Category Archives: Educators Rising California

2016 Year in Review

At Project Tomorrow, we naturally spend a lot of time thinking about the future as we work to prepare today’s students to be tomorrow’s innovators, leaders and engaged citizens. Still, at this time of year it is a pleasure to look back and reflect on what we have accomplished in 2016. As you will see, it has been an incredible year for Project Tomorrow, and we are very grateful to all of our partners, especially the students, who have contributed to our success.

Here are just a few of our highlights from 2016:

  • Released a new national Speak Up report, “From Print to Pixel: The role of videos, games, animations and simulations within K-12 education,” at a Congressional Briefing in Washington, D.C. in May. The report and briefing detailed findings from more than 500,000 students, educators and parents, from 7,800 schools in 2,660 districts across all 50 states, who took the annual online Speak Up surveys.
  • Expanded our research on technology for learning to international schools around the world with Speak Up International, a collaboration between Project Tomorrow, BrainPop and ISTE.
  • Collaborated with National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) to develop targeted questions for science teachers on the Speak Up survey and disseminate the resulting data to the science education community.
  • Provided more than 70 presentations and webinars on our research, evaluation and programs across 30 states.
  • Surpassed 1,000 members in Educators Rising California, tripling the number of students developing their leadership skills while learning about careers in education since 2015.
    • In June, Educators Rising California member and YouthTEACH2Learn alumnae Karina Janco placed 8th in the nation in the STEM Lesson Planning and Delivery competition at the Educators Rising national conference.
  • Expanded YouthTEACH2Learn by 80 percent, adding new schools offering the program.
  • Received a $100,000 grant from the Silver Giving Foundation and two continuing Career Pathways Trust Grants funded by the California Department of Education enabling us to grow our Tomorrow’s Teachers Initiative through partnerships with colleges across the state.

All of this was made possible thanks to generous contributions from: ABC CLIO, APEX Learning, Blackboard, Cengage, the Carol and James Collins Foundation, CompTIA, Cox Cares, DreamBox, Dwight Stuart Youth Foundation, Edison International, Edwards Lifesciences Foundation, Haskell & White, LLP, Ingram Micro, Intel, Kajeet, Microsemi, Newseum, Orange County Department of Education, One to One Institute, Pacific Life Foundation, Qualcomm, the Roosters Foundation of Orange County, Rosetta Stone, Scholastic, the Silver Giving Foundation, SIATech, and WD Foundation.

We look forward to a wonderful 2017!

 

Addressing the Teacher Shortage: Recruiting Tomorrow’s Teachers Today

It is more than likely that your district has felt the impact of California’s teacher shortage.  By now, the numbers are well known. The 2015-16 school year saw a need for 21,500 new teaching positions, while only 15,000 new teaching credentials are issued per year.  The impending retirement of the baby boom generation (1/3 of California teachers are over the age of 50), coupled with a precipitous drop in the number of students enrolled in teacher preparation programs (a 76% decline from 2001-2014), means that the chronic shortage of qualified STEM teachers has become much worse, and expanded to a shortage in virtually every area of teaching. A full analysis of the causes of the current shortage, as well as recommendations to address the challenges, was released in January by the Learning Policy Institute, and several bills have been introduced in the state legislature to attract more candidates into teaching.  Districts and schools do not need to wait for state action, however, to stop the boom and bust cycle of teacher recruitment and preparation.  Indeed, many districts across the state are working to “grow their own” teachers by recruiting the next generation of teachers beginning in high school.

Project Tomorrow has been working with districts to recruit the next generation of teachers by providing high school students with significant teaching experiences for the last 18 years.  We target high school students because our national research project, Speak Up, shows that 45% of college students say their decision to become a teacher was made prior to college. In addition, in 2015, over 10,000 California high school students took the Speak Up survey, and 34% said that they were either somewhat or very interested in becoming a teacher.  Finally, 77% of students said they want to learn about a future career through direct field experiences. This is in line with Richardson’s and  Watt’s research, which showed that perceived teaching ability and having had positive prior teaching and learning experiences was a strong motivation for those who chose a teaching career.  Thus, by moving the starting line for candidate recruitment and development from college to high school, we can dramatically increase the pipeline for new teachers.

