Thursday, December 29, 2016

Tackling the teacher shortage

By now, you’re probably well aware of the nationwide teacher shortage. Largely due to a dramatic decrease in the number of new teachers entering the profession, SFUSD, like many school districts, has faced challenges filling hard-to-staff teacher vacancies in certain credential areas including bilingual and special education.

We’re tackling this issue head on. At the beginning of the school year, we offered signing bonuses for the first time in recent history for special education teachers and aides. And just a few weeks ago, we launched Pathway to Teaching, a new credentialing program sponsored by SFUSD to recruit individuals who are already making a difference in their communities, but who may not have the flexibility to switch to a new career in teaching without support.

Designed to be affordable and accessible, SFUSD Pathway to Teaching will allow aspiring teachers to earn a full salary as they work toward their credential. If you know someone who would be a great teacher--nominate them or encourage them to apply to the program by Jan. 16.

And, since the teacher shortage goes hand-in-hand with San Francisco’s high cost of housing, we’re working with the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development and other community groups to provide housing resources and aid for educators.

We also have other programs for prospective teachers, from our Para to Teacher Program for paraprofessionals to the San Francisco Teacher Residency, where credential candidates complete coursework at local universities while in a yearlong apprenticeship with a master teacher.

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