TPS Program Working To Prepare Emergency Teachers

Wednesday, July 25th 2018, 10:37 pm
By: Amy Avery

Oklahoma is on track to hit a record number of emergency certified teachers this year. When the state board of education meets tomorrow, it will be asked to approve more than 850 emergency certifications.

Tulsa Public Schools has a program to make sure its emergency teachers are prepared.

"I want the kids to know that it doesn't matter where you are coming from or what your backgrounds are, we can, and we will get you there," said 4th-grade teacher Courtney Torres.

Before moving to Oklahoma, Courtney Torres worked with adults with intellectual disabilities.

"I thought if I ever had the chance to go back in time and teach kids at the elementary level, then I am going to take a jump on it," she said.

Torres is one of 75 people who went through Tulsa Public School’s intensive five-week training program that gives prospective teachers the training they need to enter a classroom.

"For those who do not have an education background, this is a way that we as a district can help meet our talent goals but also ensure that the people who are in front of our most precious resource, our kiddos, have what they need to be successful," said Director of Talent Initiatives Quentin Liggins.

After this year’s walkout as many eyes focused on Oklahoma's children, people from different backgrounds and career paths, like Torres, decided to become teachers.

"We believe education is a calling and gives individuals an opportunity to shape young minds and we want to give all those who have received that calling at different stages in life an opportunity to serve our kids but to do so in a way that they are prepared," said Liggins.