With fewer college graduates pursuing careers in education and individuals exiting the profession, one Texas district has taken a new approach to growing their own.
Port Arthur ISD is hiring 28 seniors from Woodrow Wilson Early College High School as substitute teachers and small group tutors on their elementary campuses. Seniors who have earned enough college credits to qualify as substitute teachers will be given the opportunity to engage with elementary students to see if education is a career option they want to pursue.
Other districts are exploring how best to take advantage of instructional aides and master teachers, creating new instructional models that maximize their staffing resources. Of course, how these resources are scheduled can create both challenges and opportunities. Changing the number of periods in the day, assigning more academic classes to coaches and extracurricular sponsors, and maximizing teacher certifications by assigning teachers more than one content area or grade level assignment can all help provide better instruction and services for the student population, if they indeed meet the needs of the campus.
Throughout the nation, school districts are facing critical staffing shortages. Between the current economic climate and the general environments impacting public schools, as well as ongoing issues related to the pandemic, districts are having to explore alternative means of serving their student populations.
As Port Arthur ISD challenged themselves to find alternative ways to address their staffing challenges, districts across the state must think strategically regarding their recruiting and staffing models. The following resources can assist school leaders in their staffing conversations and decision making:
- HR Library — Strategic Staffing (member login required)
- The Administrator's Guide to Strategic Staffing
- HRX article Strategic Staffing Options to Address Shortages
For more information on Port Arthur’s program, check out 12 News Now.
Nicolle Gee-Guzman joined the HR Services team as an HR and compensation consultant in 2022. She has more than 28 years of experience working in various roles in human resources within the public sector. Most recently, Gee-Guzman was the director of human resources for a Texas public school district.
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