MACON, Ga. — Bibb County Schools is looking for more teachers, substitutes, paraprofessionals and other job positions. The district is encouraging those who may be thinking of switching their careers to become teachers to apply for positions, too.
"We encourage anybody that is looking to possibly make a career change or if there are retired teachers that are looking to come back to the classroom," Holly Huynh, the coordinator of talent management and acquisitions at the district said.
Huynh said the district helps new professionals who were not in the teaching field before by educating them on how to get certified.
The district is offering a $2,000 dollar recruitment bonus for teachers in areas like math and science. They are offering $1,000 for teachers from other areas.
James Hurley is an elementary teacher at Hartley Elementary School who did not originally plan for a career in teaching.
He studied criminology and psychology in college, but he didn't have a clear plan for what he wanted to pursue.
He thought of being a mental health counselor, but he did not want to be stuck in school for much longer.
When he started considering his future, he realized he always loved being with kids. Another one of his passions was science. He decided to combine both and become a teacher.
He teaches science and social studies. He enjoys watching the students' surprised looks on their faces when they learn a fact that shocks them.
When he was a child, he said sometimes it was hard for him to concentrate on the material he was learning.
"I remember in school it was hard for me to actually care because it's hard sometimes, well especially being in classes," Hurley said. "So I know I'm going to like teaching because I can give kids the excitement that I always have."
Hurley said students look forward to coming to school because of their teachers.
"Honestly, kids don't come to school to learn," he said. "They come to school to see their teacher. They come to school to make us proud. They don't come to school to make themselves proud. You have to make them want it for themselves, but at the beginning, they really want it for you."