Experts express optimism at Teacher Job Fair (video link)

More than 20 schools and school districts and 130 teachers attended FPU’s Teacher Education Job Fair March 17 in the Special Events Center on the main campus. Organizers were pleased with the turnout, which included 20 public school districts, two charter high schools and one private Christian school.

District attendance reflects the ebb and flow of the job market for new teachers, according to Linda Hoff, teacher education program director. The first Job Fair was in the early eighties and 58 districts attended in 2007, the peak year. While fewer districts were on-hand this year, the next five years should be good ones for teachers. “Forecasts predict increasing retirements of ‘baby-boomer’ teachers,” Hoff said. “In addition, the number of people enrolling in teacher education programs in California has been going down for five years. These trends suggest that people interested in teaching should not be dismayed by the current lay-offs. Now IS a great time to consider teaching as a career.”

This optimism was reflected by the participating districts. Interviewers reported they found candidates to be very well prepared, professional and exhibiting positive outlooks on the profession. Numerous students told faculty they were already invited to second interviews. “In many cases, districts were eager to identify highly qualified potential teachers, so that as openings become available they can get in touch with these candidates and hire them,” Hoff said.

FPU faculty and administrators were on hand to welcome district personnel and encourage students. President D. Merrill Ewert; Steve Varvis, provost and vice president for enrollment management; and Gary Gramenz, dean of the School of Education, were among the attendees.