New teachers graduate as part of GCS Alternative Certification Track

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- More than 70 new teachers crossed the graduation stage after completing Guilford County Schools Alternative Certification Track. These professionals left their careers to become educators.

Guilford County Schools officials are excited about this influx of new educators, who can bring other life skills and work experience to their students.

"Basically take the expertise of my field and I'm excited to bring that to high school students," said Dr. Steven Atchison, a graduate.

Spending the past year in the classroom teaching English, Atchison said it's been an eye-opening experience.

“I'm coming out of this a lot stronger both with classroom behavior, with that kind of discipline, as well as just lessons plans and having a stronger
focus and structure there," he said.

That year also opened these graduates up to other struggles teachers say they experience like school supply shortages or not enough pay. The average teacher in North Carolina is paid somewhere around $53,000 a year, which could be less than what some of these graduates former careers paid.

"You can ask any teacher, we don't do it for the money. I mean we do it for the love of passing on the knowledge. There's nothing like seeing that moment on the child's face," Atchison said.

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