“Representatives from nine Montana school districts and three Nevada school districts made the long, snowy drive to campus with the goal of recruiting soon to be certified UMW teacher education program grads and student teachers to fill open teaching positions for the upcoming 2017 – 2018 school year,” Field Experience Director Adam Mastandrea said. “We had a great turn out of qualified teacher applicants who will soon be placed throughout Montana and beyond.”
According to Poplar School District Superintendent Jim Baldwin, it has been increasingly difficult to bring new teachers to Poplar, Mont., especially teachers who have the training and expertise needed to be successful in rural schools.
Baldwin praised the high quality of UMW teacher education graduates and interviewed several candidates who he believed would be a great fit for his district. Due to teacher shortages in rural Montana communities, school representatives offered additional benefits to attract certified teachers, including free or low-cost housing, signing bonuses and student loan forgiveness for teaching in areas impacted by critical quality educator shortages.
“Montana Western student teachers are sought after due to their extensive training in rural education,” Mastandrea said. “UMW’s commitment to rural education dates back to our founding as the state’s teacher training institution and our reputation is well known throughout Montana and the region.”
Montana Western student teachers participate in the university’s Rural Fridays program, which brings elementary school children from their rural schoolhouses to Montana Western. They are taught by student teachers and take advantage of the campus’ state-of-the-art facilities, including the Model Classroom. The newly remodeled facility showcases the latest technology and educational tools for a better learning environment.
The recruitment fair was open to all Montana Western education majors interested in networking with school administrators, distributing resumes and cover letters and potentially interviewing for a teaching position or clinical experience placement.
— Montana Western —