Missouri searches for certified teachers to fill jobs

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A shortage of qualified teachers in Missouri offers career opportunities for anyone with a bachelor's degree. Some schools in the metro area say it's a challenge to find certified teachers, particularly in subjects like math and science.

Kansas City Public Schools say it has a hard time finding qualified teachers. But not all school districts are having trouble filling teacher openings. In Lee's Summit and Grandview they say they get lots of good applicants when they have positions.

Leaders at this charter school say their standards are high. They say just being certified doesn't necessarily mean you would get hired here.

Instead the frontier school of innovation looks for teachers who are not only qualified but dedicated. People who truly want to help kids. And they say that's a much more challenging quality to find in potential teachers.

"It's always challenging for us to find highly qualified teachers in specific areas," said Ilker Yilmaz, who recruits teachers for the Frontier School of Innovation. "We look for the very qualified teacher, in their certification area. Mainly math and science, in upper grades, this is the main thing."

This school also offers a mentoring program for it's staff, encouraging teachers to pursue master's degrees and other certifications, by reimbursing their tuition costs at UMKC.

At a growing school like Frontier, administrators like the idea of encouraging more people to become teachers, but they also don't want people to fall back on teaching as a paycheck, instead of a rewarding career.

The American Board is inviting anyone with a bachelor's degree to come to a meeting at the North Kansas City library Tuesday night at 5 p.m. to learn about a teacher certification program that could have you in a classroom teaching within a year.

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