Teacher recruitment events report growing interest in the profession - East Idaho News

Teacher recruitment events report growing interest in the profession

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IDAHO FALLS (IdahoEdNews.org) — The Idaho Department of Education’s 2024 recruitment initiative drew more than double the number of interested teachers than it did two years ago.

The growing interest in education is positive news for Idaho because there are teaching positions open in every subject, the IDE reports. 

“Every district there had positions to fill,” said superintendent Debbie Critchfield. “There are a lot of teaching opportunities around the state.” 

In March and April, 41 school districts and charters attended five Educator Career Fairs to engage with job-seekers considering a career in education. Fairs were held in Idaho Falls, Twin Falls, Lewiston, Coeur d’Alene and Meridian.

“Creating the best outcomes for Idaho’s students means getting the best people into our schools, and these events are a great way to ensure that we’re delivering for students, educators and schools,” Critchfield said.

The number of interested educators increased by 170% over two years ago, when 43 participants attended compared to 116 in 2024. 

“Personally, I want education to be seen as a big tent so people interested in becoming a teacher don’t feel limited by traditional approaches to getting certified. That’s a recruitment tool. It’s that much of a priority,” Critchfield said.

Idaho provides alternate routes to certification without having to return to a traditional university setting. To read more about Idaho’s alternative authorization models, use this link

This year’s event pulled in an increased number of individuals looking to learn more about entering the profession through alternative authorizations, said Mandy Fulbright, coordinator for Attributable to Alternative Authorizations.

Idaho’s teacher apprenticeship model was recently approved by the State Board of Education, offering yet another non-traditional path to certification.

“We’re hopeful that the general increase in interest shows that word is getting out about the department’s goals to staff classrooms with high-quality instructors and that potential educators are willing to explore the possibility of becoming an educator,” Fulbright said.

Teacher retention is a priority for Critchfield, so her department is focused on providing support through mentoring and simplifying the role of the teacher.

“In some cases, people aren’t interested in getting into the profession — or they leave early — because of all the hats teachers today are forced to wear. Simplifying the role of the teacher will help, so they can get back to the basics of teaching, which is what attracted them to the profession in the first place,” she said.