Education

Teacher shortage makes Brandman job fairs a strong draw

February 13, 2015 by Cindy O'Dell
Martha Gallegos of the La Habra City School District talks to a job seeker in Irvine.

Martha Gallegos of the La Habra City School District talks to a job seeker in Irvine.

Education job fairs sponsored by Brandman University have seen strong turnouts from the one end of California to the other.

While the number of teaching positions in each school district varies, one aspect remains constant. Substitute teachers are needed everywhere.

“We hire substitute teachers all year long,” said Martha Gallegos from La Habra City School District’s administrative services. Gallegos was very happy with the early turnout (about 80 people at 10 a.m.) at the Irvine campus education fair.

“I’ve met some wonderful people with impressive resumes. I’m looking forward to getting back to them about positions,” said Gallegos, who was also looking for long-term substitutes with special education credentials.

School districts prefer substitute teachers with California teaching credentials. Out-of-state and 30-day emergency credentials are also acceptable in most districts. An emergency credentials requires a bachelor’s degree and passing the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). County Offices of Education offer additional information on district requirements.

7,603: Number of K-12 teacher retirements predicted statewide
7 percent: The decrease in the number of newly issued credentials for multiple subject, single subject and education specialist categories.

Nine: The number of consecutive years that the total number of initial teaching credentials has decreased

30 percent: Decrease over the past five years in the number of new teaching credentials initially issued.

2 percent: Predicted increase in student population, although growth may vary widely depending on location.

7,603: Number of K-12 teacher retirements predicted statewide

Maria Evardone of Buena Park was one of the early attendees. She recently completed her teaching credential in social science and was happy to find information about jobs and the master’s in education program at Brandman.

More students, more teachers reaching retirement age and fewer newly issued credentials for any type of teaching have added up to a teaching shortage predicted since 2007.

This year, the shortage even merited a mention from Gov. Jerry Brown in his inauguration/state of the state address.

“The tasks ahead are daunting: making sure that the new system of local control works; recruiting and training thousands of teachers; mastering the Common Core Curriculum and fostering the creativity needed to inspire students,” he said.

San Francisco Unified School District and Irvine Unified School District are among those needing more teachers.

“We are continuing to grow in student enrollment, so we are continuing to increase our staff. This has been going on for a couple of years and will continue as we continue to open new schools. Each school needs to be fully staff with certificated, classified, and administrative staff, so there may be a wide variety of positions available. We will open a new elementary school next year and a high school the following year so there will be a variety of teaching positons open,” said Rena L. Thompson, director of human resources for the Irvine school district.

Both women stressed the need for teachers with great attitudes, able to create culturally responsive classroom environments.

More education job fairs

A job fair for teachers is scheduled for Feb. 26 in Monterey,  March 5 in Hanford and Yuba City, April 9 in Roseville, April 11 in Fairfield and April 18 in Walnut Creek .  Brandman University will also be part of the Tri-County Job Fair in Roseville on March 13. Brandman also offers How to Become a Teacher Workshop and Information sessions in Fairfield and Walnut Creek. Additional information can be found on the Brandman Events Calendar.

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