Organizers of the first Frayser Teacher Hiring Fair are calling the event a success after an estimated 100 prospective educators attended on Tuesday morning at Westside Achievement Middle.

“This is our first neighborhood-specific teacher fair where the mission is Frayser,” said Ash Solar, executive director of the Achievement Schools.

The Achievement School District operates five schools in Frayser.  This year charter operator Frayser Community Schools will open MLK Prep, a ninth through 12th grade high school.  The mission of the Achievement School District, which is operated by the Tennessee Department of Education, is to move schools in the bottom 5 percent in the state to the top 25 percent in the state within five years.

“We’re looking for teachers who are mission aligned, who are ready to do whatever it takes, problem-solvers and ready to work in a start-up and turnaround environment,” Solar said. “We tell our candidates that this the toughest job, you’ll ever love.”

School leaders were looking to fill several positions in the schools by July 1.  Once a teacher is selected, he or she will have three weeks of teacher induction before the new school year begins in early August.

Whitney Elementary assistant principal Michelle Lyons said Tuesday’s event was a great starting point as she seeks to finish hiring.  Her school has two open positions – fifth grade science and physical education.  In February, Lyons said the administration knew that they would need to hire eight to nine teachers for the next school year.

“We’re looking for teachers that have an unwavering belief that kids can learn regardless of their circumstances,” Lyons said.  “We’re up front, this is hard work and they should be aware of they’re taking on. They have to be aware that they may have to teach  a child how to behave and how to read. If they can embrace that aspect, they have the right mindset.”

This spring there have been several teacher hiring fairs including the Teach 901 event  in April. Competition for teachers among the six municipal school districts opening this month and Shelby County Schools continues as well.

Contact Tajuana Cheshier at tcheshier@chalkbeat.org and (901) 730-4013.

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