Ever since Taylor King can remember, she wanted to be a teacher.
“I grew up with a lot of really influential teachers and it has been a lifelong dream of mine to be a teacher,” says King, who is a student teacher at Ewing Elementary School.
On Tuesday morning, King and nearly 35 other student teachers signed letters of intent to teach at Fresno Unified and received rock star treatment at the district’s first-ever “signing day” event.
“We’ve hired some of the best and brightest student teachers in the Valley, and this (sign-in day) has always been a dream to surface the wonderful things that teachers do.” — Bob Nelson, Fresno Unified Superintendent
“For the first time, we are using a signing day event to recognize what they have achieved and encourage them as they move toward having classrooms of their own,” said Superintendent Bob Nelson.
King said she felt honored and appreciated the opportunity to join the Fresno Unified family.
“Fresno Unified works really hard to make their new teachers feel very supported,” King said. “This was a very nice first step to join the community.”
Signing a Letter of Intent To Teach At FUSD
The district also put on the event at Bullard High School to raise awareness of a nationwide teacher shortage.
With about a third of the teaching force nearing retirement, the Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning estimates that California will need an additional 100,000 teachers over the next decade.
Back in 1975, 22 percent of college students majored in education — a higher share than any other major.
But, by 2015, fewer than one in 10 college students in the U.S. devoted their studies to education. That’s according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau compiled by career website Zippia.
Nelson hopes the event will help new teachers feel welcomed and encourage aspiring ones to continue striving.
“We’ve hired some of the best and brightest student teachers in the Valley, and this (sign-in day) has always been a dream to surface the wonderful things that teachers do,” Nelson said.
‘Super Excited’ To Teach At FUSD
Marilyn Gonzalez was “super excited” to sign an intent. She hopes to teach high school Spanish.
“Fresno Unified works really hard to make their new teachers feel very supportive. This was a very nice first step to join the community.” — Taylor King, Fresno Unified Teacher
“I want to help students either go to college or just help them decide what they want to do later on in their lives,” Gonzalez said.
For Samantha Fortuna, signing with Fresno Unified was the culmination of a lot of hard work.
“I have always remembered wanting to be a teacher,” said Fortuna. “I have been student teaching at Fresno Unified for about a year-and-a-half, and so I was really excited that I was offered a position with them for the following school year.”