Even though the Metro Nashville school year doesn't start until August 1, dozens of new teachers reported to work for the first time Wednesday.
The district changed its hiring practices for teachers who, hired through the new processes, have the hope of a $40,000 starting salary.
"The $40,000 starting salary has helped us to be much more competitive, not just in the Southeast but across the country," said Earl Wiman, special projects manager for the district's human resources department.
This year, Metro has 300 new teachers, twice as many as last year. They began the New Teacher Induction Program, a four-day training session, Wednesday.
For many it's a crash course about what it means to be a teacher.
Anthony Echols is a first year math teacher at Antioch Middle School. It'll be his first ever teaching job after working as a professional engineer for 13 years.
"I'm very excited. Nervous, but excited at the same time," he told Nashville's News 2.
District leaders say they have more aggressively recruited teachers this year because of the early start date and the $40,000 minimum base salary made possible thanks to the newly passed property tax increase.
For many, however, the salary didn't matter.
"My reward will be, 10, 15 years from now seeing my students go to college [and] graduate with that college diploma," said recent Vanderbilt University grad Harry Lopez.
Metro chalks up the high number of new teachers to an abnormal amount of retirements and yearly turnover.
The hope is with a recruiting class as talented and diverse as the new hires, the rate of turnover can be slowed down and eventually even stopped.
The Metro Nashville school district serves 79,000 students across Davidson County.