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Teach For America’s Program Continuum

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Presentation on theme: "Teach For America’s Program Continuum"— Presentation transcript:

1 Teach For America’s Program Continuum
September, 2008

2 Recruiting Our Nation’s Future Leaders
ALUMNI LEADERSHIP ONGOING SUPPORT TRAINING SELECTION RECRUITMENT We have a two-pronged approach to recruitment that drives applicant pool growth and enables us to compete for the best candidates across the nation. We recruit on roughly 400 campuses and also market to recent graduates in a variety of ways. Marketing Personal Cultivation Build awareness, knowledge and interest on college campuses and at top employers of recent graduates so that strong candidates will reach out to us Approaches include: , poster, flyer, banner, etc. Information sessions and other events such as presentations to selective membership organizations on campus and to audiences at top employers Identify individual candidates who per their achievement might make excellent corps members Obtain prospect referrals from corps members, undergraduates, professors, or other supporters, and directly reach out to those prospects Directly reach out to candidates, meet one-on-one with them, and convince them to apply Arrange visits to corps member classrooms for prospective applicants 2

3 How We Select Selection Criteria Selection Process
ALUMNI LEADERSHIP ONGOING SUPPORT TRAINING SELECTION RECRUITMENT For the 2008 corps, more than 24,000 people applied and approximately 3,700 corps members began teaching. We select applicants who have demonstrated characteristics that we and others have identified as linked to teacher effectiveness. Selection Criteria Selection Process Demonstrated past achievement Perseverance in the face of challenges Strong critical thinking skills Ability to influence and motivate others Organizational ability Understanding of and desire to work relentlessly in pursuit of our vision Respect for students and families in low-income communities Prescreen on the basis of a written application and a phone interview Host interview days for prescreened candidates, which include Personal interview Five-minute sample teaching lesson Problem solving activity Group discussion 3 3

4 Maximizing Student Achievement
Our approach to teacher development is grounded in the premise that the goal of teaching is to drive student learning, and our model for selecting, developing and supporting teachers aligns with that goal. We charge corps members to lead their students to significant academic achievement, and we measure the extent to which this is happening in classrooms. We have codified the goal-oriented approach to teaching into the Teaching As Leadership (TAL) framework, which serves as the foundation for our teacher preparation, support and development work. We have built a selection model that is grounded in our existing student-achievement data and based on the characteristics required to implement the Teaching As Leadership approach. Student Achievement We use student achievement data to evaluate and improve our impact on students in low-income communities by: Deepening our understanding of what differentiates great teachers, and Improving our program strategy and execution. Teaching As Leadership Ongoing Support Training Selection 4

5 Framework for Teacher Development: Teaching As Leadership (“TAL”)
Based on years of observation and analysis, we have learned that teachers in low income schools who effect significant student academic growth are those who: Set ambitious goals for student achievement Invest students and those who have influence on them in working hard toward those goals Plan purposefully Execute effectively Work relentlessly to overcome obstacles Reflect methodically and improve continuously Note about improvement efforts: we have recently designed a major research effort in conjunction with Jim Collins to deepen our understanding of the characteristics of our most effective teachers. 5

6 Corps Member Pre-Service Training
ALUMNI LEADERSHIP ONGOING SUPPORT TRAINING SELECTION RECRUITMENT Corps members’ pre-service training begins with independent preparation and includes one- to two-week local inductions and orientations to their placement schools and communities. Independent Preparation Regional Induction and Orientation Purpose: Familiarize corps members with TAL; develop initial understanding of role, responsibilities and mind-sets of exemplary teachers; begin to develop foundational knowledge in discrete content areas; instill the mindset that student achievement is their primary objective and that it is within their control Preparation includes: Independent curriculum reading Instructional Planning and Delivery Classroom Management and Culture Elementary and Secondary Literacy Diversity Community and Achievement Learning Theory Overview of Teaching As Leadership Classroom observations and reflections Purpose: Familiarize corps members with their placement school and communities and their school district-specific policies and curricula; reinforce institute learning and provide planning time for the school year Activities and sessions include: Community orientation and corps building activities Interviews for a position Additional training sessions Vision setting Ambitious goal setting, Assessment planning Develop unit plans and assessments Content-specific tools and training Problem-solving and reflective practice 6

