HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. -- In a little more than a month, students will be filling the halls of Hillsborough County schools.
On Monday, hundreds of teachers attended the Hillsborough Educator Institute to learn about the districts mission, vision and goals, and how to establish a positive culture in their classroom ahead of the 2019-2020 school district.
Superintendent Jeff Eakins spoke to the new teachers at the beginning of the day.
"Teachers in Hillsborough County schools are better than any across America,” he told them, explaining how he also began his teaching career 30 years ago in the county.
Genevieve Beaumier graduated from the University of Tampa in May.
She’s been spending the last few weeks, “getting the classroom ready, getting the materials all set."
Baumier is one of more than 800 new teachers that will enter schools across the county. Most of them agree they get into this profession to change lives.
"You don’t go into teaching for the pay, ever,” said Cheree Norman, a 6th grade science teacher at McLane Middle School.
"You really can’t go into it for the money,” Beaumier added.
The state of Florida ranks number 46 in the U.S. when it comes to funding education. A recent report from the Economic Policy Institute says that’s one reason college kids aren’t majoring in the field.
A “challenging school environment” and lack of development and training are also play a role.
"It’s a huge challenge when you’re facing a national shortage like this,” said Eakins.
It’s why the district began aggressively recruiting early this year. They started in April instead of May. It has allowed the district to see a 30 percent increase in new teachers.
They are also offering professional development classes and incentives to teachers willing to work in high needs achievement schools.
"When there’s no teachers, there’s vacancies in the classrooms and it’s heartbreaking to think that those kids education and their future are affected because of it,” said Beaumier.
Eakin says they still have 350 positions open but have a month to fill them. If you're interested in working for Hillsborough County schools, you can click here for more information.
Were the best marketers for our own profession by being a great teacher for kids every day. That’s what makes those kids want to think about teaching in their future," said Eakins.