Alabama teachers as next generation influencers

Published 4:06 pm Monday, March 13, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

On March 1, the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) launched its newest campaign to recruit new teachers.

The campaign, titled ‘Teachers are the Real Influencers,’ focuses on social media platforms, which are commonly used by the younger generation, in the hopes of attracting the generation known as “Gen Z” to the teaching profession.

“Like many states across the country, Alabama continues to face a teacher shortage and needs continued focus on recruiting new talent to the education field,” said Alabama State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey in a press release. “To capture the attention of passionate members of the next generation and beyond, frequently referred to as Gen Z, we want to remind them how important teachers are to our future, both as a state and as individuals.”

Email newsletter signup

According to Mackey, the agency will use multiple advertising and public relations efforts to target high school and college students by highlighting the work done by teachers.

A campaign video was designed to highlight how a teacher’s role can be a fun, engaging and an entertaining job choice. The video, which depicts four different speakers engaging with children in the classroom, is designed to capture the attention of a younger audience who might be wondering about what a teaching career might be like.

The video can be viewed at

“Teachers are the real influencers. By spotlighting current Alabama teachers and their impact, we hope more young people will answer the call to join a field that, without question, changes lives,” said Mackey.

Butler County Superintendent of Education, Joseph Eiland said he agrees wholeheartedly with the measures the state implemented.

“I absolutely agree with the use of social media to connect to potential teachers,” Eiland said. “Butler County Schools is currently in a partnership that connects our Career and Technical Education (CTE) Academy and Lurleen B. Wallace Community College (LBW) to create a teacher prep program.

“CTE Director, Rheta McClain has already instituted a pre-education class in the CTE offerings at the Academy, and we have students already participating in the class which is taught by one of our greatest instructional coaches, Christine Young. LBW now has a teacher prep program and our students will be able to become dually enrolled at LBW and complete an associate degree having only two years left to become a certified teacher.”

“Our goal is to offer scholarships for the remaining two years of undergraduate work if the Butler County graduate will sign a contract agreeing to 3-5 years of service to our children in one of our schools upon their college graduation and certification, Eiland” said.

Last year, the state extended emergency certification for teachers lowering  the overall score slightly to allow more Alabama teachers to certify, Mackey said. ALSDE also reported the lowest retirement rate for teachers in the past several years.

These measures have helped get Alabama through its latest teacher shortage. At the high point of this shortfall, Mackey called it a crisis.

For more information on the programs offered by the Butler County School System , contact the Board of Education at (334) 382-2665.