TULSA, Okla. -- Angela Paxton always wanted to be a teacher.
She feel just a few credits short in college, ultimately pursuing a business degree instead.
"Honestly back in the day it was probably money. I knew I would make more doing something with a business degree. My dad had started a family business. So I knew I could help with that too, with a business degree," Paxton said.
The Tulsa Teacher Corps started this year to encourage more people to go through the emergency certification process, giving them five weeks of on-site training in the classroom, with homework of lesson plans every night.
"I've worked most of my professional life as a hairstylist but I've always kind of wanted to be a teacher. Every year I'd hear about all the emergency certifications that they were doing because of the teacher shortage," Lisa Smith said.
The program started with 100 people, now about 75 are getting settled in the classroom.
"It's really exciting for me because it is something I've wanted to do for a long time. I'm nervous since I haven't done it before but at the same time I feel like I've been adequately prepared and ready to go," Smith said.
At their last meeting, the Oklahoma Board of Education approved 853 emergency certifications for the month of July alone. It's a number that's growing as the school year gets closer.
But these teachers will have coaches throughout the year, and will continue their education for the next five. Now, they feel ready for school to start.
"Everybody brings a passion. With a lot of us it's something we've always wanted to do, so now we're getting the chance with a little bit of training instead of just "congratulations, here's your certification, now go teach," Paxton said.
Requirements for the program were a minimum of a bachelor's degree and passing a criminal background check.
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