Florence, South Carolina – In a move to combat the state’s teacher shortage, the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) has rolled out “TeachFlorence1,” an initiative aimed at attracting individuals seeking a new career path in education. This program is specifically designed for those holding a Bachelor’s degree, who have achieved a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, and who can pass the Praxis test—a requirement for acceptance into this opportunity.
Hiring and keeping the teachers who pass this program
TeachFlorence1 is not just about getting more teachers into the classroom; it’s about ensuring they stay there. Accepted applicants will be required to commit to a three-year tenure within the district, during which they will receive comprehensive training and complete three college-level courses through Clemson University. This combination of practical experience and academic enrichment is expected to equip new educators with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in their roles.
Courtney Clayton, the Executive Director of Learning and Teaching, emphasized the importance of retention in the development of TeachFlorence1. Since there is a shortage of teachers in South Carolina, SCDE wanted to focus on teacher retention, which is a significant issue not just in South Carolina but across the nation.
The program has been carefully crafted to prepare teachers to remain in the profession for the long haul, a mission that is strongly supported by educational leaders, including Dr. O’Malley.
Florence 1 third school district in South Carolina to implement the program
Florence 1 has become the third district in South Carolina to implement the TeachFlorence1 program, set to commence this summer. Despite the program’s recent introduction, there is already considerable interest, with 25 applicants vying for the opportunity and 27 teaching positions currently open, as stated on the FSD1 official website.
However, the path to becoming part of TeachFlorence1 comes with its costs. Candidates must bear the initial expenses associated with the SCDE application and a background check. Following this, the program fees, including course and material costs, will be incrementally deducted from participants’ bi-weekly paychecks, amounting to $62.50 per pay period. Thankfully, district scholarships will alleviate some of the financial burden, reducing the participant’s annual outlay to $1,500.
This initiative not only offers a viable pathway for aspiring educators but also represents a strategic response to the pressing issue of teacher shortages and retention in South Carolina. With programs like TeachFlorence1, the state is taking significant steps towards ensuring that every classroom is led by a dedicated and well-prepared teacher, ultimately benefiting students and the broader educational landscape.