Jobs postings for math, science and foreign language teachers don’t attract as much interest as other teaching positions. School districts seem more apt to hire graduates with dual degrees, adding that they see this as a cost-effective strategy in an age of shrinking education budgets.
Students graduating with education degrees in math, biology and elementary/collaborative will find it much easier to find jobs in the Tennessee Valley, a college professor said.
Others may have to move out of state, said Debra Baird, dean of the Education Department at Athens State University.
Proration and shrinking education budgets have eliminated the near job guarantee once in place for college graduates with degrees in education.
“The jobs are just not as plentiful as they once were, but we’re always going to need teachers,” Baird said.
Decatur City Schools Superintendent Ed Nichols expanded on Baird’s assessment, saying foreign-language teachers are also in demand.
“When we have positions for math, science, and foreign language posted, we don’t have the depth of applicants that we do for other positions,” Nichols said.
Elementary education are the most sought jobs. Nichols said they have had as many as 300 applicants apply for an elementary position.
Baird said teachers on the elementary collaborative tract at Athens State generally don’t have problems finding jobs because they are also certified as special education teachers.
School systems recognize that it is “a bargain to have one teacher certified in both,” she said.
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