The teacher shortage is nothing new — but it’s reaching crisis levels. Teachers are looking for more sustainable ways to stay in the classroom or they’re leaving the profession altogether, and schools are considering creative options to fill their vacancies. Some solutions look like long-term substitutes or turning to staffing agencies, and some leave students without a certified teacher to learn from. Emerging into the conversation are edtech providers that give students access to a teacher, but still not all virtual options are created equal. Together with a network of thousands of teachers from across the country, Elevate K-12 is pioneering classroom programs that make fully synchronous, interactive instruction available to any student, regardless of zip code, via a highly fluid and engaging livestream portal.
Teachers are burnt out. They feel inundated with paperwork, extra administrative responsibilities, and tasks like lunchroom duty, recess monitoring, and it’s leading to 55% of educators saying that they’ll likely leave the classroom earlier than they’d originally planned. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is citing a loss of about 600,000 teachers between January 2020 and today.
The exodus of teachers, paired with fewer people entering college teaching programs, has caused the pipeline to continually decrease, leaving some states to take dramatic action.
States like Oklahoma and North Carolina are relying on state employees to take paid leave in order to head to schools and act as substitute teachers. New Mexico is turning to the National Guard to stand in where vacancies occur.
Elevate K-12 is disrupting the current K-12 landscape to bring certified teachers into classrooms across the country so that every student has access to high-quality, synchronous instruction regardless of where they live.
This is not like Covid-era livestream teaching.
Rather than everyone just logging into Zoom or a business-focused streaming software — like everyone did during Covid, and like some other edtech providers do — Elevate has developed proprietary livestream technology specifically with teaching in mind. The goal is to keep the student experience as close to the traditional classroom setting as possible. The Elevate platform incorporates tools like polls, quizzes, a specific chat where students can privately contact the teacher, an interactive whiteboard, and more that help ensure student engagement and allow for highly fluid interaction between students and their teacher.
Elevate provides 24/7 live technical support, and each Elevate class is also monitored by an in-room paraprofessional: the Classroom Coach. The Classroom Coach helps students log into their classes, encourages attention during lessons, helps moderate behavior during class, and collaborates with the Elevate teacher to ensure that every program runs smoothly every time.
The Dougherty County School System was one of the earliest adopters of the Elevate model, starting four years ago with Spanish 1 classes. In the 2021-2022 school year, Dougherty County had Elevate programs in 25% of their schools. They’ve continued to expand their partnership with Elevate, and Elevate now provides over 80 teachers across math, world languages, ASL, ELA, social studies, and science. As of the end of the 21-22 year, Dougherty County classes led by Elevate teachers have seen a 19% improvement in unit test scores.
Not only are students displaying marked academic improvements, but a survey of 420 Dougherty County students in Elevate programs showed that 97% of learners find their teachers supportive, 94% feel more confident in their skills, and 88% believe that the Elevate platform has helped them succeed in class.
Elevate K-12 does not just set students in front of a computer and leave them to learn from a recording. Rather, Elevate teachers greet their students every morning, and an interactive lesson begins, supported by the Classroom Coach and facilitated through the portal’s instructional and social-emotional learning tools.