God is using your encouragement to influence the life of those around you!

Jake Hollatz is the principal of St. John’s Lutheran School in Orange, California. He is a native of Parkers Prairie, Minnesota and a graduate of Concordia University, St. Paul. Prior to St. John’s, Jake was a professor, teacher, administrator, and church musician in Minnesota, California, Arizona, and Texas for 16 years. Jake has a Doctor of Education degree in Education Leadership from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas.

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