Georgia district hiring teachers with no ed degree

One school district in Georgia is so desperate for teachers that it is taking an alternative approach to hiring paid staff. Because the Savannah-Chatham district has had an influx of students and not enough teachers to lead them, the district is looking for over 400 teachers even if they are without a degree in education.

Instead, the district will institute a certificate earning program that may take anywhere from 1 to 3 years for new teachers to finish. Those interested still need a bachelor’s degree no matter the field as the program is for those looking for a career change and those who want to make an impact in the community.

As mentioned previously, the district is being flooded with new students and does not employ enough teachers to keep up with demand. Part of the problem is that not enough college students want to become teachers. By way of, there has been close to 50 percent drop-off in students who major in education. Because of the dearth in teachers, Savannah-Chatham is taking this unusual step in trying to fill the void.

That step, however, is likely to be seen as controversial by those who believe it places students at a serious disadvantage. The local and state teachers union may see it as a move to eventually replace teachers with cheaper labor as well.

Georgia received a grade of C- from Quality Counts 2016 Report and the state has 26 percent of its children in povertyWhile teachers do not necessarily receive training on how to handle children who live within the depths of poverty, it is important to note that any college graduate without proper training in a classroom setting may not know how to handle a child, or multiple children, who exist with the condition of poverty each day.

Teaching is a stressful job that intertwines empathy, compassion, conflict resolution, and many skills that aren’t found in the halls of a business school. Understanding that there is a shortage of teachers and school districts have to continue to operate, Savannah-Chatham is attempting to make lemonade out of lemons. But this seems as if the district may be trying too hard to squeeze orange juice from a lemon.

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