SALEM, Va. – It is no secret that schools all across the country are struggling to find teachers to fill open positions. According to the Western Virginia Public Education Consortium, there are 500 open teaching jobs across Southwest Virginia.
To help fill some of those holes, a teacher recruiting job fair is taking place this Saturday from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Salem Civic Center. Twenty different school districts will be represented, including Alleghany Highlands, Bath County, Franklin County and more.
You can speak to each school about what positions they are looking to fill and apply on the spot.
Most schools are looking to hire teachers for all grades, administrations and school counselors. However, Terry Arbogast, the Executive Director of the Western Virginia Public Education Consortium says the biggest need right now is for special education.
Arbogast says, “The number of vacancies of licensed provisional licensed teachers in special education is getting fairly high. That is an area of need and concern that we are really working on.”
The Consortium has a grant here that will help pay for part of a teacher’s coursework to get them fully licensed.
The teachers recruiting job fair on Saturday is a way for schools to get ahead of filling positions for the 2023-24 school year. Some schools might even hire right on the spot.
The Virginia Department of Education will also be at the job fair to answer licensing questions. They want to help anyone who is looking to make a career move and become a teacher.
“They will tell them what they need to get a provisional license and then they will give them the coursework outline that they need to take. So each individual is a little different,” says Arbogast.
He says getting your education license looks different for every person. It all depends on what degree or certification you already have, but most people can get their provisional license with just two or three courses.
If you plan on coming to the job fair, bring your resume and be prepared to fill out applications. There is a job application online, if you want to take a look at the possible questions you should be prepared to answer.
You are encouraged to register for the job fair ahead of time. Right now there are about 100 people signed up to go.