Fort Worth ISD making hires on the spot as it looks to fill hundreds of open positions

Fort Worth ISD is among some North Texas school districts that held a job fair to try and address the shortage of teachers.

Administrators with the school district were offering jobs on the spot with some 350 positions to fill.

The teacher shortage has prompted Fort Worth ISD to offer big cash incentives for some of the most difficult spots to fill, like bilingual teachers, special ed, and science.

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A cow bell ringing was the celebratory sound of Fort Worth ISD filling one more teaching position Thursday.

Principal Tamara Alburay, of Young Women's Leadership Academy, made the first hire of the morning. 

"I did, I am so excited! That's one down," she said. "Have three more, my work is not done."

"Our guarantee today is that no one will leave here without a job," said Dr. Raul Pena, chef talent officer for Fort Worth ISD.  

Dr. Pena said the district, like many around the state, is still working to recover from the toll the pandemic took on school districts. 

"We've seen more people leave our district and people have a mindset shift," he said.

Pena said if a principal recommends a candidate, the district will hire them on the spot.

Crystal Courtade, who is principal at Harlean Beal Elementary, said being fully staffed on day one will make a difference in kids' lives. 

"It means my classrooms will not be empty on the first day," she said. "My students will have someone to welcome them in, and my staff will have colleagues to help them."

Courtade said the most important qualification goes beyond someone's head knowledge.

"Looking for someone who has a heart for children, wants to do what's right for kids," Courtade said.

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Aura Angel, who is principal at Luella Merrett Elementary, said the district is also looking for student teachers.

"Student teachers usually don't get paid while at a university. FWISD are paying them," she said.

Kortnie Alford just landed her first teaching job as 5th grade science teacher at W.M. Green Elementary. 

"It's amazing. She said, ‘Come on in, what do you want to do? Come talk to me,’" she said. "Bam, just like that. Took literally five minutes."

And now, the opportunity to have an impact that could last a lifetime.

"I want to create an environment that creates a passion for learning, I want them to get up and want to come to class, not sit in bed dreading it," Alford said.

Dallas ISD is also still looking to fill about 300 teaching positions.

It's holding another job fair Thursday, August 4, at Emmett J. Conrad High School from 4 to 6 p.m.

Click here for more information about jobs with Fort Worth ISD.

Click here for more information about jobs with Dallas ISD.