By Jordan Nelson, The Register-Herald
With over 700 teacher vacancies in West Virginia, the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is looking for ways to not only recruit teachers, but also retain them and keep them in the field.
The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE), along with WVDE officials, made a pit stop in Greenbrier County Wednesday night as part of a listening tour, where they listened to attendees voices their opinions and concerns on the state of education in the Mountain State, while discussing new policies the WVBE has begun to implement.
Discussions focused on family engagement, standards and curriculum, college and career readiness, and educator preparation, recruitment and retention — one of the hottest topics of the evening.
Officials within the Office of Professional Preparation, Recruitment and Retention of the WVDE reported new teachers leave the field within their first three to five years of teaching. In response, the board has taken steps to implement a policy that that establishes an educator preparation program that may eventually replace student teaching.
For college students who major in education, their last semester of school is based on student teaching, where they teach under a certified teacher’s supervision and observation. WVDE’s new policy, which is set to be implemented in Fall 2021, will then give college students the option to take part in a year-long teacher residency rather than just one semester of student teaching.