Fewer people training to be early childhood education teachers, but a change in the field has made an impact on the hiring process.
The baby-boomer generation is approaching retirement. This is leaving many schools without experienced teachers. Finding replacements for them is more difficult than ever before. It is hard to find teachers who meet today's qualifications.
"We have a lot of good candidates and if you don't have the qualifications, the state just says 'you can't hire them” said Derrick Morris, Rehobeth Middle School, Vice Principal
Because of the No Child Left Behind act, there are more college courses required for a bachelor's degree in education. There are also more certification exams that have to be passed before a teacher even steps foot in the classroom.
Natasha Sorrells, Troy University teaching major intern at Rehobeth Middle school said, "Every year that I’ve been in school, I’m kind of grandfathered in to a certain extent, but they've added more and more upper level math classes for math majors and upper level English classes for English majors and so on and so forth."
After meeting all qualifications, teachers are finding more classroom paperwork requirements...rather than hands-on work with the students.
Because of these changes, fewer and fewer students are interested in working for teaching degrees. Teachers who have worked in the field for years are not considered "up to date" with today's education standards.
Morris said that because of these changes in the field, a more diverse group of people are becoming qualified for the positions.
Schools expect that once people adjust to the requirements, the positions will become much easier to fill.
Most schools are post their job openings on their website, in newspapers or on the school's bulletin boards. An average teacher in the Wiregrass earns around $30,000 per year.