Every year twice as many teachers retire as new teachers graduate, and in out of the way districts of South Carolina this can be a problem. As the school year starts across the counties of South Carolina, many districts are still trying to fill openings for a variety of positions. There is a similarity is what types of teachers are needed though, and it’s a pattern seen across the country.
There is a high demand in the state for STEM teachers, that is, teachers in the areas of science, tech, engineering, and math. Also, special education and the arts are two areas where most districts still have openings that they have been unable to fill before the first day of school. Currently, it is difficult to attract new teachers in these subjects, even when school loan forgiveness is offered, because the demand means better paying opportunities elsewhere.
State education officials have a few plans and ideas in mind to help schools deal with teacher vacancies, but long term solutions need to be made at a nationwide level in order to ensure there is always a constant and diverse stream of new teachers ready to join the education system. Currently, there are more teachers graduating in areas of the profession that are already over saturated with new graduates, early education. If student teachers choose to focus on one of the STEM subjects while they are earning their degrees, there chances of placement within a school will increase dramatically. Districts are also working together that available teachers are spread out as evenly as possible in their schools to ensure that all schools have the benefit of the most diverse set of teachers as possible.