Tulsa Public Schools Trying To Stay In Front Of Teacher Turnover
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa Public Schools is hiring and trying to get ahead of other districts which usually wait later in the spring.
The district needs to fill jobs because of the usual turnover that happened during the summer, but, we’ve also learned several teachers have resigned.
At the same time teachers are leaving, seven resignations were on the school board agenda Monday night - a turnover that never stops.
Monday’s career fair was intentionally not at the central office, not in the early morning and not something where applicants should leave children at home.
It's the latest strategy twist for TPS.
Talent Manager Coy Nesbitt said, “We're also providing child care for people who are interested in getting information about the district.”
The district hopes that by hiring early, and on the spot when possible, it can get ahead of the turnover.
Potential new teachers, like Xavier Walls - a paraprofessional now - are exactly who they're after.
“I'm looking for an opportunity to advance my career in this district,” Walls said.
Tulsa Public Schools has 2,700 teachers. In some years, the district hires 300 to 400 teachers as replacements.
With budget cuts, the district only hired 275 last year. For next year, it's uncertain.
Nesbitt said, "It's not stopping us. We're making progress to let people know we are hiring and actively seeking qualified candidates to hire for teaching positions."
The district needs teachers for all grades, especially in math and science and special education.
In second and fourth grades, there are teaching jobs available to finish out the year because of mid-year resignations.
A look at resignations from this school year shows teachers leaving for all sorts of reasons. Most were moving with family, but many mentioned pay and dissatisfaction on the job.
Walls, however, is hopeful that a promotion, and alternative certification, is possible for him.
“I'm ready - ready and willing. If they'll take, I'd love to join any school right now,” he said.
We asked for resignation letters from the teachers who left during the first semester but the district redacted all of the specifics on why teachers are leaving.