How the teacher shortage is affecting the big country
ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – With the shortage of teachers, education majors are taking the time to find a school district that best meets their needs. Annie Gilb is graduating from Abilene Christian University (ACU) this spring and is looking for a school that supports first-grade teachers.
“Creates a safe and loving environment for students and teacher,” Gilb said.
During a workshop meeting with members of the Abilene Independent School District (AISD) Board of Trustees, Ms. Alison Sims, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources, said finding teachers can become a challenge if the shortage persists.
The district is hiring teachers from Hardin Simmons, McMurry and Abilene Christian, but with a smaller graduating class this school year. Sims thinks about the future.
“Before, I would say that our three universities in town were great places to market ourselves. It still does and we still do, but if we just depended on that, we’d be in trouble,” Sims explained.
She added that they have a better chance of finding the best teachers for their students through online job fairs.
“It really is the best thing we’ve done in terms of advertising and getting great candidates,” added Sims.
A graduate this spring from the ACU, Lars Lindgren said with the shortage he had more job opportunities.
“It’s good to feel that I think every booth I’ve been to has asked for my resume, so it’s good to feel honored and to have job security,” Lindgren shared.
AISD’s Chris Bailey said that with the growth of the city of Abilene, the resources of Dyess and the three universities, she hopes this will attract young professionals to the city.
“We have candidates who come from the Dallas Fort Worth area (and) the Houston area. They are looking for a smaller environment. The district is truly a family, and we’ve been able to provide support that you don’t necessarily see in a district that has 50,000 students,” Bailey said.
Nonetheless, Bailey said AISD is still focused on hiring quality teachers. She added that the shortage is not a big concern at the moment, but it is something to keep in mind for the future.
Some school districts offer benefits and incentives like free child care, higher pay, and sign-up bonuses to increase teacher applications to districts, all in an effort to find the right teacher.
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