Resource teachers providing support in classrooms as teacher shortage continues

For the first time, Westport Middle School is using a resource teacher from the district to fill in for a classroom. Jefferson County Public Schools has 54 district resource teachers in 34 schools, the most ever used at the start of the school year. usually work extra hard in the summers to make sure we have all our spots filled, but this year was a little bit more of a challenge,” said Jodie Zeller, Westport Middle School principal. Lauren High, a former Westport Middle School teacher doing behavior support at JCPS, is filling in at the middle school until a permanent teacher is hired.“Bottom line is we have to make sure we are meeting kids’ needs, and that’s what matters. Yes, I would love to be out supporting my high schools, but I know that these kids here need me. I’m here for them,” High said. The district is also partnering with Teach Kentucky to address the shortage. The nonprofit helps train people from all over the country who are interested in teaching long-term. The president and founder Rowan Claypool says for 21 years they have worked with the district to place more than 400 teachers in the district. This year, 190 teachers who have been through the program are teaching this fall. “We want to get STEM educators, special education, educators, and ESL educators so we’re really working hard to fill the most difficult openings,” said Rowan Claypool , Teach Kentucky founder and president. “It’s this invitation to people who are not in our community yet but see the opportunity of getting certified, launching their career, and being an AmeriCorps member. In AmeriCorps, they get two-thirds of their tuition provided.”Until a replacement is found, High says she’s happy to be a source of support until a permanent teacher is found.“I’m not hopeful that somebody else is going to come in and take my place, but I do know that I’m here for them until that happens,” High said. JCPS says district resource teachers are getting help with lesson planning and curriculum as they provide support in classrooms.

For the first time, Westport Middle School is using a resource teacher from the district to fill in for a classroom.

Jefferson County Public Schools has 54 district resource teachers in 34 schools, the most ever used at the start of the school year.

“We usually work extra hard in the summers to make sure we have all our spots filled, but this year was a little bit more of a challenge,” said Jodie Zeller, Westport Middle School principal.

Lauren High, a former Westport Middle School teacher doing behavior support at JCPS, is filling in at the middle school until a permanent teacher is hired.

“Bottom line is we have to make sure we are meeting kids’ needs, and that’s what matters. Yes, I would love to be out supporting my high schools, but I know that these kids here need me. I’m here for them,” High said.

The district is also partnering with Teach Kentucky to address the shortage. The nonprofit helps train people from all over the country who are interested in teaching long-term.

The president and founder Rowan Claypool says for 21 years they have worked with the district to place more than 400 teachers in the district. This year, 190 teachers who have been through the program are teaching this fall.

“We want to get STEM educators, special education, educators, and ESL educators so we’re really working hard to fill the most difficult openings,” said Rowan Claypool, Teach Kentucky founder and president. “It’s this invitation to people who are not in our community yet but see the opportunity of getting certified, launching their career, and being an AmeriCorps member. In AmeriCorps, they get two-thirds of their tuition provided.”

Until a replacement is found, High says she’s happy to be a source of support until a permanent teacher is found.

“I’m not hopeful that somebody else is going to come in and take my place, but I do know that I’m here for them until that happens,” High said.

JCPS says district resource teachers are getting help with lesson planning and curriculum as they provide support in classrooms.

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