State education officials launch TeachNC initiative to help with teacher recruitment efforts

State education leaders launched a new website this week as part of North Carolina’s strategy to recruit teachers.

TeachNC, as the initiative is called, includes a media campaign that works in tandem with the website, to give prospective teachers insight into the profession.

Superintendent Mark Johnson first announced the new venture during his Innovation and Leadership Dinner in February.

The official launch came this week with Johnson and partners, Best NC, and Teach.org, a nonprofit teacher recruitment organization, touting the benefits of TeachNC.

“As business leaders, we know that the talent in our organizations is key to our success. The same is true for education in North Carolina; our teachers and other educators need to be recruited and valued like other high-skills professionals,” said BEST NC Board Chairman Walter McDowell.

Johnson said the website makes it easier to learn about the teaching profession in North Carolina.

“Being a teacher allows you to have a fruitful and fulfilling career anywhere in North Carolina – your hometown, a big city, the mountains, or the coast,” Superintendent Johnson said. “We have over 2,500 public schools in North Carolina’s 100 counties, and now we have an easy-to- use platform to learn about becoming a teacher.”

Gov. Roy Cooper delivered what could be considered the first recruitment pitch for TeachNC.

“North Carolina is a wonderful place to build a life and a career and we’d love to welcome you to join our public schools as a respected teacher. Come help us continue our strong tradition of public education while you challenge, empower, and inspire North Carolina’s next generation,” Cooper said in a statement announcing the initiative.

While there are rumblings of a teacher shortage in North Carolina, the state’s most recent report on teacher attrition shows fewer teachers left the profession or changed school districts in the 2017-18 school year that either of the prior two years.

North Carolina’s teacher attrition fell slightly from 9 percent to roughly 8.1 percent of the state’s 94,909 teachers.

Here’s how the media campaign will work:

TeachNC will work with North Carolina television and radio stations to air public service announcements to promote the initiative. A campaign titled “Teachers Have Better Work Stories” will highlight the creativity, leadership and excitement teachers bring to classrooms.

In conjunction with television and radio ads, TeachNC will launch a localized social media campaign tol highlight the Better Work Stories of current and former North Carolina teachers. The Better Work Stories campaign materials will be made available to local schools and communities for their recruiting efforts.

And here’s more information about the website:

Visitors to TeachNC.org can learn about the teaching professions. The site provides information about what it takes to become a teacher, one-on-one coaching, school district profiles and salary information. Visitor can also review content about licensure and financial aid (including $1,000 TeachNC scholarships), educator preparation programs, application checklists and more.

The tools, services, and resources included in the system will be expanded and updated regularly based on evolving best practices, ongoing user research, and feedback from partners and other education stakeholders.

All of North Carolina’s educator preparation programs were invited to join the TeachNC initiative. Profiles of participating programs will be featured on the TeachNC website. More than 30 of the 54 public and private educator preparation programs have joined the initiative so far, and more will continue to be added.

Within the next year, TeachNC will expand to provide robust information on the more than 100 school districts and charter schools in North Carolina. The website will feature tools and resources to help teacher candidates identify the schools and communities best suited to their skills and interests.

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