Number Of Tulsa Teachers With Emergency Certifications Highest Ever

Wednesday, October 7th 2015, 6:21 pm
By: Emory Bryan

This school year, there are more Oklahoma teachers working under temporary credentials than ever before.

Tulsa Public Schools has 68 teachers working under emergency certification this year.

Many schools, like East Central, have a least one teacher who hasn't had regular training for the classroom.

However, our look at the data shows teachers with emergency certifications are, also, clustered in a handful of schools.

McLain High School has seven emergency certified teachers - and the distinction of having more than any other TPS building.

That means some teachers with the least training are in some of the most challenging classrooms.

The district's hiring coordinator said McLain ended up with so many in part because that's where the openings were.

"McLain had openings, and we'd send them out there. And then, again, it can have something to do with how quickly a principal jumps on it. If I was the principal at McLain, understanding that sometimes the school can be difficult to staff, she might have jumped on it, gone through the process and done it. That's what I'd be doing,” said Bradley Eddy, with TPS.

The district started out the year with a certified teacher in every classroom, but 68 of them have credentials that expire in one year.

List Of Teachers With Emergency Certifications

The new teachers get extra training to get up to speed.

Eddy said, “We understand they have the background and content knowledge that they need, but we have to make sure there are supports at the site, and in that grade and subject area, to support someone who is very new to the profession.”

East Central High has three emergency certifications, and the junior high has three more.

But, in all, 38 sites scattered across the district have some of the teachers - Eugene Field has three as well.

The exception is the handful of sites - like Bell Elementary, which has five in one building.

The district said it monitors the teachers to make sure they're advancing towards full certification during the year and encourages parents to reach out and help Tulsa's newest teachers with their work.

"As a parent myself, I'd have a concern about anyone teaching my child, or at least I'd be informed, right? I would want to know the background, and see what they're sending home and see what support I could offer. Any teacher is going to be better if they have the support of the parent," Eddy said.