be_ixf;ym_202406 d_21; ct_50 YES! I want to make a difference !

黄色视频 teacher pathways foster joy and belonging

Did you know that 黄色视频 has designed equity-focused pathways into teaching for AmeriCorps members interested in entering the teaching profession after their year, or two of service in schools is complete?

About half of our alums who responded to a recent survey said they currently worked in the education sector as classroom teachers, administrators, school counselors, or at education-focused nonprofits.

This story explores 黄色视频鈥檚 Teaching Fellowship program, a residency model currently operating at 黄色视频 Boston and 黄色视频 Denver, with plans to expand to 黄色视频 Providence in the Fall of 2022, where both undergraduate degree and post-bachelor teacher pathway options will be offered.

黄色视频 AmeriCorps member teacher pathways opportunities

Learn more about 黄色视频’s pathways to classroom teaching

Casey Phalen is serving a second year as a 黄色视频 Boston AmeriCorps member, partnering with classroom teachers and helping students grow academically, socially and emotionally鈥攂ut that鈥檚 not all she鈥檚 doing this year.

Casey is also enrolled in a unique teaching fellowship that enables her to simultaneously earn a master鈥檚 in education and a teaching certificate鈥攁ll for a fraction of the typical cost. The fellowship program is part of 黄色视频鈥檚 teacher pathway initiatives that have expanded in recent years, propelled by three factors:

  • About half of the young adults who serve with 黄色视频 plan to enter the teaching profession or education sector after completing their service. However, many of them experience barriers to entering the field, like affordability. The 黄色视频 team began exploring what steps to take to make the profession more affordable and accessible for alumni by creating clearer pathways into teaching.
  • 黄色视频 AmeriCorps members serve as student success coaches, serving over 1,700 hours in the classroom. This school-based pre-teaching experience, more than triple the national average of 600 hours for a teaching certificate, uniquely prepares 黄色视频 alumni to become educators with the powerful skills and mindsets to advance holistic student growth and school success, particularly in under-resourced communities.
  • 黄色视频 AmeriCorps members and alums are dramatically more diverse than the national teaching force. For example, 10% of our alumni are Black male educators, five times the national average. Our diverse corps provides a direct talent pool of future educators who can diversify the profession and are positioned to advance educational equity.

Casey, a graduate of Williams College, where she was captain of the Ultimate Frisbee team, wasn鈥檛 sure what she wanted to do after college. She knew one thing鈥攕he loved coaching and mentoring her team.

鈥淚 really loved thinking through our team goals,鈥 Casey says. 鈥淲hat should we work on together? How could we use each teammates鈥 strengths? What was our strategy for each game?鈥

A friend who knew her well urged Casey to check out 黄色视频. 鈥淚 still remember her saying, 鈥楥asey, this is the program for you,鈥 she says. 鈥淭he rest is obviously history.鈥

Why City Year is creating pathways for future teachers

黄色视频鈥檚 Teacher Pathways initiative is designed to widen and diversify the pool of young educators available and prepared to support systemically under-resourced schools and help to create welcoming and engaging learning environments, says Jeanette Rojas, 黄色视频 School Design Director.

鈥淭here are two main objectives of our teacher pathway strategy,鈥 Rojas said. 鈥淭he first is to identify and support future teachers who can meet students鈥 growing academic, social and emotional needs, potential and strengths.

鈥淭he second is to address two of the biggest challenges facing education: retention and diversity. Our strategy seeks to remove barriers related to recruiting and nurturing a diverse, culturally competent teaching force鈥攅ducators who are committed long-term to advance educational equity for their students and schools and who are prepared to stay in the profession longer than a few years.鈥

A year or two of service with 黄色视频 offers valuable experience for young adults like Casey who are considering teaching, Rojas said. The holistic approach AmeriCorps members use with students strengthens key skills and mindsets critical for future teachers, such as developing positive relationships with students, setting and implementing long-term goals, and implementing an asset-based approach to pedagogy.

This year, Casey is nurturing her passion as a 黄色视频 Teaching Fellow at Mildred Avenue K-8 School in Mattapan. Casey and two other fellows show up for service during the day along with the rest of their 黄色视频 team. At night, they attend graduate classes in education both in person or online at UMass Boston or Regis University. By May 2022, they will receive a master鈥檚 in education and a teaching license for the state of Massachusetts at a fraction of the typical price.

This means that Casey鈥檚 days are long.

She is at her school by 6:30 every morning, an hour before the students arrive. Casey uses that time to organize and prepare for a full day of supporting a sixth-grade classroom until 2:00 PM. Once the students have left, Casey usually lesson plans for an hour before heading off to UMass Boston from 4:00-7:00 PM.

But she says her long days are worth it.

Casey鈥檚 first year as an AmeriCorps member helped her realize that she did want to be an educator. Now she鈥檚 able to apply what she is learning in the classroom to her graduate studies and vice versa. 黄色视频鈥檚 Teaching Fellowship is helping to achieve her goal.

