TULSA, Okla. — Oklahoma approved 818 teachers for emergency certification in the month of June, compared to just under 400 at this time last year.
As this number continues to go up, the Tulsa Teacher Corps is also growing. Aspiring educators are working with mentors and students over six weeks to get ready for the classroom.
"Classroom management, being a no-nonsense nurturer... just being there for the kids because they're people just like I am," Teacher Corps member Camrey Asberry said.
In the previous school year the state emergency certified more than 3,000 teachers. Without the Teacher Corps the training is about two weeks. That's why TPS decided to launch a more structured program.
"Tulsa Public Schools thought "what can we do to continue to ensure that we are preparing the best people to be in front our students?" That's where the genesis of Tulsa Teacher Corps comes from and that's how we continue to refine the program," director of talent acquisition Quentin Liggins said.
This year 112 educators are going through the training, compared to about 75 last year. Currently they're being placed into elementary schools across the district.
"I'm excited because I am well-established in the North Tulsa community so I'm excited for everyone to see my face and be like, I'm finally a teacher!" Asberry said.
Their experience ranges from former chiropractors to salesmen. Bryant Goree said after coaching youth basketball, he was ready to make a difference.
"They are finding out who they are right now. So it's my job to pull that out of them and show them, this is what you can be. What you decide to be is up to you, but let's work towards that," he said.
Those in the program do have a bachelor's degree and will continue testing throughout the year.
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