BRYAN, Texas — Bryan ISD is experiencing a teacher shortage like many others across the country, but how are schools trying to fill the need for special education teachers?
The teacher shortage continues to plague school districts across the Brazos Valley.
”We do have a number of vacancies in the Special Education Department, it’s something that we have recognized as a critical need even before this year,” said Jennifer Warren, executive director of Special Programs at Bryan ISD.
Sela Heard, a former special education teacher, looks back on her time in the public school system.
”When I was a public-school teacher years ago, the biggest challenge and difficulty I experienced, and [that] I saw my students going through, were the large class sizes,” said Heard, founding director and autism specialist for the Hopewell Day School.
When Heard decided to open her own school, the Hopewell Day School was born, and since then she said she sees the immediate difference in her students.
”I noticed that there was so much joy and relational connectiveness with our students when they come,” said Heard.
But nonetheless, special education students in the public school system hope to receive the same attention.
”As a recruitment tool to attract special education teachers to Bryan ISD, at a minimum if you’re a special education teacher at Bryan ISD you’re going to receive at least a
$2,000 thousand stipend,” said Warren.
Bryan ISD is not only promoting additional bonuses but encouraging professional development.
”Professional development is a huge element that we use, to not only recruit our staff members but also to retain them,” said Warren.
Bryan ISD looks to fill over 20 vacancies, but they are encouraged by the interest they’ve received this week so far.