In continuing efforts to overcome a devastating statewide teacher shortage, the Oklahoma State Department of Education has launched an online tool to pair teachers with job openings in public school districts.
The new website, OKTeachersMatch.com, allows school administrators to post job openings and access a pool of educators who are seeking employment and are certified in the desired subject areas. Teachers also may view vacancies that match their credentials through the site, according to a news release.
“The job match features found at OKTeacherMatch.com are a breakthrough in connecting districts with qualified educators and will streamline our efforts to help ensure our students have equitable access to an effective teacher in every classroom,” State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said. “We are excited to launch this convenient and innovative tool that will make the hiring process less burdensome on teachers and administrators, and ultimately benefit kids.”
Estimated salaries for each job opening also are displayed on the website. They reflect the average $7,400 pay raise for Oklahoma teachers over the past two years.
Oklahoma has experienced significant gains in its teacher workforce with the addition of about 1,750 classroom teachers since the 2017-18 school year due to lawmakers passing back-to-back pay increases, Hofmeister said.
The state’s classroom teacher count was 41,305 in 2017-18. A year later, it had grown to 42,453, an increase of 1,148. State numbers released in November for the current school year showed 43,056 teachers, or 603 more than the previous year.
“Because of concentrated efforts to attract and retain teachers over the last several years, we can now report that school districts are hiring and more people want to teach in Oklahoma,” Hofmeister said.
“We still have work to do to ensure we have a sufficient educator workforce to reduce class sizes and bolster student learning, but this sustained uptick in numbers is a strong indicator that we have begun to reverse course and attract new talent to a profession with unparalleled impact on young lives. These numbers represent a win for Oklahoma kids.”
Teachers should see the number of job openings increase in the spring as schools begin posting vacancies for the 2020-21 school year. To be eligible to use the website, educators must have a valid Oklahoma teaching credential.