News Sports Opinion Photos Social Classified Obits Contact

Want to teach? The school doors are open

By Michael Butler

Call it apathy if you want, but the lack of applicants entering the workforce is a growing trend. And, the education field is not exempt from the nationwide decline.

"There's been a shortage for years," said Tallassee City Schools Superintendent Dr. Brock Nolin.

Nolin gave an example of an opening just over a decade ago in 2012.

"We had a P.E. position open at Southside. We had 298 applicants. If you published that position today you might have eight."

The numbers might be even less for other positions, said Nolin.

"Don't throw and English or math position out there. You many have one person qualified out of the four that applied, and the other three have had ten jobs."

Nolin added that there are positions available that remain unfilled.

"At Southside, we've been trying to fill and English position for months. We have an English teacher who's filled that position temporarily."

Additional dollars from state-funded TEAMS contracts have been a help.

"They provide extra money for math and science. It's retained some older teachers, but it really hasn't done much to recruit new teachers into the profession."

In Alabama, traditionally teachers have not been at the top of the ladder for salaries, but Nolin stated that the figures have improved.

"If you divide it by 187 days, which is the number of days they're on contract, it's actually a good living. You'll come out of school with a four-year degree making over $30 an hour. You get to work with kids and have to opportunity to save somebody's life and be a positive influence. I'm sitting here because a teacher has influenced me."

Nolin with the family for Teacher Appreciation Day in 2020