BELDEN, Miss. (WTVA) - When not teaching at Picayune High School, Donna Porter shares a program called "Conscious Discipline."
Porter addressed students enrolled in the Mississippi Alternate Path to Quality Teachers program underway at ICC Belden.
She explained to the new teachers ways to make sure every single student gets the attention he or she deserves.
Porter said, "I think teachers across Tupelo, the state and hopefully the nation need to understand that we have to change our way of thinking. These lives are brittle now. It's our goal to not only teach them curriculum and state tested areas, but we must embrace social emotional intelligence and teach that as well."
The Mississippi Alternate Path to Quality Teachers program allows people with degrees other than one in education to earn their way into classrooms as teachers.
Porter says they don't need to be disappointed.
Porter said, "They have decided, for whatever reason, they want teach. I don't want them to go in the classroom, pour out their passion and enthusiasm, and then leave it because of classroom management issues."
One participant, who's a coach, says he's embracing the ideas offered.
Chris Shelling of Booneville said, "It gives me examples of ways to do things on the field as well as off the field. It's helping me greatly."
This alternate path program is meeting a need instructors here say that can only benefit these future classroom leaders.
Phyllis Clemmer, MAPQT Instructor, said, "The colleges of education are wonderful sources but there's not enough graduating in the education programs to fill all the needs in the classroom. This is just one of three alternate paths and we're very proud of this one."