Teacher staffing top priority ahead of new school year

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Even when school is out for the summer, there is still a lot of work taking place behind the scenes to make sure teacher staffing is at 100 percent by the start of the coming year.

It’s something no school wants to deal with: A teacher shortage.

As we inch closer to the new school year there are school districts right here in Hampton Roads with vacancies still left to fill.

Renee Weeks is no stranger to the start of a new school year.

The veteran teacher has been shaping young minds for the past nine years.

“I began teaching right out of college. I began with Hampton city schools. I spent five years teaching there, kindergarten through first grade. Then I transitioned to Picosat city schools where I taught kindergarten for three years. Now I’m coming home to Newport News, ” Weeks said.

Newport News currently has fourteen teacher vacancies heading into the new school year.

Weeks says vacancies close to the school year is something she has seen every year as a teacher and it doesn’t worry her.

“Sometimes the numbers they are constantly shifting so teachers are moving grade levels at the last minute or we are having to add or even collapse classes,” Weeks said.

Thomas Calhoun, President of the Norfolk Federation of Teachers, says teacher staffing is a constant issue here in Hampton Roads for several reasons.

“The smallest part, some people think it’s the largest is the military. So people move in and people move out, “Calhoun said.

In addition to an ever-changing military population, Calhoun says schools face the simple yet difficult aspect of location alone.

“Hampton Roads itself, know why, because it’s so close it’s like one community. So in ten minutes you could star in a spot and be in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk through the tunnel in Portsmouth. That proximity is one of the reasons why people move,” Calhoun said.

Right now Newport News faces 14 vacancies, Hampton has 8 and Norfolk has .

All schools say they have interviews lined up this week. Norfolk has a job fair this Friday 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at Crossroads School, 8021 Old Ocean View Road, Norfolk, VA 23518.

 

Available teaching opportunities with NPS for the 2017-18 School Year are as follows:

  • Art
  • Autism Teacher
  • Carpentry Instruction
  • Earth Science
  • Elementary Education, KG-5
  • English
  • French
  • History
  • Library Media Specialist
  • Practical Nursing Instructor
  • Secondary Math
  • Spanish
  • Special Education

 

Those interested in applying for a position may visit the NPS Human Resources webpage at http://www.npsk12.com/hr and complete an application online prior to the employment event.