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High Hopes For Tulsa Public Schools' First Ever Teacher Institute

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa Public School teachers gathered Wednesday for a back to school kickoff and a day of training.
It's something new, called the "Tulsa Teacher Institute."
More than 2,800 teachers boarded school buses from across the city and headed to the Cox Business Center to both celebrate the new school year and train on how to be the best teachers possible.

As teachers arrived,they walked through a line of more than 100 volunteers, including TPS Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist who was dancing and giving high fives.

"We want them to know how much Tulsa, this community, appreciates our public school teachers. And so this is just one small thing we can try to do to send that message so that they know - because it’s not easy to be a teacher in Oklahoma right now, so every little thing that we can do, we want to do," she said.

The gathering was the in person roll out of the district’s new plan for teachers - a guideline on how to encourage students to stay focused with a common strategy across the different grades and schools.

Stephanie Andrews with TPS said, “And we want for it to be somewhat similar so that, some of our students transfer schools, that we would be all kind of speaking the same language and trying to build these relationships with students and families.”

The Teacher Institute will cover both how to manage classrooms and how to beef up the curriculum, with more complex reading material and tougher questions from teachers.

The management part comes from consulting firm CT3, hired by the district to retrain teachers on how best get students engaged.

CT3 CEO, Dr. Kristyn Klei-Borrero said, "We give students precise directions so that they have a road map to success, they know what to do and how to do it. You notice them out loud for when they’re doing the right thing, we call that positive narration. We have clear incentive and consequence systems, and consequence systems that aren’t punishment, but rather, ‘I care too much about you so I’m going to raise the expectations for you in this classroom.’”

The training continues Thursday when teachers will hear about bringing more complexity to their classroom instruction.

You can learn more about CT3 and a system they call 'No-Nonsense Nurturer' here.

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