CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Clarksville-Montgomery County School System is using a new Tennessee law to its advantage by issuing temporary teaching permits, which allow future teachers to start out in the classroom immediately, to ease the district’s teacher shortage.

The state began allowing school districts to offer one-year-long temporary teaching permits on July 1.

Instead of having to wait to obtain a teaching license, future teachers can use temporary teaching permits to begin working right away, while earning their full license.

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CMCSS has hired more than 460 teachers since the summer—70 of them have temporary teaching permits. They will take steps throughout the year to earn their license by March.

The district currently has around 50 open teaching positions it is looking to fill with quality teachers who have a passion for its students.

Melissa Izatt, Director of Educator Quality told News 2 fewer people are taking the traditional route toward becoming a teacher, and the temporary teaching permits create an alternative pathway.

“It’s just a whole new world. Everything about recruitment has completely changed,” Izatt said. “You don’t have the overwhelming amount of candidates you had 10 years ago, or even 20 years ago, and as that shortage continues to happen, we’re going to have to be creative in our ways of recruitment.”

Izatt said people who have started out in one career and want to transition to teaching may not be aware of the options to obtain a license.

“Teaching is not for everyone, it’s not the pathway for everyone, but there are a lot of people out there who are naturals and just need that support and that doorway to open,” Izatt said.

To qualify for a temporary teaching permit, one must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, but the degree does not have to be in education. Temporary permits are not allowed for elementary PE, special education, school counseling, or end-of-course assessment classes including Algebra I and II, Geometry, Integrated Math II and III, Biology, English I and II, U.S. History, and Geography.

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CMCSS will host 30-minute information sessions about temporary teaching permits Saturday, August 20 from 10 am to noon at Central Services Gracey on 621 Gracey Ave. in Clarksville. Representatives from iTeach and Austin Peay State University will be on-site to answer questions about Praxis, out-of-state licensure, and more.