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CPMS Students in High Demand at Utah Teacher Fair

Photo by Rob Johnson

Schools from across the country and students throughout the state gathered together for the Utah Teacher Fair, giving CPMS students in teaching majors an opportunity to meet with potential employers.

Students in attendance had the opportunity to network with school representatives in the morning and then interview for teaching positions in the afternoon.

Many of the schools came to the fair looking to hire several new teachers.

“We hire about 500 teachers every year,” said David Rettie, the associate director of Human Resources for Granite School District. “We’re always looking for math and science [teachers]; there’s a shortage.”

Historically, there has always been high demand for math and science teachers in the United States. The National Center for Education Statistics listed teaching positions in math, chemistry, and physics as some of the most difficult vacancies to fill in American schools.

Josh Bundy, a senior majoring in mathematics education, immediately noticed school representatives fighting for his attention as he strolled past the different booths.

“It’s a little overwhelming, to be honest, but it’s also exciting to know that a lot of people need you,” Bundy said.

The feeling of being sought after was mutual among most CPMS students at the fair.

“Because I’m a science major, pretty much everyone is willing to hire me,” said Amanda Bolander, a physical science teaching major. “I can go wherever, which is good.”

While a degree is definitely useful, school representatives were looking for many other qualifications in math and science teachers, as well. Each school had its own requirements.

“Someone that will give the hands on experience is what we’re looking for,” said Colleen Yazzie, the HR director for Chinle Unified School District, which is located within the Navajo Nation in Arizona. “[We’re looking for] someone that’s interested in being in a remote area and especially interested in the Navajo language and culture.”

There was also an underlying reason behind every student’s desire to pursue teaching: helping others.

Jacey Reynolds, a senior studying chemistry education, sees a need to make chemistry enjoyable for kids.

“I’ve always liked working with kids, and I think chemistry and science in general is just so fun and exciting. But sometimes there are a lot of students that don’t have a good experience with it,” Reynolds said. “I really wanted to be able to show them how fun science is and that with hard work and determination they can really understand it.”

Josh Bundy is looking for something more than just a full-time job and salary.

“For me, I just really wanted to do something that made a difference—not only something that helps out the community, but also empowers people,” Bundy said. “The best way I feel I could do that is through education.”