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7 questions about Stitt’s new substitute teacher recruitment website

3:47 AM EST on January 21, 2022

Finally, Oklahoma has a plan to help schools navigate the goddang global pandemic!

On Tuesday, a couple of hours after the leaders of Integris, Mercy, St. Anthony, and OU Health held a press conference to discuss the lack of ICU beds and staffing shortages many Oklahoma hospitals are facing, Stitt announced the launch of a brand-new substitute teacher recruitment website: okguesteducator.com.

In what appears to be a collaboration between the government and the State Chamber of Oklahoma, the site encourages local businesses to “step up” and help the economy serve Oklahoma schools by asking their own employees to volunteer as substitutes. No word of if the domain name for okguestmedicalprofessional.com has also been purchased.

I took a look at the site a naturally had some questions. Here are 8 of them:

What kid loves to hear about business and jobs?

As seen in this screenshot from the website, the Stitt administration seems to think a big selling point in recruiting business people to sub is in classrooms is the networking opportunity. Unless you are a zookeeper bringing a show-and-tell critter to a kindergarten class, good frickin luck intriguing kids with stories from your last real estate acquisition or the fluctuating price of oil.

Can state employees access the site?

I guess not.

What businesses are actually giving their employees extra PTO to substitute?

Unless you are the villain in a 1980s teen movie who has a sudden change of heart due to the protests of the 35-year-old actors portraying teenagers and decides not to destroy the forest or drill for oil in the owl habitat, business owners rarely do things out of the kindness of their hearts and at the expense of their finances. I want to know A) What businesses are actually giving extra PTO to employees who substitute and B) Is TLO one of them?

Are Oklahoma students really being prioritized here?

As seen above, the website reports that the “problem” is that school closures affect GDP and students’ long-term “earning power,” which I am 100% certain is not a typo and because there is no way this initiative is prioritizing students’ “learning power.” Not to mention when it comes to word counts on this site, “student” is mentioned twice, while some form of “business” is written 10 times.

Is Doug Benson substituting this class?

It looks like Doug Benson is teaching in this photo on the okguesteducator.com website. The people need to know who is being trusted with molding the minds of the future. TBH Doug Benson would probably be a better substitute than my middle school vice principal who showed us band kids Billy Madison on the wheeled television anytime the director was out sick.

Does the Stitt administration not know how long an OSBI background check takes?

If he were really interested in helping schools as soon as possible, you’d think he’d be brainstorming options that didn’t include a 3-6 week wait. Speaking of requirements...

Does the Stitt administration think Oklahoma teachers are just babysitters?

Most Oklahoma teachers have at least a 4-year college degree that required courses in learning theory, classroom management, and various school subjects. Thinking a David Stanley car salesmen or midlevel banking manager could teach a classroom of children, let alone manage a class of 8th graders without a mutiny or the substitute crying, is like expecting a businessman to understand how to lead a state government during a goddang global pandemic.

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Put me in, coach. I'm ready to teach critical race theory and the history of the CIA in South America. Follow Hayley on Twitter @squirrellygeek and become a contributing member of TLO here.

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