With just about one week before classes, GDOE still recruiting teachers, school aides

Guam Department of Education (PNC file photo)

With just a few more days before classes begin, the Guam Department of Education is still in recruitment mode.

According to a release from GDOE, the department continues to recruit to fill teacher and one-to-one school aide positions for School Year 2019-2020.

The Guam Federation of Teachers has argued that the reason there is a shortage of teachers for public schools on Guam is that teaching is not financially rewarding.

“Rather, it is an investment toward the success of our Guam students. Despite the Legislature not showing respect to educators in way of low salaries and a nonexistent long-term retirement plan, the students of Guam are some of the most respectful students in the nation. If you decide to become an educator, you are helping to shape the future of Guam,” GFT stated in its electronic newsletter.

Citing Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, GFT said the average elementary teacher salary on Guam is $48,800.

Based on data from the National Education Association, the average US teacher salary for last school year was $61,730. Thus, GFT said, the salary for teaching positions for GDOE is not competitive.

“Teachers that are new into the system are encouraged to earn $15,000 more by simply switching to a DODEA school. GDOE’s teacher salary should at least mirror DODEA’s classroom teacher salary to remain competitive with its pay for educators who decide to remain on Guam,” GFT concluded.

Meanwhile, GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said the education field is both challenging and rewarding, providing many avenues for growth and advancement and as GDOE gears up for the coming school year, Fernandez said they are looking forward to building a team of educators who are dedicated to students’ success.

Minimum requirements for school aides include a high school diploma, while minimum requirements for teachers include a bachelor’s degree in any subject area.

Once selected, applicants will be required to submit police, court, and drug testing clearances.

Interested job seekers may view existing vacancies on the GDOE Human Resources page at https://sites.google.com/a/gdoe.net/personnel/home.