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Record broken for Oklahoma's emergency teacher certifications with 2,852 for 2018

Posted: 9:01 PM, Dec 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-21 04:18:55Z
Tulsa Public Schools

TULSA, Okla. -- — It's a record that continues to get broken: 2,852 teachers walked into a classroom to teach for the first time in 2018. That's almost a thousand more than last year.

Many with Tulsa Public Schools said nothing could prepare them for this career change.

"I cried every single day. I had to leave my classroom because I didn't know how to deal with it. But people came in and they stood beside me and after a while you kind of find your routines you find your norm and the kids slowly but surely fall in line," Unity Learning Academy teacher Bethany Martin said.

As the semester comes to an end, the new teachers at Unity Learning Academy said they've found their path, like David Owen. He's now teaching second grade after leaving the army.

"It's a 20-year thing. It was like what I planned on for the military. With me missing my child so much, I couldn't be away from him for that long. So this is a 20-year career for me easily," Owen said.

Tulsa Public Schools is starting recruitment early for next year, with enrollment already underway. The staff hopes to bring on 50 additional teachers during this summer's training.

"They are the best support system for each other as they move forward into this exciting career of teaching. For us we're looking for great folks who represent all backgrounds and who are also looking to support each other in this journey," director of talent acquisition Quentin Liggins said.

The number of emergency certifications is only growing. Back in 2011 there were only 32.

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