OKC Public Schools Hire Teachers From Abroad To Help Ease Shortage

Wednesday, July 16th 2014, 7:33 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

Oklahoma City Schools is going outside the box, even outside the country, to deal with the current teacher shortage. The district has hired 15 teachers from Spain.

The teachers will be teaching at three Oklahoma City elementary Schools and Roosevelt Middle School this upcoming school year. They will be teaching English Language Learners as well as core classes.

Pere Cabot is one of those teachers. After 13 years of teaching in Spain, he will now be at Roosevelt. His wife also moved to Oklahoma with him.

“We decided it would be a good place to have an American experience from a couples, marriage, and for me as a teacher also,” he said.

He and his wife already bought a pickup truck, will be moving into a home soon, and Pere is already looking forward to getting to work.

“They have experience. They have the energy and the passion and they understand what our students need, so we think it’s going to be very beneficial to our students,” explained Bianca Rose, who traveled to Spain to interview and hire the teachers. “We want to fill those vacancies that we have and we also thought it was very appropriate that they are bi-lingual and they speak Spanish and we have a large Hispanic population where they speak Spanish at home so that was an additional skill that will help bring the community in.”

Pere and his wife say they plan to immerse themselves in Oklahoma and American culture. As a teacher he hopes to expand his professional repertoire by improving his English and learning from his American teachers.

“I’m here to learn. I’m here to teach, but teaching is lifelong learning,”

The program will last for three years and Pere says he and his wife want to stay the full three years. All the other teachers tell the district they are willing to stay the full three years as well.