The need for high school teachers is expected to increase by 9.6 percent, according to the College of Education’s flyer that was put out last week on campus. With this in mind, Cal State Long Beach invited recruiters from all over the country to hire prospective teachers.
Students looking to pursue a career in teaching got the opportunity to meet with representatives from multiple school districts at the Educators’ Job Fair.
Held Friday in the University Student Union Ballrooms, the fair hosted over 400 interested attendees who came to hear from school districts in California and out-of-state, including Alaska, Washington and Arizona.
Heather Bigelow, a staffing analyst for Long Beach Unified School District, said the teachers they have recruited from the university are “quality” educators.
“We look for creative teachers, we look for teachers that know how to work collaboratively and we look for teachers that are going to bring exciting things to Long Beach Unified,” Bigelow said.
Bigelow said that of the 400-500 students they talk to at the event, they typically hire around 50 percent of the crowd.
The event, coordinated by Peggy Murphy from the Career Development Center, has been running at the university for over 20 years. It was originally run by the College of Education before being handed over to the CDC.
According to Murphy, employers from California and other states for educators are “hungry” for new workers as the demand in the field increases.
Many districts are facing high teacher turnover rate, with districts having to hire “underqualified candidates” to fill in the position, according to a press release from the Learning Policy Institute.
“The College of [Education] asked the Career Center if we would be interested in partnering with them on this event, so we jumped in,” Murphy said. “We said, ‘Absolutely,’ because that’s what we do. We connect students with employers.”
Murphy describes the event as “an amazing opportunity” for students to meet with potential employers face-to-face.
In addition to the booths set up around the ballroom that allowed representatives to pitch their school and answer any questions the students had, there were also interview spaces set up for a more formal meet and greet between them.
Murphy also noted that the event has increased in popularity every year, adding that in addition to school districts, there were also businesses looking for educators, including the Peace Corps.
The event drew in large waves of about 400 students, including those still figuring out whether to pursue a career in the field of education.
David Rowe, first year education major, attended the event to gain insight on the field.
“Right now I’m trying to determine what major I’m going to do, if I’m going to stick with education,” Rowe said. “And a big part of that is whether there are enough jobs available in California for education, so I thought this would be a good way to check whether or not it’s right to switch, depending on how it’ll look when I graduate.”
Rowe thinks one of the best parts of the event is giving undergraduates the opportunity to network and meet professionals.
“For the whole school, [the event] looks great to see a lot of well-dressed and educated people here signing up for things and potentially getting somewhere after they graduate,” Rowe said.
One of the most popular booths was the Long Beach Unified School District, which drew a large crowd of students eager to meet with the representatives.
Samuel Dolcine, recruitment manager for the charter school network, Alliance, which is made up of 25 middle and high schools, attended the event for the first time.
“Within 30 minutes, it’s already lived up to my expectations,” Dolcine said.
Dolcine was impressed with students’ preparation when visiting his booth.
He said he believes a prospective educator should have “a heart for kids,” and be “hungry to learn.”