Teacher Hiring Resources

Teacher in classroom with her students

In order to support LEAs as they enter into the Spring hiring season, TEA has collected a set of optional guidance, tools, and other resources.  The resources are aligned to the Teacher Vacancy Task Force Report recommendations and the suggested strategies for districts in the Appendix of the report.  Please consider reviewing and utilizing these resources to support teacher retention, recruitment, and hiring. Here you may find an overview of the teacher employment, attrition, and hiring data trends and supportive resources.

Retention Strategies

The best strategy to reduce teacher vacancies is to retain the great teachers already in your districts.

Hold Stay Conversations

Having stay conversations with teachers can have a positive impact on retention. Two-thirds of top teachers surveyed in the The Irreplaceables (TNTP) reported nobody in their school had encouraged them to return. Principals should be encouraged to hold stay conversations with all effective and promising teachers as stay conversations are best leveraged by identifying highly effective teachers, as evidenced by data, and speaking with those who most positively impact students.

Additional Resources:

Recognize Great Teachers

Recognizing effective teachers is an important aspect of teacher retention and can contribute to increased job satisfaction, motivation, and engagement. There are different ways to genuinely recognize teachers for their work and commitment besides a yearly planned celebration. Peer, student, and administrator recognition can create a sense of belonging and community among teachers. Recognizing teachers through formal recognition programs such as Teacher of the Year awards and through informal ways such as praise during staff meetings can be a strong motivator. Providing effective teachers with professional learning and leadership opportunities that help them improve their skills and knowledge can also lead to them feeling valued and supported.

Determine Hiring Needs

Determining hiring needs is an important step in effective staffing, in providing support for existing teachers, and ultimately in ensuring the intended student experience is met. LEAs can determine hiring needs by examining and identifying different key data.

  • Identify teachers who are resigning or retiring
  • Identify additional positions based on school growth, schedule changes, or program implementation
  • Identify positions that need experienced, strong lead teachers such as in hard-to-staff schools
  • Identify campus or grade-level that can support a newer teacher who needs more training
  • Identify historical hiring data to identify any patterns and trends specific to the LEA

Additional Resources:

Recruitment Strategies

Leverage the Critical Shortage Area Certification Exam Reimbursement Opportunity

In alignment with the TVTF report, and in advance of the 23-24 academic year, TEA is providing a limited reimbursement opportunity for all educator preparation programs certifying candidates in the approved shortage areas for the 2022-2023 academic year. 

The Critical Shortage Area Certification Exam Reimbursement Opportunity will support over 10,000 teacher candidates and provide eligible educator preparation programs (EPPs) the opportunity to receive reimbursements that cover the cost of teacher candidates’ content certification exams aligned to one of the federally designated critical shortage areas. TEA staff will communicate directly with eligible EPPs to discuss funding allotted to each EPP and the reimbursement opportunity timeline. 

Key Takeaway

LEAs are encouraged to actively communicate with EPP partners to learn more about the opportunity and collaborate on methods to leverage the opportunity in the recruitment of potential teacher candidates. 

Additional Resources

For information related to this opportunity, including exams aligned with critical shortage areas, please view the Approved Shortage Areas and the FAQ.

Target Recruitment to Returning Teachers

TEA examined newly hired teacher data from 2009-10 through 2021-22 and found that reentering teachers were a sizable and stable source of hires. Identifying and targeting recruitment efforts to this source may help LEAs increase their pool of teachers. Additionally, LEAs could consider providing additional incentives to returning teachers.

Key Takeaways

  • Reentering teachers make up a sizable proportion of newly hired teachers in any year, with 31% of new hires in 2022-2023 being teachers reentering the profession
  • Reentering teachers typically come back to the workforce soon after they leave, with 91% of reentering teachers doing so within 3 years of exit.
  • According to trends, reentering teachers are more likely to be Female, Teacher of Color, and in the age range of 40-59. Reentering teachers are more likely to be Standard Certified, and come from LEAs other than major urban districts.

Incentivize Hard-to Staff Areas

Roughly 36% of middle school Bilingual Education, 44% of high school Bilingual Education, and 52% of all Special Education teachers serve out-of-field (TEA, 2022).

The TVTF recommended funding be provided to incentivize Special Education and Bilingual Education teachers to enter and remain in their roles. TVTF recommendations:

  • Requiring Special Education and Bilingual Education teachers to begin on the second step of the LEAs minimum salary schedule
  • Providing incentives for exam certification fees and additional funding for residencies in hard-to-staff areas.
  • Providing significant sign-on bonuses and stipends

    Hiring and Onboarding Strategies

    Hire Early

    According to the Effective School Framework, high-need schools staffed by July 1st have a higher probability of positive student outcomes. LEAs that hire early are better positioned to secure strong teaching talent compared to LEAs that make most of their hires in the summer. Early hires also have more opportunities to connect to learning and other opportunities.

    Consider identifying and giving offers to promising candidates even when the LEA does not yet know where they will teach and providing incentives for early hires that will fill anticipated vacancies. Strategies for early hiring include providing an early notice of separation incentive to current teachers and providing incentives to early hires.

    Additional Resources:


    Employees who report positive onboarding experiences are more likely to stay in the organization longer. Providing new hires with clear information and early opportunities to connect with professional learning will allow them to feel more connected to their new role. Providing early opportunities for new hires to connect with other teachers will allow them to add value to their communities early in their role. Support new hires and help them successfully onboard by identifying mentor teachers early and connecting them to new hires.

    Additional Resources:

    Teacher Vacancy Task Force (TVTF) Final Report Connections

    Included within the Teacher Vacancy Task Force (TVTF) Final Report are Best Practice Recommendations for School Systems (located in the Appendix, pages 47-49) that describe next steps school systems can take to address compensation, training and support, and working conditions in alignment with the TVTF’s recommendations. Some recommendations aligned with Spring school system activities include:


    • Provide clarity around salaries and salary calculations for teachers with 20+ years of experience.
    • Implement and evaluate exit surveys to inform retention and recruitment strategies.
    • Identify teachers with Bilingual or Special Education certifications not serving in those settings and provide incentives for them to move into those positions.
    • Provide specialized induction training and support for teachers returning to the profession.

    Training and Support

    • Assess options for residency preparation programs and evaluate their capacity for establishing or growing partnerships.
    • Consider hiring high school graduates as educational aides or paraprofessionals while they complete their bachelor's degree and teacher certification and then hiring them as teachers.
    • Implement transparent and consistent processes for the recruitment and selection of mentor teachers and other teacher leader roles, including consideration of teacher’s impact on student outcomes and their disposition towards coaching and support of others.
    • Consider the commitment of personnel and local funds to support the planning and implementation of teacher leader initiatives.

    Working Conditions

    • Create opportunities for teacher voice in the creation of district calendars and school schedules.
    • Ensure teachers have time built in the schedule for collaborative planning time with peers teaching the same grade-level and content.

    TEA Supports

    TEA offers support with initiatives aligned to many of the best practices recommended by the TVTF. Learn more about some of these initiatives and look for upcoming information, including potential future opportunities for grants and technical assistance.