Jacksonville, FL - The future of math and science education in your child’s classroom could come at the hands of someone who doesn’t yet know they want to be a teacher.
The Duval County Public Schools District is launching a new “residency” program aimed at recruiting undergraduates and new professionals in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields and guiding them in to the classroom.
“We want the best and brightest to enter teaching, not necessarily go in to the private sector,” says Superintendent Nikolai Vitti.
By recruiting professionals, Vitti says the District ensures the would-be teachers already have knowledge of the subject matter. The challenge then is just teaching the “residents” how to teach- and that comes through a free Master’s degree at UNF and hands on experience shadowing “master teachers” at low performing schools and gradually beginning to work and student teach in those classrooms over the span of a year.
In exchange, you commit three years to working with at the school.
“The beauty of the program is teaching them how to teach in a realistic way in the same school where they would be committed,” Vitti says.
The schools have been identified by the Quality Education for All Fund, which is pumping private dollars in to rerouting talent to low-performing schools. These are schools Vitti says they traditionally have a hard time recruiting quality staff and STEM teachers. Vitti says getting in at the ground level with educators at these schools has significant potential to make a long term impact.
“We’re not only building a bench, but we’re creating sustainability in hard to staff schools- mainly math and science- over the long term,” he says.
The application process is open right now and the program is scheduled to begin in the summer. You can get further information and find an application at the Jacksonville Teacher Residency website www.duvalschools.org/JTR.