Tulsa Teacher Prepares For New School Year, Crowded Classrooms

Saturday, August 20th 2016, 6:50 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

Time is running out for Tulsa teachers and students before they head back to school on Monday.

While the halls of Central High School are quiet, teachers are busy putting the final touches on their rooms.

History teacher Kimberly McKinley is getting her syllabus ready for her ninth graders.

"it has my expectations, how I do my grades," McKinley stated.

The stapler she will use cost her one dollar, and it's not the only school supply she spent her own money on this year. Her cabinets are stocked with about $100 worth of supplies.

"Not all of my students can afford to come with paper and pencil every day, so I just wanna make sure everybody has what they need to be successful,” she said.

Something they'll all need to be successful is a desk. McKinley will be using 40 this year. She'll be seeing a total of 192 students this year, but she’s confident a crowded room won’t stop students from learning.

"I had 42 kids in a classroom,” she said. “They all showed up every day and they all had a place to sit, and it actually worked that year, so I’m not too stressed about the class sizes."

She added, "It'll be okay! We will survive. We will make it through the year and see what the year holds as we move forward."

She says you have to be mindful of the different personalities and learning styles with such a large classroom.

But she says using new technology, including a Smart TV that might help keep her students from being distracted by so many peers.

Teachers say the Smart TVs are part of a pilot program a few schools in the Tulsa District are a part of. They were paid for by a bond that passed a few years ago.

"We can be more interactive with our kids out in the classroom instead of being stuck up front by our boards and computers,” McKinley explained.

Central High has a new principal this year. He's been the assistant principal at the school for the past four years.