HELP WANTED: What's being done to fill the teaching gap in Wakulla County and beyond

FSU will be placing students in Wakulla County to teach students this fall.
Posted at 7:11 PM, Aug 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-22 19:11:50-04
  • Wakulla County Schools and other districts in the state are working to handle the overcrowding in classrooms.
  • President of the Florida Education Association, Andrew Spar says the teacher shortage is very concerning
  • Wakulla County Superintendent Robert Pearce said they plan to fix the issue. Watch the video to see how.

While some school officials say it will help, some feel it could become a challenge later.

"Districts for a long time have used the student teaching initiative as a way to get future educators employed in their district it's still very challenging you've got to welcome them into your community and encourage them to stay when they can go elsewhere where they can make more money it makes it really challenging" says Andrew Spar.

President of the Florida education association, Andrew spar says the teacher shortage is very concerning, adding it is the largest shortage he has seen at the start of a school year.

"When we don't have teachers in the classroom, that means our students aren't learning" says Spar.

Wakulla county schools are feeling the effects of the shortage—

Teachers voicing those concerns to school board members of overcrowding and pay

The Wakulla County superintendent Robert Pearce says they plan to fix the issue that allows an experienced classroom teacher to supervise larger classes in partnership with a student-teacher who is currently working to finish their teaching degree.

FSU is among the universities that is working with Wakulla County schools to help with the shortage adding they plan to place practicum students in the county.

Sparr worries with the initiative there will not be enough experienced teachers in classes.

"I worry a little bit because obviously when you're student teaching you're supposed to be working under another teacher and if you shortchange that process is someone losing out on the skills, they need to develop to be successful teachers." Says spar

Sparr says the first step in solving this problem is to do something about the teacher shortage.

"Address the issues driving the teacher and staff shortage in our schools and then get programs to get young teachers into the profession to student teach and incentivize them staying and get them hired in those districts." Says spar.

I reached out to Superintendent Pearce on Tuesday for more information about the statewide initiative he has not responded to. FSU told me they will be placing students in Wakulla County to teach students this fall.