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Giving Compass' Take:
• After criticism, Teach For America Detroit is training its next group of teachers at the schools they'll work in.
• What are the advantages of this training approach? How will it impact the surrounding community?
• Read about how Colorado's Teach For America program is now training teachers in early education.
A national teacher training program is preparing its next crop of Detroit-based teachers in the city, a shift from past practice that also has paved the way for new summer educational programming for students.
Teach For America, a 30-year-old nonprofit, held a summer training institute this summer in Detroit for the first time. That means the 33 teachers in the program, which places new teachers in schools with many needy students, got practice teaching in the same city where they will enter the classroom this fall.
In previous years, those who ended up teaching in the city through the TFA program did so after receiving training in Chicago or Tulsa, Oklahoma, two of the organization’s regional training sites. TFA has drawn criticism nationally for dropping freshly minted educators into communities where they have few ties.
“Context matters,” said Charity Davidson, who leads teacher leadership development for TFA-Detroit. “So having our teachers here to engage with Detroit students, educators, and community partners who are doing work alongside us is monumental to setting them up to be who they need to be in classrooms.”
Last year, some Detroit district board members opposed the idea of hiring new TFA-trained educators, even though the district was facing a teacher shortage.
The summer enrichment program that provided a laboratory for the aspiring teachers was a first for Teach For America, because the curriculum for it was developed and operated by 15 alums of the program. Typically, TFA partners with local districts and schools to place trainees in existing summer programs.
Read the full article about Teach For America in Detroit by Imani Harris at Chalkbeat.