The California Center for Teaching Careers (CalTeach) is conducting outreach efforts to attract more ethnically diverse teachers into the teaching profession, but more community support and involvement is needed.
According to the California Department of Education, only 26 percent of the state’s teachers are non-white, including merely 13 percent Hispanic, five percent African American and 5.4 percent Asian/Pacific Islander/Filipino. This is in stark contrast to the state’s student population, which is 43.2 Hispanic, 8.4 percent African-American and 11 percent Asian/Pacific Islander/Filipino.
In order to help rectify the situation, CalTeach recently held nine “Pathways to Teaching” forums across the state as part of a strategy to address this important issue. The purpose of the forums was to help people interested in teaching understand the pathways into the profession be it going to school full time or becoming an intern and earning a credential while teaching in the classroom. All attendees, from career changers to college and high school students to individuals holding foreign degrees, were provided information tailored to meet their own situation and goals.
The forums were deemed successful since 70 percent of those in attendance were from diverse backgrounds, and a great majority were Hispanics interested in a teaching profession. Hispanics are being encouraged to pursue a teaching career to reflect the ethnicity of the student population in California.
“We consider the forums highly successful because of the demographics of the people that attended,” said Nancy Brownell, director of CalTeach. “By no means are we finished. According to state statistics, there are simply not enough teachers from diverse backgrounds teaching in our schools, providing our students with the role models they need and trust.”
CalTeach was established to help recruit the estimated 195,000 qualified teachers California will need over the next decade to meet the increasing needs of the classroom.
The California Center for Teaching Careers (CalTeach) is a one-stop information, recruitment and referral service for individuals considering or pursuing a teaching career. CalTeach, administered by the CSU Chancellor’s Office, can be reached by phone at 1-888-CALTEACH (225-8322), or via the Internet at www.calteach.com. CalTeach also works closely with the California Teacher Recruitment Incentive Program (CalTRIP). The teacher recruitment centers provide job placement assistance by partnering with local school districts to ensure that teachers are placed in classrooms through a seamless and efficient hiring process.