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INDIANAPOLIS – A snapshot of teaching jobs in the state show nearly 2,000 vacancies per the Indiana Department of Education’s educator supply and demand job bank.

“The doors are wide open for anyone, who is looking to enter the teaching profession and make an impact in kids lives,” said Holly Lawson, deputy director of communications for IDOE.

Though vacancies remain, people are trying their best to answer the call utilizing pathways to help lead Indiana classrooms.

“The pathway to the classroom is because there is a need, there are people willing to fill that need,” said Professor of Education Shelly Furuness, Butler University.

From the 2020-21 school year in Indiana, Furuness said more than 4,000 emergency permits, 419 transition to teaching permits, more than 11,000 substitute teaching permits and 1,251 adjunct teacher licenses were issued in the state.

As new hires get started for the school year, Furuness said the goal is to make sure they’re prepared and equipped with what they need to lead the classroom.

“We want to remove obstacles for them that we can remove,” she said. “It is an obstacle to the classroom to be overwhelmed by the complexity and the complex challenges that they face every day.”

Butler University recently launched its Teacher-Led, Teacher Education program, which is meant to serve as a crash course for new teachers and those on emergency permits, long-term subbing or alternatively-credentialed.

“It is certainly not everything that they need to know, but it’s everything you might need to get started,” Furuness said.  “Each of the lessons that we have in that introductory module is curated by our practicing teachers, who said ‘these are the exact things that we really need.’”

The Foundations Module of the program is an introductory component, consisting of about 6-8 hours. During that time, participants can learn the fundamentals of essential skills, like lesson planning, classroom management and other areas.

“If you got hired on a Friday, congratulations, let’s spend the weekend going through some of these foundational pieces and hopefully you’ll feel a little more confident going into Monday morning,” said Furuness.

After completing that portion of the program, participants can choose to engage in subject-specific modules to learn how to effectively teach their subject matters.

“Those modules are much more in-depth,” she said. “They’re about 15-20 hours of methodology support, everything from thinking through planning, instructing assessment cycle in your discipline, to ways to support diverse learners, ways to use data effectively.”

Furuness said the program helps to bridge the gaps for newly hired educators.

“What we’re trying to make sure of is that we keep teachers in the classroom, who want to be in the classroom,” she said. “If we can provide some additional support in that way, if we can ease that burden, then that is something we have the capacity to do and want to.”

The first cohort of participants will start the program at the end of August.

For more information on how to get involved, or if your school/school district is interested in utilizing the program, you can contact Liz Jackson at 317-940-9315.