Tulsa Public Schools started the day needing 31 more teachers to start the school year, but that number has been dropping because of Thursday's one-stop interview and hiring event.
About two years ago, TPS realized, that to fill the classrooms they needed to hire fast and before other districts snapped up the best teachers.
A handful of teacher candidates waited for interviews, but they didn't wait long because TPS set up a system to quickly process, interview and hire teachers who walked in the door.
Katie Haile was one of those candidates. She's moving to Tulsa from Oklahoma City, where she's taught the last two years. She looked, first, at small towns but found Tulsa has the jobs.
"I guess what draws me to them is that there's more opportunity here than with a smaller district because, with the budget cuts, many of them just aren't hiring," she said.
Haile and the other candidates took part in a new strategy at Tulsa Public Schools. The district realized with a chronic shortage of candidates, and increasing competition among districts, TPS needed to hire faster and first.
So TPS now recruits and hires as a district and sends candidates out to schools.
“So, we would check all those things and conduct interviews centrally and then reach out to principals, say we have this candidate, solid candidate, you really need to talk to this person,” said Brad Eddy with TPS Human Capital.
The faster process has candidates teach at their first interview.
Haile said, "It's a little nerve-wracking, but yes, I am prepared to teach a lesson, on the letter O."
The process went from application, through an interview, to a classroom in a couple of hours.
The strategy is working, according to the district, which last year had a teacher in every classroom when school started. That's the goal again this year.
As of 4:00 Thursday evening, TPS had made offers to 20 people.