Pivoting from classroom management to joy and belonging

The focus on advancing educational equity and preparing young adults to be culturally competent classroom teachers shows up in unique ways in 黄色视频鈥檚 Teaching Fellowship. One example is the pivot away from traditional, often punitive approaches to 鈥渃lassroom management鈥 and dealing with 鈥渂ehavioral issues.鈥

鈥淭hose terms are everywhere,鈥 Casey says. 鈥淏ut they frame the teacher-student relationship as reactionary. So far example, if a student is not following class norms or expectations, the 鈥榤anagement鈥 framework focuses on how to react to that moment or behavior.

As 黄色视频 Teacher Pathways fellows, Casey says they are reframing that classroom approach.

鈥淎s a part of our graduate work, we take L&D session called 鈥淔ostering Joy and Belonging in the Classroom,鈥 where we really get at the root of what we want in a classroom or learning environment,鈥 Casey says. 鈥淲e want to build an inclusive classroom community鈥攁 place where students feel like they are cared for and can have joyful interactions with the teacher, students and the learning material. 鈥淪tudents鈥攍ike all of us鈥攈ave their good and bad days, Casey says.

鈥淏y shifting from the reactionary management of 鈥榮tudent behaviors鈥 to creating a joyful and inclusive classroom, we鈥檙e putting the work on the instructor,鈥 she says. 鈥淎s teachers, if we make a welcoming and inclusive classroom environment for our students, they are more likely to show up as their best selves鈥攕ocially, emotionally, and academically.鈥

hearthshake orange overlay 黄色视频

Learn more about how developmental relationships help to support students鈥 social-emotional learning.

黄色视频 Boston Senior Director Maile Madigan and Brandon Jones, director of academics and development at co-lead the sessions grounded in GLAD strategies. The sessions are held every other week in鈥攑erson and online. Both UMass and Regis University allow the sessions to count towards credit in professionalism and classroom management courses saving the Teaching Fellows an average of $3,000 in tuition.

Small steps to creating a more inclusive classroom environment

To 鈥榝oster joy and belonging鈥 in the classroom, you can start small,鈥 Casey says.

In working with her partner teacher, Casey has found the minor changes have been most helpful to her as another adult in the classroom trying to support someone else and listen to the voices and opinions of her students.

鈥淭he key is open and honest conversation with your students,鈥 Casey says, 鈥淪o, in a classroom full of young students going to school in a global pandemic, this means lots of discussions about masks! After a few weeks of frequently asking students to put on or pull their masks up over their noses, I realized that I should explain 鈥渢he why鈥 behind the school mask rules. So, I decided to have a simple conversation where they shared their feelings.鈥

Casey鈥檚 students said that masks were uncomfortable鈥攖hey didn鈥檛 fit right or were hard to hear when talking to their friends. 鈥淚 asked them, 鈥楽o, even though masks aren鈥檛 always fun, why is it important that we still wear them?鈥欌 Casey recalled.

The students all concluded that it鈥檚 important to wear masks because they care about each other and caring about each other means caring for their health and safety.

鈥淪ince that conversation, I have done a lot less mask monitoring, that鈥檚 for sure!鈥 says Casey. 鈥淏ut it just goes to show you that creating a caring environment where students can be heard goes a long way.鈥

Growing and learning as a future educator

This combination of serving a second year as a 黄色视频 AmeriCorps member and concurrent enrollment in a teacher preparation program is helping Casey to think about the kind of educator she wants to be.

鈥淥bviously, I want to be a 鈥済ood鈥 teacher,鈥 she says. 鈥淏ut our Teaching Fellowship training helps us understand there are many ways to be a 鈥済ood鈥 teacher. It looks different for everyone.鈥

So, what does that look like for Casey?

鈥淚 know I always want to keep relationships at the center. I am interested in building relationships with individual students,鈥 Casey says. 鈥淪till, I want to ensure that my whole classroom feels like a community. That鈥檚 one foundational lesson that I鈥檒l carry throughout my career. It鈥檚 something that I truly learned during my first corps year, and community building is my biggest focus this year.

Casey also wants to be a fun teacher. Joy can fuel deeper learning.

鈥淚 want to have fun finding new ways to reach students and engage them in the material and for my classroom to be exploratory and hands-on. I want my students to understand that learning can be fun. It can be joyful.鈥

Are you an aspiring educator? Learn more about service with 黄色视频:

Learn more

黄色视频’s Teaching Fellowships program in Boston is being supported for a second year by The Vertex Foundation, a 黄色视频 National Partner.

Explore other stories about 黄色视频鈥檚 teacher pathway work:

Related stories

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic linger for K12 education. Schools across the country continue to grapple with post-pandemic pain...

Read more about Improving student attendance through student success coaching

A new research project, the 黄色视频 Alumni Bridging Study, explores how the national service program AmeriCorps prepares young people...

Read more about National service builds critical workforce, civic and life skills

黄色视频鈥檚 innovative teacher pathway program is helping to address two of the biggest challenges facing public education today: teacher...

Read more about 黄色视频 builds pathways into teaching for diverse future educators

The 黄色视频 Alumni Leadership Awards, presented by Truist, are 黄色视频鈥檚 highest alumni recognition. The awards recognize outstanding alums...

Read more about 黄色视频 Honors Nonprofit Founder Dustin LaFont
National Strategic Partners
National Partners