MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - State educators are launching a two-pronged approach to improve education in Alabama. First, a big ‘thank you’ followed by a recruitment campaign for new teachers.
The Alabama Department of Education and Gov. Kay Ivey proclaimed this week as Thank Alabama Teachers Week.
“Our teachers are the backbone for so much of what we do," admitted State Superintendent Eric Mackey. “A time to stop and pause and say ‘thank you, teachers.'”
Teachers are being recognized and honored for the incredible sacrifices they’ve made during COVID. They went beyond the call of duty to make sure classrooms were safe for in-person learning and tackling the new realities of virtual teaching.
Mackey says a recruitment campaign is underway.
“We’ve had a teacher shortage now going on for a few years, actually. It’s become more acute with time, and so we got together last year. The legislature appropriated some money and said go out and talk with some specialists and let’s find a way to recruit people in the teaching profession, both young people 18 years old going into college, and also those second career people," said Mackey.
Mackey says they’ve really had a challenge finding elementary school teachers, along with English and language arts instructors. He added there’s been a 40 percent decline in people getting into teaching in recent years.