The Recruiting Washington Teachers – Bilingual Educators Initiative (RWT–BEI) is aimed at recruiting, preparing, and mentoring bilingual high school students in order to prepare them to become future bilingual teachers and counselors in the state of Washington. In the fall of 2017, through a competitive grant application process, pilot sites were created for both the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years. These sites act as learning laboratories, through which PESB develops best practices and resources to share across the state, thus growing-our-own future bilingual educators from our classrooms.
For 2017-2018, five districts or district consortiums (nine districts total) were awarded a planning and development year grant. For the 2018-2019, four awardees have been selected to carry out larger-scale projects.
RWT-BEI classes are taught using the Recruiting Washington Teachers curriculum which emphasizes the importance of cultural identity and equity in the profession of teaching, they make use of the RWT student program code, and incorporate the seal of biliteracy into their teacher academy work.
2018-19 Pilot Site Awardees:
Wahluke School District: The Academia Bilingüe de Wahluke is designed to recruit current bilingual students to become future teachers and counselors and return to teach in Wahluke School District. The goal of the Academia Bilingüe de Wahluke is to help the next generation of teachers better reflect the students we serve. This project will provide experience for Academia students to work with younger bilingual students in our district while preparing them to be successful as they head off to college to pursue their career in education.
Partner: Heritage University.
Everett and Marysville Consortium: The Educator Pathways Work Group is a collaborative representing Everett Public Schools, Marysville Public Schools, Everett Community College, and University of Washington, Bothell. Our mission is to develop and sustain cross-institutional partnerships that support seamless academic student pathways for underrepresented communities. We will achieve this by actively reducing cultural and bureaucratic barriers within and across our organizations through strengthened collaborations and cross-institutional program design.
Established in 2015, this collaborative centers equity as a core value. We pursue the reduction of ‘social determinants’ and regard the following key dimensions of equity: aspiration, access, achievement, economic progress and engagement. We commit to maintaining multiple voices in our work and seeking continuous feedback from the communities we strive to support.
Thanks to the RWT grant, both districts will offer a teaching academy focused on building cross-institutional support, increasing student representation from systematically disadvantaged communities while developing civic leaders in the teaching field. Dually enrolled 11th and 12th graders will learn about educational equity and will apply this knowledge in fieldwork experiences as mentors for local middle schools students.
Highline, Pasco, Quincy Consortium: Bilingual Educators for an Equitable Tomorrow, made up of partners across Quincy, Pasco, and Highline collaborate with multiple college and university partners to provide an introduction to and pathway towards careers in education. This includes well-planned experiences for young students to learn about careers in education, as well as a strong high school program built from the Recruiting Washington Teachers curriculum. Partners meet regularly to develop and strengthen programming, with a specific focus on developing bilingual educators that will lead the next generation of teachers in our local schools. Partners: Washington State University Tri-Cities, Western Washington University, Big Bend Community College, Columbia Basin College, South Seattle College, and Wenatchee Valley College.
North Thurston School District: In North Thurston’s Teacher Academy, students will explore teaching careers, mentor younger students, shadow teachers, identify a clear path to achieving their educational goals, and prepare for post-secondary success. Recruiting underrepresented, multicultural, and multilingual students to become teachers will improve diversity among teaching staff and provide role models and mentors for our diverse student body. Initial planning and development will involve recruiting students, identifying staffing and teachers, obtaining curriculum framework approval, developing materials and obtaining supplies, and arranging mentorship and shadowing opportunities. Partners include Northwest University and South Puget Sound Community College. Partner: Northwest University.
2017-2018 Planning and Development Participant:
Mount Vernon and Burlington Edison Consortium: Maestros Para el Pueblo is a partnership between the Burlington-Edison and Mount Vernon School Districts, Skagit Valley College (SVC), and Woodring college of Education at Western Washington University (WWU), designed to:
- Encourage and support bilingual students to fulfill their goals of becoming a certified teacher and a role model for our Skagit Valley Community.
- Promote bilingual student success and increase awareness of the need for bilingual/bicultural diverse teachers.