GREENSBORO, N.C. — The start of the new school year is almost here and many of the school districts in the Triad are struggling to fill teaching positions.
Karen Meacham has taught for 31 years, but lately, she says things are getting harder.
“I work two part-time jobs to make ends meet.”
Meacham said low pay and low morale are why many of her colleagues through the years have left to teach in other states or switched careers.
“They're discouraged with the way that teachers are being disrespected as a whole. Teachers are just fed up with being told how to teach their curriculum. There are not enough supplies or enough support.”
The Guilford County Schools district said it needs to hire nearly 100 teachers. Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools needs to fill 228 positions and Alamance-Burlington Schools needs 46 teachers.
Meacham says if teachers were supported at the state level and curriculum requirements stopped changing then those positions would be filled.
“Legislators need to stop playing politics and do what's best for kids and what's best for our teachers,” said Meacham.
If the districts fail to fill all vacancies before the first day of school, they recruit retired educators to fill in as substitutes. Another option is to have other teachers assist with supporting extra classes. However, school districts WFMY News 2 spoke with said they believe those positions will be filled. They also said the current openings are similar to previous years.
But it’s not just teachers, right now there are 63 openings for bus drivers within the Guilford County Schools district. There are 30 bus driving jobs available in Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools and 13 drivers in Alamance Burlington Schools district.