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Press Release

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Great Florida Teach-In Goes Virtual
~ State leverages cyberspace to help teachers and school districts fill job vacancies ~

TALLAHASSEE – Starting today, educators will be able to search and apply for job opportunities posted through The Great Florida Teach-In without the need to leave their homes. Traditionally staged in a large conference center, the Teach-In provides teacher candidates seeking employment in Florida with a convenient forum to obtain interviews with school and district personnel responsible for hiring teachers.

“Even in the current economic conditions there are districts with vacant positions in critical shortage areas such as mathematics, science and exceptional student education, and the teachers we are seeking to work in these schools must bring the greatest level of expertise available to our students,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “By making the Teach-In virtual this year, we have found an economical way to match these skilled professionals, including some who were affected by the economy, to the jobs that need them.”

Beginning today and running through July 21, candidates will be able to search Teach-In vacancy listings and apply for the positions they are interested in. On July 22, during the 10-hour period that the virtual Teach-In event is live, candidates and employers will be able to conduct real-time interviews by communicating via instant messaging, telephone, and e-mail. Attendees will also be able to upload employment documents, such as resumes, transcripts, and teaching certificates as well as download employer information into a virtual briefcase for future reference.

Held for the first time 24 years ago, in recent years The Great Florida Teach-In has, on average, attracted up to 2,000 candidates each year for a full day of interviews with representatives from most of the school districts and several charter school operators throughout the state. Although fewer districts and schools are seeking to fill vacant positions this year under the current economic circumstances, the Teach-In is still providing a forum that can help districts find excellent teachers, some of whom may have been displaced for economic reasons, to meet the needs of their schools.

“It is vital that Florida retain its best teachers, because the quality of teaching is the single most important variable in maintaining high student performance,” said Public Schools Chancellor, Dr. Frances Haithcock. “With nothing more than a computer and an Internet connection, new and displaced teachers alike will be able to search for suitable openings and interact in real time with potential employers.”

The virtual Great Florida Teach-In will be held on July 22, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., EDT. For more information about teacher recruitment and the Teach-In event, visit