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Indiana company identifies people seeking to become math teachers

Posted at 6:37 PM, Aug 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-23 21:26:25-04

INDIANAPOLIS — As the state of Indiana faces a shortage of teachers, an Indiana-based company is looking to identify people in hometowns seeking to make the switch to becoming math teachers.

Chloe Jefferson of Indianapolis recently left a corporate job in manufacturing to return to the classroom to teach math at Scecina Memorial High School.

"I knew I had a calling to give back," Jefferson said “I wanted to have an opportunity to build community and have a direct impact rather than nobody knows what I'm doing in an industry setting."

Brian Barger graduated from Austin High School. He recently left Amazon to teach at his former school district.

"Money is not everything. It's nice to have money, but everything we do in life we are always learning," Barger said. "I want to give back because I at one time struggled at the middle school age with fractions and other things in math. I was once in your shoes. I can relate to you being frustrated with math. "

Both Barger and Jefferson are part of Indiana-based XR Technologies.

XR Technologies is focused on finding and training people with the ability to teach math. The goal is to connect professionals with math skills looking for a career change to work in their hometown schools.

"It is our answer to the crisis that's happening right now. Two crises one not enough teachers, and not enough diverse talent," said Kevin Berkopes CEO of XR Technologies.

XR Technologies is also working with the John Hopkins University's Center for Research and Reform in Education on training the teachers and making sure they are ready for the classroom.

"The cost of licensure is baked into how we pay you. It's not an out-of-pocket thing. It's not while you’re working a different job and have to take night classes to transition to teaching, " added Berkopes.

The collision between the Great Resignation and labor storage is adding to a major problem for schools nationwide, so this effort is hoping to square the demand with a local supply of hometown educators.

XR Technologies is the first non-university to be granted a transition to teaching to license program by the Indiana State Board of Education.

The state set aside $5 Million for schools to tap into the XR approach.