Most Prospective Teachers Prefer Elementary School - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Most Prospective Teachers Prefer Elementary School

By Megan Moore
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TEXAS - While school may be the last thing on your child's mind, it is the main thing local administrators are thinking about as they sift through hundreds of applications.

The Amarillo school district generally has around 200 openings at the beginning of the summer, but at least twice as many applicants - mostly for the elementary schools.

One education professor says age has a lot to do with the appeal of elementary schools.

Dr. Amy Andersen at West Texas A&M University says, "they don't want to have to deal with 'ok I'm 23 years old, just graduated college, I'm teaching high school and will only be a few years older than those kids.'"

Also, she says there is something about being a part of a huge part of small child's learning experience.

Dr. Andersen adds, "most are interested in kindergarten, first, second and third grade because they want them when they're small so they can teach them to read. That's the most important thing that happens at that age. And they like third, fourth and fifth because they're a little more self sufficient."

Probably 60 percent of teachers who graduate from WT want to teach elementary kids.

AISD assistant superintendent and personnel director Daniel Coward says, "our elementary pool is probably more vibrant than our secondary. But with elementary, the certification covers a broader span."

Except when we are talking about bilingual education in elementary school.  Coward says he still has vacancies in that area.

Dr. Andersen says after elementary school, her students prefer high school, then middle school.

WT supplies about 80 percent of the teachers in the panhandle.

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