BA welcomes teachers from out of state; why one says money isn't an issue
BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (KTUL)-- As Oklahoma teachers head out of state for better pay, one Broken Arrow teacher is passing them coming in.
Heather Poku was born and raised in Rhode Island. She taught there for two years before heading to China, where she taught for seven years.
Her next teaching gig landed her here in the Sooner State at Timber Ridge Elementary School in Broken Arrow.
Poku could have chosen anywhere in the world to teach.
She chose Oklahoma. The state that pays its teachers less than anywhere else, but that didn't stop her from coming.
"The environment is nice, people are kind, people are warm, there is support here as far as the staff," Poku said. "People are very willing to help, my teammates are great."
Better pay is more of an added bonus for Poku.
"Would I like to get paid more? Of course," she said. "Everybody wants to get paid more, but when you are a teacher, you don't go into it for the money."
She is in it for the kids.
"When they come into this room, I want them to feel loved, I want them to feel that there is somebody here to support them and I want them to feel safe," Poku said.
Her kindergarten class is learning to read, create patterns and Poku is also giving them something else.
"Those life skills that will take them throughout their journey," she said. "The world will be a little bit better because I did the best I could."
Poku is one of 14 other teachers and two administrators who came to Broken Arrow from out of state this year.