The Philadelphia School District is not alone in putting up a major push in teacher recruitment. Universal Education Companies, a charter operator of eight schools in Philadelphia, is seeking to hire 75 new teachers for the 2016-17 school year, part of an effort to reduce class sizes and free up time for more professional development opportunities for staff.
Penny Nixon, superintendent at Universal, said the goal is a 1 to 25 teacher-to-student ratio, plus setting the stage for “a rethinking of teaching and learning practices.” She said that Universal is stressing “student-centered” instruction that requires a shift from practices that have historically dominated public school instruction.
“Universal seeks talented, certified teachers that possess … in-depth understanding of content and learning progressions to engage scholars and lead individual scholars toward mastery,” she said. The focus on college readiness and the whole child requires educators who “understand that our scholars are multi-talented and deserve a continuum of supports and services.”
Universal will be competing with the District for candidates. In March, the District announced an initiative to hire 800 new teachers, most for 2016-17, but some to fill vacancies that have persisted for most of this school year.
To find 75 new teachers, Universal is seeking 300 to 400 applications. It has received 125 so far, Nixon said. It will hold several recruitment fairs over the next few months, as well as information sessions at the campus of Audenried High School, which it runs.
Interested applicants can also get more information and apply online.