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Newswest 9 | Midland, Texas | newswest9.com

ECISD, MISD starting their second year of Opportunity Culture

"We want to keep them here, and by paying them what they're worth I think that that helps keep them in the classroom," Chris Hightower, MISD OC director said.

MIDLAND, Texas — Teachers have a lot on their plates this year, more than ever.

But some of them here in the Basin have signed up for a brand new teaching landscape plus more students to teach or co-workers to coach.

These teachers are involved in what's called "Opportunity Culture" at ECISD and MISD.

"We also saw this as a way to keep good teachers in the classroom. I think a lot of teachers get tempted at a point to say I want to go into administration or I want to try and be a principal or I want to do something else other than teach and they're great teachers. We don't want to lose that. We want to keep them here, and by paying them what they're worth I think that that helps keep them in the classroom," Chris Hightower, MISD Opportunity Culture director said.

Here's the deal:

These teachers get paid anywhere between $6-15,000 more for this extra responsibility depending on their position.

They could be a multi-classroom leader or MCL, a team-reach-teacher or TRT, a reach associate or RA or a teacher resident if they're finishing up their teaching degree in college.

Their extra tasks could include teaching several grade levels one subject or coaching other teachers on tips and tricks of the trade.

But there's a catch, there's an extensive application process.

"You make (an) application, you go through a very rigorous screening, and we actually have some new elements that we brought in for interviews that Public Impact provided with us and so we work with those teachers through that process and then that creates a pool for us that principals can then pull from," Hightower said.

The schools chosen are those the district is looking to improve.

"If we have put the investment there, we want to see a return on that investment with students performing at a higher level. If they aren't or if there's some other question that needs to be looked at, we'll look at that on a case by case basis on the campus," Hightower said.

The goal is to make every school in the district better by using the experienced and ambitious teachers to lead the others.