Hundreds apply for teaching jobs in Houston

wcrenshaw@macon.comMarch 2, 2013 

More than 700 people showed up Saturday for Houston County’s annual teacher recruitment fair at Veterans High School.

In his opening remarks, Superintendent Robins Hines said the system hired 135 teachers last year and expects to hire at least that many this year.

“I’m a little bit biased, but we have the best school system anywhere,” he said. “The main reason we are what we are is because we have great expectations. We believe if you are not going to do something at a level of excellence then you ought not do it at all.”

He introduced members of the school board and key staff members. Afterwards, the job candidates scattered throughout the school where representatives of each school in the system were set up in classrooms to conduct interviews.

Tucker Elementary had a unique approach in that students were involved in the interview process. Principal Kim Halstead said the school emphasizes leadership skills and gives students many such opportunities to take roles in shaping the school.

Assistant Superintendent Mark Scott said math and science positions are the most difficult to fill.

Valerie Goolsby, an elementary school math teacher in the Dodge County system, was interested in a job in Houston County because she lives in Warner Robins and wanted to be closer to home. She offered a reason as to why math teachers are harder to find.

“Math is like the subject kids automatically do not like,” she said. “It’s kind of hard to get them into it. I do a lot of games and interactive activities to get them interested.”

As teachers were interviewed, they were given scores and those are used to select candidates to fully interview for open positions. Scott said it’s a better way to get a list of finalists than simply sifting through résumés.

“When you are just looking at the paper documents you don’t get a feel for their personality,” he said. “It gives us a chance to have that face-to-face contact.”

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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