Future teachers 'scared' about finding jobs after graduation - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Future teachers 'scared' about finding jobs after graduation

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) – Ashley Becker has always dreamed of being a second or third grade teacher.

"I remember I played school with my little brother when I was little," Becker remembered. "I used to make him do all the homework.  It's something I've always wanted to do."

She's getting real-life experience this month by student teaching at Taconi Fifth Grade School in Ocean Springs.  In May, Becker will be graduating from USM Gulf Park with a degree in Elementary Education.  She will walk across the stage with 33 other Education seniors.

Becker is quickly learning that finding a job is not easy, especially when school districts are facing their worst budget crisis in years.  Most districts are under a hiring freeze and there is talk of employee furloughs and pay cuts next year.

"I'm really scared," she said.  "It's very intimidating to know that there's going to be so many other people applying for the same job I'm applying for.  There are less jobs available."

Jonathan Bourriague is another Education senior who is about to enter a job market that's getting tighter and the competition is tougher.

"I have heard of some openings in some school districts, but as of yet, because of the job cuts, I'm putting in my application wherever I can put it in and very actively searching for a job," said Jonathan Bourriague.

If things don't work out, both Bourriague and Becker are considering Plan B.  After all, they still have student loans to pay off.

"If I do not get a job, then I will start subbing, trying to get as much experience in the school that I can," said Bourriague.

And they remain optimistic that one day, they will be in charge of their own classroom.

"I'm positive that the economy will come back and we will always need teachers.  So I know I'll have a job eventually," said Becker.

While Bourriague wants to stay in south Mississippi, Becker said if she can't find a teaching position in Mississippi, she may move to Knoxville, Tennessee.  However, she said she hasn't had any luck yet finding a job in Tennessee either.

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