Recruiting teachers early

Thursday, August 29th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

It's a grass roots movement to deal with a teacher shortage. A Tulsa area high school is working on a possible solution.

News on Six anchor Terry Hood says politicians and educators alike complain there are not enough qualified teachers to lead our classrooms. Union High School's offering a new class this year teaching students how to teach.

Sandy Thompson, teacher: "This is a major part of being a teacher and this is something you're going to be getting a lot of practice at." Practice makes perfect, so Union High School is trying to start them young. The course is offering the kind of hands-on activities that students usually have to wait until college to get.

The course draws on the student's 12 years of experience with teachers to figure out what it takes to be a good teacher. Right now they're teaching each other the course material, but this fall these students will head into the field to tutor 4th and 5th graders in reading and math. Some, but not all, consider the class a head start on a future career.

Robbie Shannon, Union senior: "I want to be a teacher cause it runs in my family. All my aunts are teachers and a lot of my cousins want to be a teacher or a principal or something like that." Robby Walter, Union senior: "I think teaching is an important leadership quality and it’s just a skill that would probably come in handy even if I'm not a career teacher."

Union received a $10,000 grant for the class and is hoping to expand the program.