Tulsa superintendent, administrators stepping into the classroom amid teacher shortage

TULSA, Okla. – An Oklahoma school superintendent has decided to take matters into her own hands when it came to the teacher shortage in her district.

For years, teachers have been asking Oklahoma lawmakers to find a way to fund a pay raise for educators across the state.

When another legislative session came to a close without a teacher pay raise, many educators decided to leave the classroom or the Sooner State for better pay.

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma State School Boards Association announced that school districts across Oklahoma started the school year with more than 500 teaching vacancies.

The Tulsa Public School District is very familiar with the plight regarding a lack of teachers in the classroom.

Dr. Deborah Gist, superintendent for Tulsa Public Schools, decided to start this year as a third-grade teacher to help relieve some of the stress on the district.

Gist and more than 30 other administrators have decided to head to classrooms to fill open teaching positions.

“We have vacancies, but in addition to vacancies we have people who we know are on board but they’re just being processed,” Gist told FOX 23.

Gist is filling in for teacher who is still being processed, but other administrators say they are prepared to stay in the classroom as long as necessary.