Teach for America is an organization that works to create a level educational playing field across all school districts in the country by sending specialized teachers into low-income schools. For the past nine years, Teach for America has been working in East Chicago schools to carry out this mission in the region. The organization has operated in East Chicago according to the following six concepts:
-Recruitment: Teach for America is constantly recruiting college graduating seniors to ensure that they have a steady flow of the best teachers in America coming into the East Chicago schools each year.
-Selection: Teach for America makes a conscious effort to select the most qualified teachers that also come from racial and socio-economic backgrounds similar to the areas where they will be serving. This helps the students to feel more comfortable and allows for the teachers to bond with students, which is beneficial for learning and growth.
-Training: Teach for America teachers that come to East Chicago complete their training just 20 minutes away in downtown Chicago. This way, the teachers get the chance to become familiar with the area in which their students live and people they interact with before joining a classroom.
-Ongoing Support and Leadership Development: Teachers have the opportunity to participate in additional leadership seminars which further develop their confidence and abilities in the classroom.
Alumni Leadership and Support: Teach for America alumni often continue to work with the organization once their membership is finished. This past year, the School City of East Chicago had six Teach for America alumni serving as teachers and administrators.
District, School and Community Partnership: Teach for America creates partnerships with organizations outside of school districts to offer more opportunities and information to their students. In the past, Teach for America in East Chicago has collaborated with Lake Area United Way and Lake County College Success Coalition.
For more information on Teach for America in East Chicago, visit foundationsec.org.