Project Tomorrow offers several programs designed to provide high school students with significant opportunities to learn about and experience teaching in specific content areas.  For example, YouthTEACH2Learn (YT2L) is a full year class to learn about teaching math or science. High school students develop a series of hands-on science or math lessons and in turn, teach these standards-based lessons in local elementary school classrooms. In addition, Project Tomorrow is the state affiliate for Educators Rising, a national Career and Technical Student Organization (CTSO). Educators Rising California is a student leadership organization with co- curricular chapters throughout the state providing high school students with information and experiential learning opportunities, including statewide teaching competitions and conferences, to support their exploration of teaching careers.  Our program evaluations indicate that students are more likely to visualize themselves as teachers and believe they can be successful as teachers because of their experiences in our programs.  In fact, a recent analysis of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing database found that 38% of YT2L alumni hold a credential.

Give that 2/3 of teachers teach within twenty miles of where they went to school, it is not surprising that many are turning to a “grow your own” approach in the face of the current teacher shortage.  There are 50 teaching academies across the state (including this one at Century High School featured in EdSource).  At least two Career Pathways Trust Grants are supporting education pathways, the Orange County Teacher Pathway Partnership led by Santiago Canyon College, and the Establishment and Enhancement of Education Pathways led by Clovis Unified School District.  San Diego Unified and Fresno Unified both have teacher recruitment and preparation initiatives that begin in high school.  Educators Rising California alone supports 30 chapters and 700 students across the state. Today’s high school students will not be able to fill open teaching positions this fall, but these efforts show that we can start filling the teacher preparation pipeline today with the teachers that we will need tomorrow, and prevent the current teacher shortage from becoming a chronic problem.

For more information on Project Tomorrow’s programs mentioned above, contact gnicholson@tomorrow.org.

Tomorrow’s Teachers are Teaching, and Learning, Today

Educators Rising California Students at Century High School in the News

We’ve been sharing news about the teacher shortage for a while now (see a previous post here). This week EdSource highlighted one of our Educators Rising California schools and how they are working to prepare their students for careers in teaching – and ultimately combat the teacher shortage. Check out our summary below:

When Century High School (Santa Ana, CA) senior Maria Vasquez teaches 1st graders about sentence structure and pronunciation, she “learns so much more from the students than they do from her.” Students in the school’s TEACH Academy are given the unique opportunity to gain hands-on work experience to prepare for careers as teachers. This is not only an excellent way for these high school students to gain real world experience as teachers, but, as educators note, it is also a great way for California schools to funnel students into teaching careers.

Through the TEACH Academy, Century High School students begin gaining experience as sophomores, where they learn skills such as lesson planning and parent correspondence. As juniors they serve as tutors and aides at nearby elementary schools, and as seniors they are paired with graduate students from Cal State Fullerton to further explore careers in teaching. All academy students also take college-level education courses and accrue 15 units of college credit by the time they graduate.

The academy is a part of the Orange County Teacher Pathway Partnership, which is funded through a $6 million California Career Pathways Trust grant and is headed by Rancho Santiago Community College District.

Century High School’s TEACH Academy is just one of over 50 education pathways in California high schools.  Janis Perry, lead project specialist at Santiago Canyon college, says, “Students will learn in a robust [teacher pathway] program that will lead to high-wage, high-growth, and high-skill occupations that will help fill California’s anticipated shortage of well-prepared teachers.” Officials estimate that the current academies could eventually add 2,000 – 4,000 teachers annually.

To read the original article by Fermin Leal, please click here

All students in the TEACH Academy are members of Educators Rising California. Project Tomorrow is proud to be a community partner in the OCTPP initiative. Two of Project Tomorrow’s initiatives, YouthTEACH2Learn and Educators Rising California, work to combat the issue of the teacher shortage.

