DeSoto, TX - A North Texas school district is offering teachers up to $57,000 in extra pay on top of their base salaries to help their students succeed. It's part of a plan to improve performance by bringing some of the best educators to the table.
At McCowan Middle School in DeSoto, Algebra teacher Tanya Dillard said her secret is to move around the classroom to keep students engaged.
"We're always up at the board working, so you can't just sit there. I call it being a bench warmer in your math class," she said. "You can't just be a bench warmer and be successful in your math class you have to get up and actively participate."
Applications for the new positions are due Saturday for the upcoming school year
Her methods work. DeSoto ISD said she's one of the teachers delivering results and who they want to replicate.
"We're trying to recruit amazing educators in our area to come work in DeSoto ISD in some very specific roles," DeSoto ISD Superintendent D'Andre Weaver said.
The district is adding $18,000 in incentives for its new "master teacher" role -- on top of the regular salary. If the teacher delivers solid scores, an additional $39,000 in incentives will be tacked on for $57,000 in total incentives.
It winds up being like two salaries for teachers willing to bring their talent to DeSoto and be a part of the plan to improve test scores in the school district.
"This individual has some experience working with and increasing student learning particularly at the elementary level and we've incentivized this role more than I've seen any other role," Weaver said.
DeSoto ISD was working to improve scores before the COVID-19 pandemic. A high level of at-home learning last year took a tough situation and made it worse.
DIllard said the incentives are great, but it will be a lot of hard work.
Interviews start next week and applications need to be in by Saturday, as the district launches an aggressive plan to bring in more exceptional educators and turn their district around.