teachers

Rich Wood / Washington Education Association

Seattle Public Schools teachers have voted to strike beginning the first day of school, Sept. 9, if there's no new contract.

Teachers call the district's proposals "disrespectful."

Ah, back-to-school season in America: That means it's time for the annoyingly aggressive marketing of clothes, and for the annual warnings of a national teacher shortage.

But this year the cyclical problem is more real and less of a media creation. There are serious shortages of teachers in California, Oklahoma, Kentucky and places in between.

A stack of research suggests that all the classroom technology in the world can't compare to the power of a great teacher. And, since we haven't yet figured out how to clone our best teachers, a few schools around the country are trying something like it: Stretching them across multiple classrooms.

This fall the NPR Ed team is celebrating great teachers and examining what makes great teaching.

Ayodeji Ogunniyi was a pre-med student when his father was murdered by three young men. So Ogunniyi decided that becoming a teacher, not a doctor, would help ensure his father's death was not in vain. (This StoryCorps interview initially aired Oct. 30, 2011 on Weekend Edition Sunday.)

They supported his campaign, but now some unionized teachers in Washington have stern words for Governor Jay Inslee.

Flickr Photo/sidewalk flying (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Donna Blankinship, Washington state education reporter for The Associated Press, about lawmakers coming up with a compromise to revise the teacher evaluation system.