College students lead virtual classes for Mobile County amid teacher shortage

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A new program with Mobile County Public School System was recently established aimed at helping combat the present teacher shortage and the school system navigate the ever-changing education environment due to those constant rising COVID-19 cases.

Tomorrow is the big back to school day for multiple districts in our area, but a teacher shortage being another set-back from rising COVID-19 cases is leaving MCPSS system having to come up with creative options. MCPSS decided to hire student teachers with the University of South Alabama to host virtual learning.

The participating students were recruited for the program, receiving an email last week saying they would be Running their own virtual classrooms, getting paid to do so, and will still be overseen by a certified teacher.  

Rena Phillips, director of communications with MCPSS, said, “They have been identified by South and also at the schools that they worked at last year to be rising stars and people that we want to hire full time, so we are looking forward to having them in our classrooms with our students virtually.”

This program coming after a survey went out to parents to see if they would be interested in a virtual option, and the response proved it needed to be.

A dozen student teachers will be having these virtual classrooms with students Grades K-6th.

“The virtual school is a student paced program and so they get their lessons online, but we have to make sure they are staying on track and make sure they are doing what they are supposed to be doing and then extra intervention, tutoring and support to those students.” Phillips said.

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