Teach SPS recruits best and brightest teachers to join SPS next year
Lauren Edwards knew she wanted to wanted to teach at SPS.
She had just completed her master’s degree in library and information science from Texas Woman’s University, and she was working part-time at both Springfield-Greene County Library and Ozarks Technical Community College’s library. But with her master’s degree, she knew what she wanted.
“I knew I wanted to get back into education, so I registered for Teach SPS,” she said. “I could definitely feel that the culture at SPS was innovative. They were always wanting to improve, to move forward. Getting to be in a tech-savvy district was exciting and daunting, but I knew I wanted to work for SPS.”
Edwards was one of more than 200 prospective and future educators who attended Teach SPS last February. In its third year, the annual recruitment event is catered to prospective teachers, like student teachers, recent graduates and educators regionally who want to work for SPS, said Dr. Liz Cooper, director of human resources.
“Teach SPS an informational evening,” said Dr. Cooper. “And it’s designed to be a one-stop shop, so prospective teachers can come and learn all of the benefits for working at SPS, all in one place.”
On March 1, this year’s Teach SPS featured informational stations, hosted by team members in a variety of SPS departments, like Benefits, Wellness, Learning Support, Blended Learning and Curriculum. Team members were available to answer real questions in person, helping prospective applicants make a personal connection with multiple SPS team members.
But the event is also designed for attendees to have fun. Door prizes, music, a photo booth and nacho bar help shine a light on the collaborative, engaging culture of SPS, said Dr. Cooper.
“My goal for Teach SPS is that people have fun and learn about all the ways we support teachers at SPS,” said Dr. Cooper. “Even if they’re not hired by SPS, I want people to walk away excited about the possibility of working here and eager to be a part of our team. This is a showcase of the amazing things our district is doing, so that teachers want to be a part of it.”
Edwards walked away last February eager to apply for librarian positions across SPS. She did, and last spring, she was named the librarian of both Weller and Cowden elementary schools.
“Teach SPS was a great experience, and I think it helped give me the information I needed to know and where to apply,” said Edwards. “I talked to J Anderson that night, and he told me that there would be an elementary library position opening up. So that let me know that I really needed to focus and watch for those postings. But he and others also made me feel like I belonged. It was so welcoming, and leaving that night, I knew where I wanted to be.”