Teachers for hire
UD career fair pairs education majors with recruiters
12 p.m., April 27, 2012--The University of Delaware's Bob Carpenter Center was buzzing with activity April 17-18, as hundreds of students and alumni dressed in their their most professional attire strode past aisles of tables, festooned with the names of school districts near and far.
The occasion was the annual Teach in Delaware Day and Project Search. Over 170 recruiters from 78 school districts, across seven states gathered under one roof to discuss employment opportunities with UD education students and alumni.
Partnership for change
During the two-day event, over 600 people visited the career fair with the hope of getting a start on their career in teaching.
“This is more than just a job fair. In addition to conducting actual interviews and sharing information about anticipated vacancies, recruiters often provide job search advice. They share tips with students about how to present themselves, develop a professional network and gain a competitive edge in the job market,” said Cindy Holland of the UD Career Services Center and coordinator of the event.
Lindsay Tietze, a senior in secondary education, found the event very beneficial. “This is my very first job fair," she said. "Since my arrival, I have received nothing but encouraging feedback. Each table I’ve visited has given me helpful tips and broadened my horizons.”
The soon-to-be graduates felt the education and experience they gained through UD’s teacher education programs have prepared them well for their future. “During my tenure at the University, I have worked alongside teachers who have graciously molded me into the best candidate I can be. I am one hundred percent prepared, and wholly thankful for the opportunities provided,” said Nathalie Agnant, currently working towards acquiring a bachelor’s degree in elementary teacher education.
Tim Dorsey, a candidate in the STEM Teacher Residency Program, with a bachelor’s degree in biology, enthusiastically agreed. “This intensive program provided me with a rich experience. It provided a strong foundation for my first teaching job, and couldn’t have been better,” he said.
The STEM program is a10-month master’s degree program offered by the College of Education and Human Development and geared toward students who are skilled in areas of mathematics, science and engineering, and are interested in becoming teachers in high-needs schools.
The recruiters are equally impressed with the candidates. Heath Chasanov, assistant superintendent for the Woodbridge School District in Bridgeville, Del., is a 14-year veteran of the event. When speaking of the UD attendees, he said, “I never question the capabilities of a prospective employee from this university. A University of Delaware résumé ensures superior training, and I have every bit of confidence that they will use their competitive edge to take the ball and run with it. ”
This year, the event should prove to be even more valuable, thanks to a new law regarding school funds. Delaware public schools are now able to create a budget based on an “estimated unit count” in April. As a result, schools can make hiring decisions as early as the spring, instead of the previous deadline of Sept. 30. Gov. Jack Markell signed this law at last year’s Project Search.
Article by Danielle Burton
Video by Erick Huber
Photos by Ambre Alexander