KERSHAW COUNTY, SC – (WIS) Still feeling the effects of the pandemic, many school districts in South Carolina are facing teacher shortages.
To address its shortage, the Kershaw County School District held a teacher recruiting fair on Friday and interviewed about 15 qualified applicants.
Dr Lisan Shannon, director of educator services for the Kershaw County School District, said Friday’s fair wasn’t even the district’s main recruiting event, but it was important to host because they have faced with shortages all year round.
âIn the past, you could wait until spring to do most of your big hiring,â she said. âRight now, it’s in progress. You know, it’s nonstop right now. We are doing all we can as feverishly as we can.
Shannon said the district currently has 10 vacancies, including two in elementary positions – which is rare.
However, with nearly 10,000 students, she said they didn’t see such a severe shortage as other local school districts – some of which have more than 25,000 students.
Shannon believes health issues are a major factor leading some teachers in the Kershaw County School District to retire, relocate, or find employment in other fields.
âSome of our teachers who have experienced COVID are still having issues because of it, health issues because of it or family issues,â she said. âSo that would probably be the top of the list for me right now when it comes to teachers not coming back or leaving at this point. “
She also said that “the usual factors” that accompany teacher shortages are also at play, including money and benefits.
A recent SC-TEACHER statewide survey, a group that studies teacher recruitment and retention, examined why 220 Midlands teachers in five school districts left their jobs.
He revealed that the main reason teachers gave for quitting their jobs – specifically linked to the pandemic – was the lack of support from their local school board.
This was followed by 38% who felt they were not reaching their students effectively and 36% who detailed a lack of support from the wider community.
“About Covid, it exacerbated some of the frustrations that were already there,” said Dr Tommy Hodges, Acting Dean of the University of South Carolina College of Education, Dr Tommy Hodges, during the presentation. results to the Education Oversight Committee last month.
“You are already looking at teachers who were maybe a little bit exhausted, and so we are seeing the emotional exhaustion of teachers really being exacerbated by COVID,” he added.
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Despite the pandemic that has taken teachers away from the profession, Magdalyn Darden, a student at UofSC College of Education, says she is ready to train the next generation of daring thinkers.
âBoth of my parents are actually educators at Coastal Carolina University, and I’ve seen the improvement they’ve made to their students,â she said. “And I think it’s important that there are teachers who want to give their students information that is useful for their academic and fair future in life.”
Shannon said the district’s main recruiting fair will take place in January. The goal of Friday’s event, she said, was to attract December college graduates to join Kershaw County School District staff.
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