Duval County expands paid internship program for teachers

District says expansion will help address district's teacher shortage

By Jennifer Ready - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Duval County school district is expanding a paid internship program aimed at recruiting and retaining new teachers. 

The district said this will help address the teacher shortage in Florida.

The school district said due to the number of vacancies state- and district-wide, it's had to become creative with how it recruits teachers -- and one way is through this internship program. 

The goal is to ultimately fill some of the classroom vacancies. 

The initiative is called "Jumpstart 2.0." It's a six-week, paid internship to prepare aspiring teachers for the classroom.

It includes teacher development training and two weeks shadowing a master teacher. 

After successfully completing the program, teachers will be assigned a full-time position within Duval County Public Schools.  

The district said the goal is to give opportunities to people who want to teach and also help fill some of the roughly 200 classroom vacancies districtwide. 

"Ultimately our desire is to have people who have a passion for teaching kids, working with kids and a love for teaching, because if you have that, that's the first step in being successful as a teacher and gaining that experience and that rapport with students," said Jeremy Boatright, director of human resources with DCPS.

This year, the program, which runs from Nov. 4 to Dec. 20, will take 40 interns, double last year's pilot program. 

The district said 90% of last year's interns were placed in Duval County classrooms. 

It hopes this year's program will generate the same success and fill more classroom vacancies. 

To be eligible, you need a four-year degree and a statement of eligibility from the state. You have until Nov. 1 to apply. 

For more information on applying, go to dcpsinternships.org.

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