BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Teacher shortages are impacting school systems across the country.

WJZ spoke with the superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools about the nationwide shortage and how it’s impacting the district.

READ MORE: Anne Arundel County Public Schools Facing Staffing Shortages

“This is not a new conversation for all of us, unfortunately,” Superintendent Dr. Darryl Williams said. “I think the pandemic has exasperated all of this. Folks are concerned. We’re still concerned. We want good teachers.”

Baltimore County Public School leaders said they’re not in a critical shortage but continue to recruit teachers because of the large size of their school system.

In Anne Arundel County, school leaders are very concerned about the shortage, especially when it comes to bus drivers. The teacher’s association president, Russell Leone, worries about overwhelming the staff they already have.

READ MORE: Baltimore County Public Schools Feeling The Impact Of Nationwide Teacher Shortage

“We want to make sure that our teachers really just don’t burn out because, right now, they’re working ridiculous amount of hours,” Leone said.

Dr. Williams, who used to be a principal, said that he’s been worried about teacher shortages for 10 years. The county is working to encourage its students to become teachers one day.

“We have been increasing, just an awareness of, ‘let’s become a teacher,’” Dr. Williams said. “We have our Teacher Academy of Maryland program at our high schools. We’re doing ‘grow your own’ and now I think we’re starting to see a lot of these conversations and we’re starting to see the data.”

Parents we spoke with are hoping more qualified candidates step up to the plate.“It’s a difficult job that nobody wants,” parents Chris Maler said. “It takes a special heart to do. You have to have that passion for it.”

MORE NEWS: ‘We Really See A Crisis’ Top Maryland Educators Alarmed Over Looming Teacher Shortage Exacerbated By Covid Pandemic

Baltimore County Schools leaders are also recruiting future staff members from local universities and host job fairs regularly. The next job fair will be on Oct. 29 for retired teachers and professionals. It will be held at the Loyola University Graduate Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Jessica Albert