ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The coronavirus has changed how we do many things, but it has not changed the need for Tampa Bay area counties to hire teachers.
Pinellas County schools are looking to hire about 40 new teachers and candidates don’t even have to leave their homes to interview.
For Bay Point Elementary principal Sara Broom and her team, it’s not the classic shake hands, come in and sit down style of interview.
Even though schools are closed for the rest of the year, the show must go on and teachers need to be hired for the fall.
"There are a variety of teaching positions, a variety of grade levels all the way from kindergarten, all the way up through middle school," said Broom.
Broom is also part of Transformation Zone, which is a team of school leaders in Pinellas County who have joined together to help struggling schools excel.
To maintain social distancing, the Transformation Zone team are interviewing teacher candidates virtually.
"We do it in 15-minute increments, but its not much different than our traditional way where you’re just trying to get to know the candidate, and see whether or not they will do really well with our student population," she said.
Pinellas, Hillsborough and Polk County Schools will be hosting more virtual job fairs to hire teachers. So far, Broom says the Zoom interviews are going so well that they’ve already filled 60 positions.
"It’s comfortable for the candidate and us because we’re in our natural home environment," said Broom.
For more information on Pinellas County Schools Transformation Zone teacher virtual interviews click here.
Polk County Schools is hosting several virtual chats on April 28.
- South Region/ District Departments Virtual Chat: 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
- Northeast Region Virtual Chat: 11:30 a.n. - 2:30 p.m.
- Northwest Region Virtual Chat: 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
For those who want to learn more about becoming a teacher at Hillsborough County Schools, they are hosting several upcoming virtual informational sessions:
- Tuesday, April 28, 1 – 3 p.m.
- Thursday, April 30, 9 a.m. – noon
- Tuesday, May 5, 1 – 3 p.m.
The meetings will all be virtual and candidates can sign up for the upcoming sessions here.