MODESTO (CBS13) — The shortage of teachers in California continues to be a huge problem, and several districts are coming up with creative ways to help recruit and retain qualified educators.
The Stanislaus County Office of Education is one of many school districts working to attract teachers to the valley. Banners posted all over show the work already being done to address the teacher shortage.
It’s a problem some say is only getting worse.
“Fully credential teachers are important in the classroom because they spent more waking hours with the student than the parents themselves. And so, in many, many ways, not just academically, they truly, and I know it sounds cliché, but they truly shape the future of our country and our state,” said Lisa Tiwater with the Stanislaus County Office of Education.
The Stanislaus County Office of Education serves 25 districts. Leaders say there is a one-third turn over with teachers now retiring. Also, many people are less interested in becoming educators, a problem they are working to fix.
“Our districts are doing a really good job. They are hiring early to be more competitive, they are providing more support for teachers through instructional coaching and two-year, new teacher induction programs with mentors,” said Tiwater.
There are also job fairs organized to recruit the perfect candidate. Districts in other states have offered $10,000 sign-on bonuses while some go as far as paying people to interview for a position.
“In a certain area, there is plenty of jobs in all areas, but in certain areas, it is really intensive shortage, math teachers, science teachers, special education teachers, bilingual teachers, those are really extremely high demand,” said Elmano Costa, chair of the Department of Education for Stanislaus State.
The university works with high schools, generating interest and informing students on a possible career in education.
“We don’t want people who want to go into teaching because it’s summers off and they think they can be home at 3 in the afternoon; we want people who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of children,” he said.
The Stanislaus County Office of Education is hosting a teacher recruitment job fair on March 24. It will be the first of many to come.