Santa Fe Public Schools is hoping a Wednesday afternoon job fair will help turn up more candidates to help fill teaching positions within the district.
The district said it remains on the hunt for full-time teachers and substitutes, and it is targeting nontraditional candidates who might be interested in alternative teacher licensure programs. It’s especially interested in people who hold college degrees and are considering a future in the classroom.
Everything from full-time to one-day-a-week positions are available, across most subjects and grade levels.
“When you teach the children of Santa Fe, all the world comes to you while you get to live and learn in one of the most desirable places in America,” says a video produced by the district’s Human Resources Department.
Santa Fe may be desirable, but with a median income of $62,182 in 2019, according to census data, district officials recognize there’s a difficulty in recruiting teachers when beginning teacher pay is slightly more than $41,000 a year.
More than 70 teachers exited the district following the 2020-21 school year, with the majority resigning and others retiring. The district will conduct exit surveys starting next week to get an idea as to why some left.
At Wednesday’s job fair, district officials said prospective employees can learn more about alternative teacher licensure programs or how to become a substitute.
“Our main focus for the job fair [is] to get people to apply through our alternative licensure pathway,” said Sabra Romero, volunteer and event coordinator for the district. “We’re really looking for degreed professionals who maybe want a change in career or they’re looking for a new outlet.”
For t hose interested in teaching at Santa Fe Public Schools, the district partners with several programs — including one through Santa Fe Community College and another through Cooperative Education Services — to get candidates an alternative licensure.
Howard Oechsner, the district’s Human Resources Department director, estimated it can take just several days to be issued a provisional teaching license, which allows a candidate to teach while working on an alternative license. Those who sign up this summer can be in classrooms by the time school starts on Aug. 6.
Oechsner said the district is looking to invest part of its final round of pandemic funding in teacher retention efforts.
“We’re in the last stages of determining how we can use those funds to support the people who went through either of the alternative licensure programs,” Oechsner said.