Job prospects on the rise for California teachers (video link)

For the past few years, news has not been good for those entering the education profession: schools were cutting back, classes were getting bigger and teaching was becoming tougher.

Don’t always trust the street.

For the past few years, news has not been good for those entering the education profession: schools were cutting back, classes were getting bigger and teaching was becoming tougher.

“The word on the street was compelling—don’t go into education,” said Linda Hoff, FPU teacher education director. Students entering college heard that word and enrollment in teacher-education programs has been going down for several years. In California, the number of teaching credentials issued has dropped steadily from 24,176 in 2006-2007 to 18,734 in 2010-2011, according to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

But the situation is changing as teachers in the Baby Boom generation conclude their careers—the California Teachers Association says about one third of the entire state teaching force is nearing retirement—and school districts realize they’ve already cut budgets to the bone. “So you just have a huge issue of decreasing supply and increasing demand that should open up some opportunities,” Hoff said.

The new word is good for FPU and its students. Independent universities like FPU are already preparing 46 percent of new teachers, and Fresno Pacific has room for more students in the fall of 2012. “The schools aren’t going to go away and the kids aren’t going to go away and they need their teachers more than ever,” Hoff said.

FPU’s strong reputation among Valley school districts was again apparent March 22 during the annual Teacher Education Job Fair. About 145 teacher education students and graduates met with representatives from 21 school districts, two county offices of education, three charter schools and one private school in the Special Events Center on the main campus. “They’re still coming and looking for our students,” Hoff said.  

Candidates can have jobs or long-term substitute contracts by the time they complete their credential, but they have to invest themselves. “My experience in watching the trends among our graduates is that the students who step up to the plate and embrace the profession get jobs,” Hoff said. “Districts want to hire our students, but they want to hire our best students.”

The road to success is opening for students with a willingness to learn and a passion to teach. “I can encourage students to become teachers because I see our grads getting jobs all the time,” Hoff said.

http://californiawatch.org/dailyreport/state-faces-teacher-shortage-more-retire-fewer-enter-profession-15172

Source

http://news.fresno.edu/node/3589