Mississippi Today Delta reporters Kelsey Davis and Aallyah Wright were awarded the Hechinger Report’s 2018 Educating Children in Mississippi and New Orleans Fellowship to report on what a critical teacher shortage actually looks like and what it means for students and communities.
An increasing number of school districts in Mississippi have turned to online education programs as they face a critical shortage of certified teachers. Students say the lack of an in-person expert teacher, who can answer questions and spend time with students who are struggling, takes a toll on their education.
In the past 20 years, the number of uncertified teachers in Mississippi’s schools has increased. But in the state’s poorest schools, many of them in the Delta, the numbers far exceed the state average.
Follow this slideshow of photos by photojournalist Eric J. Shelton depicting a day in the life of Delta teacher Kaitlyn Barton as she navigates through her day of teaching, working a second job and, finally, making it home to prepare for her next day in the classroom.