7 Experiences and Structures
Summer Institute ALUMNI LEADERSHIP ONGOING SUPPORT TRAINING SELECTION RECRUITMENT Summer institute is designed to take novice teachers, who have been screened for leadership characteristics, and accelerate TAL skills development through an intensive, experiential, outcome-oriented training program. Student Achievement: Emphasis on accountability for achieving learning goals with their students over the summer Corps Member Development: Developing accountable, results-oriented teachers who have achieved targeted levels of proficiency on 80% of TAL actions prioritized for learning, Aims Teaching summer school students in low-income communities, guided by a veteran teacher Experience setting and managing towards big goals in the classroom Emphasis on investing students and their community of influencers in importance of goals and student learning Coaching and mentoring with faculty of experienced educators In-person skill-building sessions on core training curriculum, literacy, lesson planning and diversity Content pedagogy support through institute learning teams Feedback for struggling corps members An observation/debrief cycle to build data-driven reflection skills Experiences and Structures 7

8 Ongoing Support: Personal Coaching & Mentoring
ALUMNI LEADERSHIP ONGOING SUPPORT TRAINING SELECTION RECRUITMENT Recognizing that most schools simply do not have the resources to provide on-going professional development, we invest a significant amount of time and money to provide our corps members with one-on-one personal coaching and mentoring. Each corps member is supported by a program director (typically an alumnus/a who was a highly successful teacher), each of whom has an average caseload of 34 corps members. Program directors work with corps members through four rounds of a formal observation cycle, grounded in and focused on student achievement data and with an enabling emphasis on advancing proficiency along the TAL rubric. The formal cycles consist of: Classroom observation Corps member self-reflection Program director evaluation A ‘co-investigation,’ or joint problem-solving conversation between corps member and program director to identify and solve the root issues that are preventing students from achieving by looking for causes in teacher practice 8

9 Ongoing Support: Regional and Online Resources
ALUMNI LEADERSHIP ONGOING SUPPORT TRAINING SELECTION RECRUITMENT Additional regional and online supports help corps members to prioritize where to focus for improvement by ensuring they are accessing meaningful learning experiences and by providing robust diagnostic and tracking tools and resources. Toolkits: Provided by each region to help corps members create a data-driven, student achievement focused classroom from day one, toolkits include long-term instructional plans tailored to state standards and the district's curriculum for each grade and subject area, diagnostic tests and ongoing assessments, and student achievement tracking tools. Teaching As Leadership Online (TALON): An online version of the TAL rubric that provides video and written illustrations and explanations of teachers performing at different levels of proficiency. An online teaching and learning center that provides critical resources to support corps members in their efforts to improve student achievement, including student achievement toolkits, resources exchange, and NWEA standardized test information center. Learning Teams: In most regions, corps members attend sessions with peers who teach the same grade or subject. These teams are led by experienced teachers in the content area, usually a highly successful TFA alum. University Partnerships/Alternative Certification Programs: Small cohorts customized by grade and subject area continue to practice backwards planning, learn content pedagogy, engage in data-based problem solving, adopt best practices, and engage in differentiated professional development. 9 9

10 Fostering Alumni Leadership
In order to foster the power of our alumni network as a force for social change, we have targeted alumni leadership initiatives as well as a range of alumni supports and programs. The CLC offers extensive career development, mentoring, and job opportunity/grad school tools and resources Career Leadership Center Directors of Alumni Affairs Online Community Political Leadership School & Teacher Leadership Directors of Alumni Affairs connect alumni to each other and to opportunities through 1-1 meetings, events, and outreach Policy & Advocacy Leadership Social Entrepreneurship supports alumni networking and offers career resources and learning opportunities Facilitator: OC Member Facilitator Talking Points: With the recent creation of our new Public Affairs team, we now have 7 main operating areas in our organization under the leadership of the CEO and President. I will go into more detail about each operating area to provide you with a greater understanding of each team’s mission and key areas of responsibilities. Regional Alumni Summits One Day Alumni Magazine Our summits and magazine seek to advance alumni thinking, connect alumni to opportunities and each other, and inspire alumni to take action 10

11 One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.

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