Lansing school district sends teachers back to school
Teacher shortage leads the district to new hiring protocols.
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Schools are struggling to fill their classrooms with teachers across the country.
“Like other districts in the state, we are all experiencing a staff shortage, so it’s ongoing for Lansing still,” said Paden Stalter, Director of Rewarding Educator Achievement and Performance for the Lansing district. “The exciting thing is we have over 60 educators, so we’re getting closer every single day.”
Due to the staffing shortage, Lansing schools are bringing in lots of new staff. The district wants to ensure these new faces are ready for the task.
“This on-boarding event is one of our steps that we’re taking into Lansing School Districts to support and retain the people that we do bring.” said Stalter. “We are really conscious about who we bring to the Lansing family and today is our step forward of really supporting them and being successful, because they are directly impacting our students.”
Stalter also said the new teachers are a mixed crowd. Some are from other districts, while others are from an alternative certification program that’s growing in popularity amidst the shortage.
The teachers that attended Monday’s training session said programs like these could be a huge help.
“If other districts had these systems in place, I think it would be helpful in the recruitment and retention of teachers.” said one of Lansing’s new teachers, Colleen Erpelding, “Last winter I considered leaving the field completely. I’ve been in education for 20 years, and I considered it. At the end of the day, this is my calling. This is where I need to be.”
Lansing is Erpelding’s hometown, and she wasn’t the only teacher who decided to come back to their roots. Alyssa Stepter also came back to Lansing schools from her previous job in higher education.
“This is my city, I love my city. And so as an educator I felt like it was my next best move to come back and give back to an area, a district that has already given so much to me,” said Stepter.
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