Clayton County teachers being forced to teach classes outside of their training

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Imagine being an art teacher and being told you have to teach a geometry class. That’s what Clayton County teachers say is happening.

As the district sees an increase in students participating in virtual learning, teachers say they are being forced to teach classes they are not certified to teach.

“I can say probably every teacher in every school is 100% burned out at this moment,” one teacher who wanted to remain anonymous told Channel 2 investigative reporter Ashli Lincoln.

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Atlanta-area teachers say that between rising COVID-19 cases, teacher shortages and crowded classrooms, they are being stretched thin.

“Honestly if we go through another year of this, there’s going to be more staff that quit,” she said.

Having to still teach in person, she now has to assist in teaching several virtual classes in subject matters she is not familiar with.

“When you as a biology teacher are suddenly given an AP calculus class to moderate, what biology teacher has looked at calculus since high school?” she said.

The Clayton County School District has had six classes go virtual temporarily since school started in August.

Numbers from the district show that at the beginning of the school year, approximately 3,600 students were participating in their virtual academy. That number has since risen to more than 7,700.

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The school district told Channel 2 Action News that they dispute claims that teachers are teaching classes they are not certified for, but said they are trying their hardest to keep up with the demand for teachers in virtual and in-person classes.

They say they are also navigating a substitute teacher shortage, just like many other schools across the state.

“We’re trying to reach normalcy so fast that nobody can keep up,” the teacher told Lincoln.

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Clayton County schools says they are constantly trying to recruit new teachers. They have dozens of job postings up on their website.

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