This study seeks to investigate the teacher shortage from the school perspective. It was guided by the assumption that activities occurring on the micro level, i.e., strategies implemented by school principals in order to cope with the shortage, mask the situation. Following this assumption the study aimed to reveal these strategies and their impact on teaching and learning in schools. The research methodology included surveys of school principals and regional inspectors and examination over two years of job advertisements appearing on teacher union internet sites. Findings reveal an ongoing search for teachers throughout the school year and a balance between supply and demand toward the beginning of the school year.
The most common strategies used by principals to cope with the demand are increasing teaching loads of existing teachers, hiring under-qualified and uncertified teachers, and employing temporary teachers for long periods of time. These findings redirect the problem of a quantitative teacher shortage toward the problem of a hidden shortage that relates to the quality of the teaching force.