Being a teacher is one of the most rewarding careers a person can choose; teaching students how to be teachers is even more rewarding. Each teacher academy program is unique and requires finding a one-of-a-kind teacher. The teacher will usually be the “face” of the program and needs to be able to draw students from across the school. Teacher academy instructors serve as mentors, advocates, role models, and cheerleaders for the next generation of teachers.
Identify the right teacher
Recruiting and retaining exceptional teachers to coordinate and teach the academy is essential to its success. In order to identify the right teacher, consider if they are able to do the following:
- Recruit and retain a diverse group of students;
- Implement classroom strategies and wrap-around programmatic services that meet the needs of diverse students;
- Coordinate relevant leadership opportunities that extend beyond classroom learning;
- Collaborate with building leaders and other partners to leverage existing supports;
- Demonstrate appropriate and current knowledge about a career in education;
- Convey a passion for helping and being a role model for future teachers; and
- Effectively use culturally responsive and asset-based teaching methods in an effort to eliminate the opportunity gap in education.
We are committed to helping teachers learn and grow in the areas of identity, culture, and equity, as well as supporting the implementation of the curriculum. Professional development specific to the RWT course is publically available through our website.
Determine the funding vehicle
Once you have identified the right teacher, the next step is to determine the funding vehicle for your teacher academy program. There are several ways to fund a teacher academy program.
Historically, most teacher academies have been taught as a Careers in Education (CIE) course, funded through the Careers and Technical Education (CTE) program. CTE/CIE courses must be taught by a CTE-certified teacher to be eligible for CTE funding. If your teacher is already certified in CTE, then you may decide to use CTE funding towards your teacher academy. If your teacher is not CTE-certified but has an interest in becoming CTE-certified, your district can contact the OSPI CTE office.
Alternatively, your district may choose to support your teacher academy using another funding source, such as Title or grant funding. Districts may also use their own funding, understanding that RWT and similar Grow Your Own programs are an investment in their students and the future of the district.