Jenks, Oklahoma District Teacher of the Year wants lawmakers to step up

Posted at 5:36 PM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-04 22:27:53-04

JENKS, Okla. --  A Jenks Spanish teacher was named District Teacher of the Year. She's hoping those at the capitol will hear her story and listen.  

You can't come to class unless you know the password. Today's lesson begins with a worksheet. It's AP Spanish class, where that's the only language allowed.

"I feel a lot of pressure on myself to help kids get their college credit," Jenks High School Spanish teacher Shala Marshall said. 

That hard work paid off. Shala Marshall was awarded District Teacher of the Year.

"I'm a Jenks lifer," she said.

"It's not just a job," Jenks senior Mar young said. "She cares and wants us to do the best we can."

Marshall's students are excited to learn, especially from her.

"When you have teachers that care about things, it's a lot easier for you to care about things," Jenks senior Olivia Bowles said. 

This week is teacher appreciation week. Teachers like Shala Marshall should feel appreciated on a daily basis, but says it's hard when the state doesn't have your back.

"I'm very torn, I know that I could go other states and make more money especially since I am bilingual and I teach a language," she said. "There are days where I provide lunch for students. There are days when students come to my classroom and they're hungry.

"This is not a job that gets paid a lot," Young said. "This is a job where they're serving us and helping us succeed in the future."

While Ms. Marshall helps her students prepare for the AP exam, she wants those in Oklahoma City to know it's in their hands.

"We need help," she said. "Teachers cannot do it alone. We've been doing it for years on our backs."

Ms. Marshall's next step is to apply to be State Teacher of the Year. 

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