State launches recruitment campaign amid teacher shortage

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(WHNT) – The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) launched the first wave of its teacher recruitment campaign to hopefully assist in the teacher shortage.

The campaign aimed at recruiting the state’s next generation of teachers and those wanting to receive or maintain an Alabama teaching certificate.

WeTeachAlabama is a social media and broadcast campaign targeting high school, college-aged students to encourage them to become teachers.

“Anyone can make a living. But not everyone can make an impact,” the website said.

The website has current teacher testimony along with how-to and explanatory resources for those interested in education. In hopes, to encourage them to become teachers.

“We must recruit more high-quality teachers to help prepare our state for the future in a high-tech economy. This campaign will encourage young people to answer their calling and join a valued community that makes a difference in countless lives,” Dr. Eric Mackey said in a press release.

According to the Alabama Teacher Shortage Taskforce, 123 of 144 school districts in Alabama have turned to hire teachers on emergency or provisional certificates – the majority of these in rural areas, but also statewide.

Madison County School system spokesperson Tim Hall said there are three main reasons why teachers leave the school setting:

  1. Retirement
  2. Relocate to another town
  3. Move to another local school system

“We know COVID definitely played a role in the number of teachers who decided to retire or resign this year,” Hall said.

WeTeachAlabama comes along with Gov. Kay Ivey’s May signing of Act 2021-330 increasing Alabama’s teacher pay scale, along with the Teacher Excellence and Accountability for Mathematics and Sciences (TEAMS) salary schedule program.

There are currently 3,000 un-filled math and science teacher positions in 6-12 grade classrooms across Alabama. Ivey’s support of TEAMS also has the potential to increase math and science teachers’ pay by $20,000.

“We want to show those in our state and beyond how much Alabama values its teachers and that if
someone chooses to answer this calling, we will be here to support that person in every way possible,”
said Dr. Mackey. “Teachers are vital to the future of Alabama’s workforce, and so our focus on recruiting
this career sector is equally paramount.”

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