YouthTEACH2Learn is a career exploration program where students explore teaching as a career. During the course, the students gain practical experience by observing elementary school classrooms, learning how to teach, developing and teaching standards-based lessons to younger students in neighboring elementary schools and participating in local community service projects. In addition, students also have the opportunity to meet local educators, attend career panels, and visit local college campuses in order to determine if teaching is a “good-fit” for their professional goals. To learn more about YouthTEACH2Learn, visit http://www.tomorrow.org/programs/yt2l.html.

Educators Rising California – Project Tomorrow is the state affiliate for Educators Rising, a national student leadership organization that provides high school students with information and experiential learning opportunities to support their exploration of a teaching career, particularly in teaching science and math, through co-curricular and after-school student clubs. To learn more about Educators Rising, visit https://www.educatorsrising.org/.

Our first Tomorrow’s Teachers Conference of the year is tomorrow!

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We can’t wait to see of our Educators Rising Southern California members at our first Tomorrow’s Teachers Conference of the year! Follow along at #NextGenTeachers on Twitter as we live tweet tomorrow’s conference! Big thanks to Santiago Canyon College for making this event possible.

To learn more about Educators Rising California and how California’s high school students are learning about teaching careers, visit our website.

Exciting News! Project Tomorrow Named as Partner in 100Kin10, National Network to Grow STEM Teaching Force!

Project Tomorrow commits to advancing the goal of recruiting, preparing, and retaining 100,000 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers in 10 years
100Kin10, a multi-sector network addressing the national imperative to train 100,000 science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers by 2021, today announced that Project Tomorrow has been accepted as a partner.
With a highly selective and competitive selection process, Project Tomorrow is extremely honored to be one of only 31 organizations chosen nationwide in this year’s application process. As part of 100Kin10, Project Tomorrow will recruit 2,050 excellent STEM teacher candidates, with 25% (512) from groups traditionally under-represented in STEM, in California by 2018, as measured by the number of students majoring or minoring in education and a science or math discipline.
More and better-trained STEM teachers are essential to prepare America’s students to fully participate in our democracy and to understand and respond to complex national and global challenges. To compete in the global marketplace and provide opportunity to all young Americans, all students—not  just those fortunate enough to attend certain schools— must have basic STEM skills and knowledge. Project Tomorrow is one of nearly 200 100Kin10 partners unified by a single, ambitious goal: to prepare all students with the high-quality STEM knowledge and skills to equip them for success in college and the workplace.
Organizations are accepted as 100Kin10 partners following a rigorous vetting process conducted by a team of partner reviewers and the University of Chicago. Reviewers are looking for organizations that bring innovation, boldness, and a proven track-record to their commitment(s) toward expanding, improving, and retaining the best of the nation’s STEM teaching force, or building the 100Kin10 movement.

 

A complete list of partners—with new partners highlighted— is available on the 100Kin10 website.

Getting to Know the Project Tomorrow Team

Happy Friday!

We hope you all had a fantastic week! It’s Friday which means it’s time to meet another one of our fabulous team members. Today we would like to introduce you to Meredith Kohl, our Special Projects Manager!

Meredith Kohl
Special Projects Manager
Project Tomorrow
949-609-4660 x20 voice
Meredith Kohl serves as Special Projects Manager for Project Tomorrow®.  Her present work focuses on the organization’s Tomorrow’s Teacher Initiative, which stimulates and nurtures the development of a new generation of K-12 teachers in math and science by leveraging Project Tomorrow’s YouthTEACH2Learn and California Future Educators Association (CFEA) programs across the state.  Meredith joined the Project Tomorrow® team in 2012 as the Youth Leadership Summit Coordinator. Her previous experience includes serving as a corps member with Teach for America in the Las Vegas Valley and a Fulbright Fellow to Italy, along with administrative and programmatic nonprofit work at the Center for Teaching Quality in North Carolina. She holds a California elementary teaching certification as well as a master of education in curriculum and instruction, and currently teaches and directs the lower elementary education program at Bridges Reading and Writing Institute in Irvine.

In her free time, Meredith enjoys anything Italian, playing soccer, crafting and design projects, and Saturday morning brunch excursions with her husband—we’re always looking for tasty spots in Orange County. Recommendations welcome and greatly appreciated. 😉

Please be sure to check back next week to meet Marianne Miller, Grants Manager!
Thanks for reading!

