ODESSA, Texas (YourBasin) – Every year the teacher shortage in the nation continues to be a problem. That problem can be felt right here in Ector County ISD, but the district has been coping with the situation. ECISD has been looking internationally for teachers and has had a lot of success in recruiting teachers.

“In the past gotten a couple teachers from India, we got a couple of teachers from different countries. They worked out really well. So when the need got greater then we started looking into bringing bigger groups from those countries,” said Nelly Jimenez, International Teacher Coordinator.

Jimenez states when she accepted the position with ECISD there were around twenty to thirty international teachers. As of now, she says there is one hundred thirty teachers with Ector County. The positions in most need are bilingual, special education, and secondary math and science.

“It would be the same incentives as any other teacher, any other first-year teacher coming into the district. So we do have incentives as far as sign-on bonuses for high needs areas, we have sign-on bonuses for that, we have stipends also for the high needs areas,” explains Jimenez

Currently, the district is in the process of bringing more teachers in for the new school year. Jimenez says as long as the need is there they will continue to recruit and bring teachers from abroad.

“We go recruit in Madrid and we get between twenty, thirty teachers. We’ve tried to apply that same process to the other countries we’re working with not,” stated Jimenez

That process has been successful. Jimenez says that numbers have increased every year so far and expects them to increase. The district also provides moving packages for the teachers.

“We had a lot of help with the since the placement or the accommodation. Also, finding whatever we need from vehicles to bills, electricity, the internet, and everything. So, we have help from the district to find that,” says Pedro Laguna, bilingual elementary school teacher.

Laguna says the district provides everything they need for teaching purposes including formation plans, teacher training, and other things necessary. Since his time here he has watched the program grow.

“I have seen more teachers come in and especially from different countries. The first year I was here I remember that we have mainly teachers from Spain and Mexico. Right now I’ve been watching teachers come from Venezuela, Jamaica, Philippines, and India. I think it’s a great district,” said Laguna.

Laguna states if teachers would like to move forward in their professional career the district is a great place. With a growing program, there are lots of opportunities for teachers and international teachers here in Odessa.