Olympic ESD 114, along with school districts throughout our Region, remains active in helping solve the teacher shortage in Washington State. To help address and respond to the shortage, both last year and this year, we hosted two open houses (one in Bremerton and one in Sequim) to raise awareness about paths to teacher certification. We invited anyone who was interested in becoming a Washington State certificated teacher. Overall, representatives from twelve colleges and universities participated in the Bremerton and Sequim events to talk with and provide information to paraeducators and other school district staff and community members about the different paths available to becoming certified teachers. Based on the numbers of participants, we realized there was definitely a need for these opportunities. Because of the success from these events, we plan to make this an annual event as long as the need continues.
- Approximately 200 attendees participated in these events, in addition to calls and emails from dozens of others who were unable to attend.
- Twelve colleges and universities participated overall.
- Attendees included individuals with AA, BS, MS degrees; some with only college credits but no degree.
- Attendees included paraeducators and other school district employees, emergency subs, teachers with certificates outside of Washington State, and people with careers in other areas wanting to become teachers, and others.
- At least one-third of the attendees from last year (2016) alone enrolled in a program offered by one of our university partners. OESD has heard anecdotal stories about the progress of many…some are already student teaching and will begin teaching next year.
- Along with a teacher shortage, almost every district in the state is struggling with substitute shortages. Some participants at these events were primarily focused on becoming emergency subs and many are now in the system guest teaching in classrooms.
The Olympic ESD Human Resources Department is making a difference in the future of our schools!