We provide intensive support to our teachers early in their careers. Our training begins shortly after teachers join TFA – the summer before they begin teaching – and continues throughout their initial two-year commitment.
Grounded in the belief and potential of all students, our training provides both immediate teacher development inside the classroom and long-term leadership development outside of the classroom. Here’s a look at our intentional teacher training, which includes the Racial Equity Institute, Pre-Service, and Praxis support.
Racial Equity Institute
Each year, TFASC partners with the Racial Equity Institute (REI) to offer a two-day racial equity training to all of our teachers and staff members – as well as our community partners.
REI is an alliance of trainers, organizers, and institutional leaders who are devoted to the work of creating racially equitable organizations and systems. During their workshops, REI presents a historical, cultural, and structural analysis of racism within education.
Several years ago, we were one of TFA’s pioneering regions to first provide racial equity training to our teachers and staff members, and now, every staff member in each TFA region participates in REI’s training.
TFA staff and alumni launched our first centralized, virtual summer teacher training in 2020. Throughout the summer and the first 90 days of teaching, this training, called Pre-Service, is designed to support our teachers in becoming an anti-racist leader, providing students with a high-quality education, and pursuing a lifelong commitment to educational excellence and equity.
Pre-Service balances standardized learning with regional experiences for our teachers. The training occurs in five phases from May to the first 90 days of teaching: Onboarding, Kick-Off, Centralized Learning Series I, Practicum + Centralized Learning Series II, and the First 90 Days + Centralized Learning Series III.
Throughout the Pre-Service experience, our teachers engage in a variety of synchronous sessions that are “live” with other teachers and asynchronous sessions that are completed on our teachers’ own time. Session topics include:
- Foundations of Teaching
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness
- Leadership Development
- Community and Context Building
The Practicum phase provides our teachers with their first opportunity to work directly with students and families in the region. In 2021, TFASC teachers will teach virtual summer school for three weeks at Legacy Early College. This experience will enable our teachers to put the lessons learned into action by teaching students in a supportive environment.
During the Practicum phase, our teachers will also be paired with a veteran educator coach – starting a coaching relationship that continues over the next two years.
Since most TFASC teachers are considered “non-traditional teachers,” they will need to earn a temporary teaching license. TFASC staff members help guide our teachers through this process by fulfilling initial requirements and meeting deadlines to become eligible for teaching positions in South Carolina.
While temporary teaching licenses qualify our teachers to teach their first year, our teachers work toward full teaching certification from Praxis in the years ahead. The Praxis tests help South Carolina educators demonstrate their knowledge of content, pedagogy, and instructional skills for the classroom.
We provide our teachers with study guides and peer support to better prepare for their respective Praxis tests. If needed, we also offer one-on-one support from a tutor.