-The Project Tomorrow Team

Around the Web Wednesday

It’s Wednesday…
Do you know what that means? It is Around the Web Wednesday!

Browse all the links below for the latest news and topics trending in education. Be sure to let us know which article intrigued you the most!
Be sure to check back each week for our Around the Web Wednesday Series
Have you registered for Speak Up 2013? Surveys launch next week on October 2nd! Make sure to register so your voice can be heard!
Enjoy your day.
-The Project Tomorrow team
1. Unveiling the Blue Ribbon Schools – US Department of Education

2. Online EducationSilicon Valley Business Journal








Fun Fact Friday: Longitudinal Study of Beginning Teachers

Happy Friday to all Our Followers & Supporters!

If you joined us in Washington DC last night for A Celebration of 10 Years of Student Voices about Digital Learning, thank you! We had a great time celebrating with you, and we look forward to many more years of Speak Up to come!

Read a study from the National Center for Education Statistics

If you haven’t registered yet for Speak Up 2013, you may do so here. Surveys will be opening soon on October 2nd, and will run through December 20th!

For today’s Fun Fact Friday, we have a study for you concerning a longitudinal study of beginning teachers from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Nation-wide, there is a shortage of teachers, and more and more teachers are reaching retirement age. Project Tomorrow’s YouthTEACH2Learn program and the Future Educators Association of California work towards preparing the next great generation of teachers.

Read the study here, and be sure to let us know what you think!

Have a great weekend.

-The Project Tomorrow team

Fun Facts for Back to School

The Class of 2017

What are the generational-specifics of the class of 2017?
Students of all kinds…pre-school,elementary, intermediate, high school, college, and graduate school have already hit the books, and others are preparing for their first days which will begin soon!
With each new school year, comes a new class of students with differing viewpoints and nuances than the students or the generation before it.
Beloit College in Wisconsin recognizes this, and conjures a document each year that lists the generational-specifics of each new college class year! 
Be sure to read the fun-filled document, and find out what information you also share with the Class of 2017!
Moreover, Beloit College also posts guides for administrators and educators who work with and interact with each new class year. Read those here
Happy Reading!
Remember to register for Speak Up 2013!
Don’t forgot to vote for Julie Evans’ panel at the SXSWEdu conference! Click the webtile below for more information: 
– The Project Tomorrow team

Around the Web Wednesday: Pt III

Happy Wednesday to all of our followers, supporters, and blog readers!
Today marks the third installment in our Around the Web Wednesday series.

Check the Project Tomorrow blog every Wednesday for the Around the Web series! 
We hope you are enjoying reading up on the latest issues, discussions, and trending topics in education each week. If an article particularly speaks to you, please let us know!
Remember to register for tomorrow’s (8/29) free webinar hosted by Julie Evans and sponsored by DreamBox Learning, titled The Future of Personalized Learning in Elementary Schools. The webinar will take place from 3pm-4pm Eastern time. Registration and participation in this event is free! Click here to get started.
Don’t forget to vote for Julie Evans’ panel, ListenUp! SpeakUp! GameUp! A Game Data Discussion, at the SXSWEdu conference. Click the webtile below for more information.

Registration for Speak Up 2013 is LIVE on our brand new site! Click here to get started.

Do you have any fun or interesting Back to School Stories? Share it with us in the comments below! 

Happy Reading!
– The Project Tomorrow team
Around the Web Wednesday
1. Video Games to Strengthen Math & Science Skills: Read it here!

2. Q & A-Back to School with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan: Read it here!

3. MOOCs, MOOCs, MOOCs! Read it here!

4. Flipped Classrooms – Fit to Flourish! Read it here!

5. Superintendents Who Take to Twitter! Read it here!

6. Blended Learning or Classroom Training? Read it here!

7. How Businesses can Benefit from the “Flipped Classroom” Model: Read it here!

8. Guides for Educators & Administrators Regarding the College Class of 2017! Read it here!

9. The New Teacher Project: Read it here!

10. What Teacher Leadership Looks Like: Read it here