No ordinary “Help Wanted” sign here. Picky people are choosing paychecks with a purpose
It hit her fast and hard. At age 62, Sandy Weber was unemployed––her call center job eliminated during the pandemic. Gone in a blink. A friend encouraged her to try substitute teaching because she loves kids, but she wasn’t sure if she met the requirements. A quick internet search revealed that getting started wasn’t difficult. “It was the best decision I’ve made in years,” Sandy says. “Teaching is rewarding work.”
Sandy is just one of the millions of Americans who lost their jobs, stepped out to care for dependents, or resigned during the pandemic to reevaluate what kind of career they really want. A staggering 7.5 million workers left their jobs just before summer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now, many are being picky about what they’ll tackle next.
Schools and daycares everywhere urgently need new talent.
Pre-pandemic, there was already a national teacher shortage reaching a crisis state. Add to that a record number of educators leaving their jobs or choosing early retirement, and you have an ideal opportunity for those choosy career changers who want to make a difference in the lives of children in their communities.
"Because of this pandemic, people have had time to reassess what’s really important to them," says Brittany Bybee, talent services director of Teachers On Call, a Kelly Education company. "The need for a career change, plus the desire to find greater purpose and flexibility, are driving workers to seek meaningful employment in schools."
Launching a fulfilling education career is easier than you might think. There are many ways to begin––even without teaching credentials. Schools are welcoming more candidates with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and work experiences than ever before. In Sandy’s case, she was able to transfer her customer service skills to managing the classroom.
Four rewarding instructional opportunities that could lead to a lifetime career:
- Substitute teacher. All school districts need substitute teachers during a normal school year. Large districts need hundreds of them. Credentials for substitutes vary by state.
- Paraeducator. These professionals work with students of all grade levels who have special needs by providing support both in and out of the classroom. Successful paraeducators are team players, have good communication skills, and are knowledgeable about children.
- Tutor. The ongoing need for learning recovery from the pandemic is creating a surge in demand for tutors. Tutoring is a great option for people with a variety of professional experiences. It also allows for flexible scheduling––including evening and weekend hours.
- Early childhood educator. Assistant or aide roles offer steady part-time or full-time work with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Some positions may require certifications (varying by state).
Non-instructional roles help power schools to run smoothly and build community:
- Food service. Nutrition is essential to student learning. Feed the future as they learn.
- Custodial. Give students and teachers yet another reason to be proud of their school by keeping it clean.
- School nurses. Make a difference by helping students stay healthy while learning.
- Office/clerical. At the heart of every great school is an efficient front office.
How do I start my search?
Kelly Education is the nation’s largest provider of education talent, so our website is a great resource. You can find us at teachersoncall.com or kellyeducation.com. We offer full-time opportunities and flexible schedules in early childhood settings, preK-12th grade, and higher education. Job seekers can choose their grade level, school location, and days they want to work. Many positions require a high school diploma or GED. Any work environment with children also requires a background check.
Kelly Education also assists with alternative pathways to a long-term career in education, and hours worked in the classroom can be included toward future certification or degree programs.
"Making a career change to help out in schools has been really satisfying," says Sandy Weber. "And I feel like I'm making a difference." She agrees––it paid off to pick a job with a purpose.
We’re here to ensure a good day at school.
We want to help your students and staff have a meaningful, safe day at school every day. You can count on us for the best educational talent, and school solutions that just make sense.
Contact us at 800.Kelly.01 and one of our agents will administer your request. Or, if you’d prefer, fill out the form to submit an email.