CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - Clay County Schools has more than 100 open teacher positions. On Saturday, the district held an event to try to fill them.
Hundreds of applicants made their way through the doors through the of the cafeteria at Fleming Island High School to interview at more than 40 schools in the district.
Courtney Preston recently graduated from Flagler College, and now she’s applying for her first teaching position in Clay County.
“I had a fantastic teacher when I was in 2nd grade. She was just the best person on the planet and she just inspired me to be like her,” Preston said.
Preston hopes to have that same influence teaching math and science to a classroom of students.
“I like third grade, fourth grade and fifth grade. I’m even considering sixth grade even with my small statur. I like the older kids,” she said.
The Clay County School District tells me it has a critical need for math, science and special education teachers.
In February Action News told you about a similar job fair in St. Johns County. This is the highest rated district in Florida is trying, and it is also trying to fill positions for the fall.
The shortage has even led to walk-outs and protest in a number of states.
District leaders tell Action News that many teachers are leaving the field because of low pay and a lack of state funding for education.
Special education teachers like Taylor Goranson say teachers are also leaving their jobs because they are not easy, and take patience.
“[Teaching is] a lot of work. You have to know that you’re going to do more work behind the scenes," Goranson said.
Yet, he says the position is rewarding in the end.
“When kids make those small gains to get to where they need to be, sometimes it’s just one day they don’t know how to do one thing and the next day suddenly they do it’s because you taught them how to do it,” Goranson said.
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