Now more than ever, new job openings are requiring candidates to have basic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) literacy. In fact, a new report suggests that 60% of jobs now require these skills. This means that in order to best prepare children for their careers in the future, teachers should continue to emphasize the importance of STEM subjects in their lesson plans.
But as principals and school administrators, the first step is to attract and retain the top STEM teaching talent. When it comes to establishing your recruitment needs this year, what initiatives are you using to attract new, great math and science educators?
One way to attract great STEM educators is to provide them with specific professional development and networking opportunities. In order to connect STEM educators in the United States, many STEM coalitions have developed that host regular gatherings for science, technology, and math educators.
“The idea behind the regional STEM hubs is we need to connect these isolated pockets of excellence across the state,” said Mark Lewis, the STEM Director for the Oregon Education Investment Board. “We’ve got to create a more dynamic culture of exchange.”
Because there is a shortage of STEM teachers worldwide, providing great educators an opportunity to connect and share ideas and learn from one another is a great retainment tactic.
Beyond hosting STEM educator networking opportunities, there are smaller initiatives your school can undertake to attract and retain more STEM teachers, including:
Offer continuous professional development opportunities to teachers including technological courses
Highlight classroom technology and available learning facilities in your job postings
Encourage teachers to develop unique, individual lesson plans incorporating technology and innovative classroom materials, and allow teachers to determine for themselves the necessary classroom tools per semester.
Ensure your salary and benefits packages are competitive.