GRADY COUNTY, Ga. (WTXL) — The Grady County School District is seeing a teacher shortage. Middle and high schools are getting hit the hardest. "There are very specific areas of shortage especially science, math, and special ed." That's what the Assistant Superintendent of Grady County Schools, Janet Walden, had to say.
Making sure they have enough teachers to meet the students' needs is becoming increasingly difficult. Walden added "larger class sizes can be a cause of teacher shortage and ultimately trying to meet the needs of a diverse population."
Teachers are hired in two ways, traditional or alternate route. The alternate route, known as the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (also known as the Georgia TAPP program), gives more flexibility for people with a Bachelor's degree. "If they have a history degree but they didn't go through the education process in college they can take that degree and become a teacher and teach history." That's what Cairo teacher, Carly Mobley, said. She's a 4th grade educator at South Side Elementary and went through the TAPP program. Right away, she got hands-on experience. Mobley added "I have that certification now I completed it, I met and built really awesome relationships through the TAPP program that I can still rely on today."
Right now, the school district has 15 open positions and being a smaller community, it makes a big impact on the over 4,000 students in the area. Walden stressed "it affects every aspect of economy, every aspect of our community, Grady County Board of Education is the largest employer in Grady County and so we want our children to be prepared for their futures and to have choices, we want our children to want to come back here."
After completing the TAPP program, a person walks away with a Georgia Teaching Certification in about 2 years. The school district encourages people to apply for the upcoming school year.