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Special education teachers needed in Southwest Ga. schools

Special education teachers needed in Southwest Ga. schools
Special education teachers needed in Southwest Ga. schools(CNN)
Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 3:53 PM EST
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LEESBURG, Ga. (WALB) - The lack of special education teachers has been a direct result of high turnover and recruitment challenges for many South Georgia school districts, like Lee County Schools.

WALB’s Alicia Lewis spoke to the school system about some of the challenges they’ve faced this school year.

Special education has been a critical need for several years now in the Lee County school district. Assistant Superintendent Kevin Dowling believes the pandemic played a big role in this decline. But it isn’t the primary reason.

“We struggle sometimes with just getting folks. I think it’s just a combination of you know teaching, a lot of people say it’s not just a job, it’s a calling. And I’ve had several people that have started teaching a position, even substitute teachers, and they’re like ‘I can’t do this, this isn’t for me,” said Dowling.

He says along with special education, there is a critical need for secondary-level educators as well.

“I think sometimes teaching secondary becomes problematic some folks are you know when you’re dealing with the older kids, the bigger kids, it’s a little bit different than when we are dealing with the little ones.”

As an educator, Dowling says he believes frustrations are high while teacher appreciation is low. He says the school system’s goal is to change that narrative.

“It’s tough to work any job right now that’s working with people. Because let’s face it, the world we’re in today, people we’re just fed up with a lot of things and sometimes, we take that out on the nearest person, which sometimes can be a teacher.”

Dowling says he’s thankful for the teachers and all that they do for the students.

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