College Grads Competing For Sparse Teaching Jobs

COEUR D’ALENE — With school districts across the region cutting budgets, new teaching jobs are harder and harder to find and districts are hold a job fair to meet with new college graduates.

There is no doubt the job market is tough for new teachers. With most school districts in the region facing budget cuts the newest crop of teacher applicants however are not deterred. If anything, it’s motivation to get their name out there.

Leonard Lambert is a student teacher at Lake City High School looking for a full time job teaching English. Lambert is one of dozens of new graduates who showed up Monday at the North Idaho Education Job Fair to interview with 12 school districts in the region.

“I think if you don’t get out there that’s where you are going to be hurt. I kind of equate it to insurance … you gotta have it. So, you have to be out there looking. If you take this time of the job losses out there and you were to focus strictly on the negative I think you’ll forget to get your name out there,” Lambert said.

The competition is fierce as some school districts only have a few openings. For example the Mullan School District has three potential openings but that depends if teachers retire, something the principal at Mullan High School says many are hesitant to do because of the economy.

The Coeur d’Alene School District is in the middle of making deep budget cuts. With 601 teachers and staff on the payroll it has no job openings right now. Even so they still met with new grads at the job fair.

“It’s been really nice to meet the new applicants and we want to be there for them as they graduate and get to know them a little bit,” Kelly Ostrom with the Coeur d’Alene School District said.

While full-time positions may not be available in many districts there is hope as many school districts are on the lookout for substitute teachers.