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The New Teacher Project: Frequently Asked Questions


Are the teacher recruits qualified as "certified teachers"?

Each new teacher makes a two-year commitment to teach. Is this enough time to be effective in the classroom?

Some school districts resemble "war zones." How do you insure that the new teacher is not left all alone in this kind of environment?

How do I find out if TNTP is active in my area?

Is there a minimum level of time commitment required?

Must I join The Partners of '63 to participate in the Strategic Alliance with TNTP?

Can I participate in more than one active program?





Are the teacher recruits qualified as "certified teachers"?

Until a few years ago, a teacher had to graduate from a recognized college, major in education, and obtain a teaching certificate before entering the classroom. Unfortunately, both the numbers and the quality of these "traditional-route" teachers are insufficient to meet the nationwide needs of our public school districts.

To combat these challenges, certain states have created "alternate routes" to widen their applicant pools. TNTP has helped to pioneer this effort. These states encourage non-traditional college graduates with strong content knowledge to make a career change. Each is ultimately certified under state programs, which allow participants to teach while completing their required coursework.

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Each new teacher makes a two-year commitment to teach. Is this enough time to be effective in the classroom?

New teachers recruited in TNTP's alternate-route programs commit to teach for at least two years. However, since the organization targets mid-career and young professionals who tend to be seeking a permanent career change — rather than a temporary job right out of college — these new teachers are more likely to stay past the two years. (In a recent survey of participants in the Kansas City Teaching Fellows training institute, an overwhelming majority of the new teachers said they planned to stay in the district for at least five years, with many citing at least ten years.)

In addition to seeking out committed participants, TNTP structures its programs to allow new teachers to effect gains in student achievement as soon as possible. TNTP only selects those participants who possess characteristics found to be present in excellent teachers, such as a record of outstanding professional achievement, strong critical thinking skills, and the ability to reflect upon and learn from past experiences.

These selected participants go through an intensive 6-week training course, in which they gain experience teaching in district summer schools and learn about classroom management, pedagogy, and other strategies.

The combination of these factors prepares nontraditional candidates effectively for the classroom.

The New Teacher Project recently conducted a survey of all Massachusetts principals that had hired new teachers in a program run by TNTP — 81% rated the TNTP recruits as good as or better than other new teachers, and 90% of the principals said they would hire another such teacher.

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Some school districts resemble "war zones." How do you insure that the new teacher is not left all alone in this kind of environment?

TNTP works with districts to place participants in challenged schools that already have a support structure for new teachers. Each participant will receive a mentor — a veteran teacher from which to learn. Additionally, TNTP instills in new teachers the belief that each of them can and should be responsible for their professional development and constant learning.

TNTP "clusters" new teachers in schools so that they can support each other. Clustering also allows new teachers to be a force to effect change in their particular school.

The New Teacher Project organizes ongoing seminars and forums for communication to further facilitate the culture of support for new teachers.

Finally, all of the new teachers will be enrolled in a program, usually through a University partnership, to receive their Masters Certification over the course of two years. The frequent meetings and learning associated with these classes further enhance the teachers' professional development.

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How do I find out if TNTP is active in my area?

Certain TNTP marketing objectives are discussed in The Partners of '63 Report on TNTP. Your specific interest will be communicated to the TNTP Regional Partner serving your area, who will let you know exactly what is going on in your locale.

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Is there a minimum level of time commitment required?

We hope that you can initially allocate at least one half day per month to this initiative. If it really captures your interest, you can always step up this time commitment.

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Must I join the Partners of '63 to participate in the Strategic Alliance with TNTP?

Yes.

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Can I participate in more than one active program?

By all means — yes! Just complete a "Program Registration Form" (click here) for each Program. And keep in mind that you can increase or decrease your level of participation over time.

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