If you’ve ever considered a career in education, the opportunity is there.
More than 13,500 teachers retired in California at the end of last year, according to data from the state’s retirement system, about a thousand more than the year before. The same trend is evident here in Santa Cruz County, where last year we saw a record number of teacher departures from the classroom that left many still vacant positions.
In our school districts and charter schools, leaders are reversing professional development, forcing teachers to teach additional periods, and reassigning administrators to the classroom to ensure students have a teacher and are supervised.
Our schools need your help. We need passionate people who care about our children to step in and support our children and our classrooms, especially in the short term, helping us bridge the resulting gap as the talented teachers of tomorrow are always there. other end of the class.
Educators could not be more essential in ensuring equity and opportunity for our children. The impacts of a year of mostly distance learning have made their essential role even clearer.
We are confident that we have dozens of passionate and talented people from all walks of life here in Santa Cruz County with a willingness to serve our students within our own community. I see you working and volunteering in our community.
Want to get involved? The easiest way to join the ranks of teachers in Santa Cruz County is to become a replacement.
Becoming a substitute teacher has never been easier or more important than it is today. All that is required is a bachelor’s degree, basic subject-matter skills, and a passion for engaging and inspiring students.
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing waived the initial application fee for a substitute teaching license this summer. At the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, we waived our usual fingerprinting fee to be on our replacement list. You can learn more about how to become a substitute teacher and complete an interest form at sccoe.link/sub.
The problems surrounding the recruitment and retention of teachers were not born out of the pandemic. Many challenges are systemic, both at the state level and at the local level. The high costs of housing in our county are a big factor and we continue to work to address this, including through a Homeownership Assistance Partnership with Landed.
Fundamentally, the challenges relate to a fundamental underinvestment in education. There is still a lot of work to be done to address these systemic issues, both at the local, state and federal levels.
But in the shorter term, dealing with this significant staff shortage requires, at various levels, increased involvement and support from the community.
So whether you are a recent retiree, a graduate, or just looking for a career change, a part-time job, or an opportunity to give back, I hope you will consider a position in our rooms. class.
For those who do, thank you. You will join a community of educators who make such a difference in the lives of our students.
The Superintendent’s Community Report is a Sunday column written by Santa Cruz County School Superintendent Faris Sabbah. He can be contacted at [email protected] or santacruzcoe.org. He can also be contacted on Facebook at facebook.com/SantaCruzCOE and on Twitter at twitter.com/SCSupt.