This week, 81 Filipino special education teachers arrived in the district to help fill in the large number of empty teaching positions.
According to district officials, the new Filipino educators could speak English, have prior experience teaching kids with special needs, have college degrees, and must also have master’s degrees in special education.
Officials said they did push for local recruitments but wasn’t able to fill in the spots, prompting them to search overseas.
For newly hired Adrian Calabano, being far away from home may be challenging, but he is more excited to meet his new students and make positive impact.
“My goal here is to be able to cater to the students of special needs,” Calabano was quoted saying in a KSNV report.
“In my case, students with autism. And I want to be able to greet them warmly. And I will represent the Philippines, so I will be able to share culture with them,” he added.
Calabano and the others were granted J-1 visas, a “non-immigrant visa for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs.”
Despite the addition of Filipino teachers, officials said the school district still has about 150 vacant positions for special needs teachers.
It has been reported that there is a national shortage of special education teachers — not just in the district — for the 2016-2017 school year.
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