Have you always wanted to be a schoolteacher? Or maybe you’re considering it for the first time?
If so, the Harrisburg school district would like to talk to you.
School officials will hold an in-person recruitment event of potential educators on Thursday, beginning at 10 a.m., at the Lincoln Administration Building on State Street. The open house is meant to help fill faculty jobs, which begin next month, for grades K to 12 in all areas of study—from English and history to career services and special education.
“We wanted to do something out of the box and to expand opportunities for recruitment,” said Kirsten Keys, district spokesperson. “This event is a move to expand and to be innovative in our approach in recruiting highly qualified talent to teach in our district.”
The district needs to fill 27 to 40 spots vacated recently by retirees, young educators moving on or people who decided to change careers, Keys said. On-the-spot video-chat interviews will be available for those who have registered.
“Teachers [need to be] able to teach in a diverse population, be exposed to different types of challenges that you may not encounter in other settings, and have the ability to change the lives of their students,” said Curtis Tribue, the director of human resources.
Keys refers to working in an urban environment as a “calling” considering the challenges the children face, which include high poverty rates, parentless homes and no homes to go to at all. As of 2015, 77 percent of students’ families in the district live at or below the poverty line.
“There are differences when it comes to working in an urban setting versus a suburban or private or charter setting,” Keys said. “I would say it is something that links to that teacher passion—to come to an inner-city setting and teach children who come from diverse backgrounds, not only racially and ethnically but also socioeconomically.”
Minority and bilingual educators are especially encouraged to apply due to the diversity of Harrisburg’s student body.
African-American students make up 59 percent of student enrollment, and Hispanic students constitute 31 percent, with rapid growth. Nearly 13 percent of students are considered Limited English Proficient or English Language Learners. To help address these needs, the district has reached out to the University of Puerto Rico and to historically black colleges across the East Coast.
“It’s important for children, for students, to see teachers that look like them, that can relate to them, and care about them and their ability to learn and become successful outside of high school,” Keys said.
She added that the Harrisburg school district offers a completive salary, great benefits and the chance to impact a child.
“Our students are amazing,” she said. “Despite challenges some of the students face, our students are some of the most amazing students that you will find. They have high hopes, dreams, and aspirations. It’s a great place to work to impact the lives of students here.”
The Harrisburg school district’s Summer Educators’ Recruitment Event will take place Thursday, July 13, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Lincoln Administration Building, 1601 State St, Harrisburg. To register, contact the district’s Human Resources Department at 717-703-1499 or email Recruitment@hbgsd.us.