CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - There is high demand for teachers in our state right now to help recruit potential teachers the Horry County School district held its annual educator recruitment fair today, called Teach at the Beach at Conway High School.
The Horry County School district says they need help filling secondary math, English, and science positions. For middle schools, math, science, special education and language are areas of critical need.
That need is because statewide more than 5,000 educators stopped teaching last year. The Center for Educator Recruitment Retention and Advancement put out a supply and demand survey saying our state colleges and universities are producing only around 2,000 graduates in education programs each year. Teresa Lickfield wants to help fill that gap. She says, "What I'm really hoping to walk away from, like everyone else is today, is a contract."
Lickfield is a Special Education graduate from Coastal Carolina University. She is happy there is one place where applicants like herself can meet and show Horry County Schools what they can offer. Her passion is to teach those with learning disabilities.
"There are so many kids in school that struggle that need a classroom, a place, a teacher, that will make them feel less frustrated because they come to school and its things that they really don't know how to do. Just having someone or a classroom where they can feel confident and competent, and when it clicks for them is an awesome feeling for me and them," said Lickfield.
Soon to be graduates and experienced teachers had the chance to not only pass out their resume to one school, but meet people from elementary, middle, and high schools from all over the county. Mary Anderson, Human Resources Officer for Horry County Schools says each teacher certified in a critical need area had a guaranteed interview today.
"We have district representatives who will interview and indicate to us if a candidate is very high caliber and we will look to find a place for someone in our system. So we have an opportunity to look at lots of candidates and we hope to make a good indication of where we'll be with our hiring," Anderson said.
She says she wants to make sure there are quality teachers in all of their classrooms, and this is their time to recruit.
"I think especially in areas like Special Ed there's just not enough funding to have the amount of teachers that is needed for the population of special ed in the schools," says Lickfield.
Anderson assures, "We know we can do it, but we have to be aggressive in our recruiting and make sure we find those people early."
There is just one recruitment fair in the Spring of each year, but the school district is hoping to add another one in the Fall.