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As districts across the U.S. continue to grapple with teacher shortages, Elk Grove Unified keeps innovating its recruitment and retention approaches.The EGUSD Human Resources department leaves no stone unturned in finding ways to attract and retain the best and the brightest educators and school support staff. Their thoughtful approaches have allowed schools to open fully staffed, ensured the continuance of professional development training with a sufficient number of substitute teachers available to cover posts and maintained the high quality of instruction expected in EGUSD.

HR’s current challenge has been on hard to fill positions such as nurses, bus drivers and particularly special education teachers. The growth in special education needs has continued to expand prompting HR to look within its ranks for teachers interested in adding a special education teaching credential. In close collaboration with Sacramento State, the HR team inked a new partnership aimed at easing a special education teacher shortage. In a matter of weeks, 20 candidates were selected and are currently preparing for in-class training. For more about this partnership, click here.

One of the more difficult teaching assignments to fill is for special education. Special education teachers are unique and require advanced skills in order to help students and families be successful. Recent accolades have gone out to teachers like Marcia Blanke, Alma Lepe-Santana, Sheryl Mulville, Melissa Vale, Tommy Askins and assistive technology specialist, Mary Kaebick for exhibiting compassion and a positive outlook when working with students whose needs span the special needs spectrum from mild to severe. These teachers are problem solvers and integral at each school in helping students make smooth transitions and gain access to learning with positive connections.

Demand for teachers who reflect the diversity of a community is also growing globally. The Irish Times recently ran a story on new approaches Ireland is taking to fill their need for a more diverse cadre of teachers who can relate to a growing migrant student population. Overall, teachers in several categories are in high demand. Last fall, the Guardian published a United Nations report that said, “Nearly 69 million new teachers must be recruited and trained in order to achieve global universal primary and secondary education, figures from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation show, with sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia most affected by the worldwide shortage.”

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