Schools looking for new ways to recruit teachers amid shortage

Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 9:50 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 31, 2022 at 10:23 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Gracie Shaddix is an education major at Troy University. She is currently in the process of student teaching and getting a feel for the classroom.

“Getting to see what my daily life is really going to look like,” Shaddix said. “I’m so excited, and I’ve enjoyed just getting to know the kids.”

The college student said pay and health care benefits are important. When the time comes, she will also be looking for a school that aligns with her educational values.

“For me personally, just being able to interview with those schools and to really see how that’s implemented, I guess, within each school,” Shaddix said.

In the midst of a teacher shortage, it is more difficult for school systems to recruit qualified educators. Now, some schools are turning to less conventional strategies. Montgomery Public Schools is looking from within.

“I want to find those seventh and eighth graders, or even those elementary school kids who always wanted to be teachers when they grew up,” MPS Superintendent Melvin Brown said.

It is an instinct the new superintendent wants to nurture by offering mentorship to students interesting in becoming teachers one day.

He also wants to help them secure financial support, making college more affordable.

“So they can come back and work for us,” Brown said.

The school system also has programs that reward hard-working teachers currently in the classroom.

“Basically to reward our teachers for the things they’re doing, to let them know we support them,” he said.

Shaddix believes it could be a worthwhile strategy.

“I definitely think that rewarding that positive behavior can hopefully hold some of those teachers in their places,” she said.

Candidates interested in teaching at MPS can visit the Alabama State Department of Education Job Board.

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