White County Schools are looking for math and special education teacher candidates through a grant program with Tennessee Tech.
The Grow Your Own Grant program is meant to create a teacher pipeline by funding two years of schooling for in house candidates. Director of Schools Kurt Dronbarger said the school system has plenty of teacher assistants to be selected for the program.
“Certainly have folks that are working for us that have the desire to do that and are already doing a great job in our system,” Dronebarger said. “This gives them an opportunity to finish. Money is not the obstacle. They are able to get some job embedded experience while they are working for us and get their college tuition payed for.”
Candidates will work as teacher assistants while taking classes with Tech. Dronebarger said for a small school system like White County, filling teacher voids in today’s climate is a challenge. But with the partnership with Tech, Dronebarger said recruiting and hiring will be easier.
“Areas in White County would have a hard time to pulling that off in of itself,” Dronebarger said. “We certainly have a great partnership with Tech. Tech really stepped up. They help get their college degree paid for, books and all their fees paid for, so that they can become a teacher.”
The program targets candidates who have completed some college education. Once receiving a teaching license, the instructor will return to the school system they worked for while in school. Dronebarger said teachers for grades K-5 are also in need.
“That is something we are going to be looking for in our recent graduates,” Dronebarger said. “Is those folks that have gone into education. Maybe they have not gone into their upper division, and they are not sure where to go. We are going to really push them to go into these areas.”