Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Teach for America

It was my recent privilege to host ten soon to be public school teachers in our suite at the ballpark. They were in Durham for training as they entered the Teach for America program, and they will be teaching this fall across eastern north Carolina - assigned to low performing schools.

I am so impressed with TFA.

I just assumed it was some sort of scholarship program. Quite the opposite. TFA visits colleges to recruit kids that haven’t considered teaching as a career. They are looking for math, science and econ majors with leadership backgrounds – young people who can be “change agents” in the classroom. TFA provides intensive summertime training and the school districts hire them. The TFA corps members receive on-going mentoring and support during the school year. It’s a very effective system.

I am so impressed with the TFA recruits.

We met math majors…poly sci…a budding economist…pre-med. The Durham school system employees about thirty TFA corps members. Dr. Carl Harris, Superintendent of Durham Public Schools:

Our principals will line up to get a Teach For America teacher. They know from experience that Teach For America teachers are consistently good instructional personnel. Teach For America participants are very student focused and are highly committed to student success. Like all new teachers, they sometimes find the classroom a real challenge, but instead of succumbing, they rise to the opportunity, work through their problems, and come to a solution that will benefit the student, the teacher and the school.

Our TFA guests and Wool E. Bull; the E stands for education!

The TFA regional office is across the street at the American Tobacco campus. Please visit their website. Click here to learn more. I have only scratched the surface in this post. If you are interested in supporting a non-profit organization that’s making an impressive difference in our public schools, make a connection with Teach for America.