Public school teachers are on the front lines for the nation's youth when it comes to education, mentorship and support. But a growing shortage of educators is adding pressure to a group that advocates say is already spread too thin in schools across the country.

Donavon Gardner is watching the scenario play out at the Mason Academy, an elementary and middle school in Detroit. The special education teacher is in his 11th year, following in his mother's footsteps as a public school educator, drawn to the idea of giving back to his hometown, where he's coached basketball and mentored students.

Read more at A Potential Teacher Crunch Looms | CNBC