Ann Arbor schools to host first teacher job fair to diversify applicant pool
Teachers interested in working for the Ann Arbor Public Schools are invited to attend the district's first in-house teacher job fair later this month.
Jeff Sainlar | AnnArbor.com file photo
The expanded effort to attract larger, more diverse pools of teaching candidates was directed by the school board, said Human Resources Director Cindy Ryan.
"They wanted us to try some new and different ideas and suggested we do our own job fair," she said. "Even though we have to make cuts, with resignations and retirements, we always need to hire some people every year."
District officials anticipate there will be some open elementary, secondary and certified Autism Spectrum Disorders teaching positions for fall.
The in-house job fair will not preclude district administrators and human resources officials from attending other teacher job fairs at various universities. Typically, AAPS sends about six recruiters to teacher job fairs at Eastern Michigan University, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, Ryan said.
This spring, Ann Arbor recruiters also plan to visit Wayne State University and U-M Flint.
Ryan said at these college fairs, the district has new teachers stand in line for up to three hours to speak with Ann Arbor officials and to learn about the district's job opportunities.
"Our recruiters can't keep up. We thought there has to be a better way," she said.
Ann Arbor's job fair is scheduled for 6-7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at Pioneer High School. Teachers interested in attending are asked to RSVP by emailing Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone: (734) 994-9444.
Teachers young and old, new and experienced all are welcome to attend, school officials said.
Fliers for the job fair began circulating Tuesday. Ryan said she has received more than 55 RSVPs so far, adding officials are not sure what to expect for attendance with this being the first job fair the district has conducted.
Recruiting more minority teachers is a partial goal of the in-house job fair.
"We always want our staff to try to mirror our student population," she said. "We believe it's nice for our young people to see someone like them ... making a difference."
Ryan explained if 15 percent of the district's student population is African American, then the district tries to have 15 percent of its teacher population be African American. She said one ethnic group the district needs to improve its recruiting of is Asians.
In addition to attending college teacher job fairs, Ann Arbor recruits minority candidates by reaching out to universities directly to see if they have any minority teachers to send the district's way, Ryan said. She added school officials also contact ethnic group-affiliated fraternities and sororities.
The Feb. 28 job fair will be more informal than a typical teacher job fair, Ryan said. It will be a meet-and-greet format, allowing job candidates to mingle with Ann Arbor administrators and to ask questions about the district.
Prospective teachers can bring their resumes and receive assistance with applying for Ann Arbor positions online.
The resumes and contact information from candidates who attend Ann Arbor's job fair will be stored separately from other applicants, Ryan said. This is to entice attendance as well as to track how successful the job fair is; for example, the district will know how many good candidates the job fair attracts by analyzing how many of them are hired, officials said.
The university job fairs typically are not conducted until April, so Ryan said she hopes hosting the district's early will give it a leg up.