In an ongoing effort to find the very best teachers for its classrooms, Hamilton County Schools will use a new grant from the state to start a teacher training program to grow the system’s own great teachers for the future. The Hamilton County Schools was awarded a Diversity Innovation Implementation Grant by the Tennessee Department of Education to focus on increasing diversity in the education workforce.
The new Teacher Academy will be at Tyner Academy as part of the newly announced Future-Ready Institutes in Hamilton County Schools. The Future-Ready Institutes will provide specialized programs at schools in partnership with local organizations to prepare graduates for careers available in this community.
The Teaching Academy at Tyner is a collaboration with UTC and will provide dual enrollment opportunities for teens in the program planning a career as a teacher. The Teacher Academy will be open to all Hamilton County students and will encourage more minority and bilingual students to consider entering the teaching profession.
“Teaching is a local profession and new teachers are four times more likely to teach in the communities where they grew up than elsewhere,” said Erin Harrell, recruitment and field experience coordinator for Hamilton County Schools. “The start of the Teaching Academy supported by this grant will allow the school system to invest long-term in increasing recruitment of minority teachers and we anticipate this will have a positive impact on the diversity of our teaching force. This is an exciting opportunity to partner with UTC and we look forward to working with UTC.”
The program will begin with a freshman class next school year and an additional class will be added each year until the program produces its first graduating class. Students will take their academic classes from the teachers in the academy. Freshmen and sophomores in the program will participate in school observations along with classroom preparation and participants will progress to actual classroom experience as they will participate in job-sharing opportunities during the senior year.
The series of education coursework in the program will lead to opportunities for dual-enrollment and college credits in teacher education at UTC. The teachers in training will have college preparatory support during their time in the Teaching Academy including exposure to colleges of education.
“This Teaching Academy is the opportunity to invest long-term in our own community’s human capital and it is one step of many that we plan to take to increase teacher diversity in Hamilton County Schools,” said Keith Fogleman, chief talent officer for Hamilton County Schools. “We honored an excellent home-grown talent at the last board meeting in Erin Glenn recognized as an outstanding middle grades social studies teacher at the national level.” He added, “We want more teachers like Erin Glenn and perhaps this is a program that will provide us the opportunity to cultivate that talent.”