published Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Teacher residency program recruits recent college graduates from Chattanooga and Knoxville


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Anyone who wants to teach through the TEACH/Here residency program must also be a learner, says a local educator.

"It's about getting better, being a learner and being flexible because that's the culture of school," said TEACH/Here Director Cheri Dedmon. "And having the patience of Job."

Dedmon is encouraging anyone with those traits to consider applying for a spot in TEACH/Here, an urban teacher residency program. The program recruits recent college graduates or career changers with strong math and science backgrounds, though organizers said most, if not all, of this year's slots will be filled by math teachers.

TEACH/Here recruits are paired with master teachers in Chattanooga and Knoxville schools for a year. Recruits are paid a living stipend and take graduate courses.

Graduates leave the program with a year's teaching experience and a master's degree but must commit to teaching math or science in urban schools for four years.

All applicants must have a 3.0 college GPA. Those looking to teach in the fourth- through eighth-grade program need mastery of math concepts, but not necessarily a math degree. Those wanting to apply for the seventh through 12th-grade program must have a degree in science, math, technology or engineering.

Applications are due by Feb. 3 and officials will hold a selection day later in the month. So far, TEACH/Here has received about 60 applications for the 18 available spots.

"That's a good problem to have," Dedmon said.

The program graduated 15 teachers last year and is expected to graduate 21 this year.

"For me, I'm looking for someone with a lot of content knowledge who's eager to share that with kids," said TEACH/Here Program Director Lindsey Frost.

It's also important that prospective candidates understand the challenges of teaching in an urban setting. But Frost said that's an opportunity that excites and motivates current program participants.

"They know they want to teach where they'll have the greatest impact," she said. "You really have the greatest chance to see these children grow in these urban schools."

about Kevin Hardy...

Kevin rejoined the Times Free Press in August 2011 as the Southeast Tennessee K-12 education reporter. He worked as an intern in 2009, covering the communities of Signal Mountain, Red Bank, Collegedale and Lookout Mountain, Tenn. A native Kansan, Kevin graduated with bachelor's degrees in journalism and sociology from the University of Kansas. After graduating, he worked as an education reporter in Hutchinson, Kan., for a year before coming back to Chattanooga. Honors include a ...

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