Category Archives: YouthTEACH2Learn

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!

 

YouthTEACH2Learn Students Receive Congressional Recognition

This morning, on behalf of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), Field Deputy Cynthia Morales presented 25 graduating seniors with Congressional Certificates of Recognition for completing Project Tomorrow’s YouthTEACH2Learn program, the culminating course in Thomas Jefferson High School’s Teacher Prep Academy.  The students celebrated their accomplishments, and their imminent graduation, with representatives from the school administration, Los Angeles Unified School District administration, and Project Tomorrow.

YouthTEACH2Learn Students

Jefferson High School Students Receive Congressional Recognition from Rep. Roybal-Allard’s Field Deputy Cynthia Morales (left), with their teacher Jaime Gomez.

YouthTEACH2Learn is a high-impact science and math education program in which high school students are enrolled in a full year elective class to learn about teaching math or science. As part of the class, the students develop a series of hands-on science or math lessons and in turn, teach these standards-based lessons in local elementary school classrooms on a regular basis throughout the school year.  The Jefferson High School students taught twelve science lessons at neighboring Nevin Elementary, to students in Kindergarten, First, Second, and Fourth grades.  As a result, the elementary students had additional, hands-on instruction in science that was highly engaging.  One of the cooperating elementary teachers shared the impact of the program, noting: “The Jefferson students have been a great motivation for my students.  My class has looked forward to the science lessons with great anticipation.”

Of course, the students at Jefferson High School benefitted as well, gaining the opportunity to experience teaching first hand, while developing the content knowledge, pedagogical skills, and college and career readiness skills they will need to successfully pursue a teaching career.  At this morning’s celebration, the students reflected on their time in the class, and one concluded: “This experience has inspired me to pursue a career with kids and has definitely made me more interested in becoming a future educator.”

Recruiting tomorrow’s teachers today, starting with high school students, is more important than ever.  The impending retirement of the baby boom generation (1/3 of California teachers are over the age of 50), coupled in California with a precipitous drop in the number of students enrolled in teacher preparation programs (a 70% decline in the last decade), means that the chronic shortage of qualified STEM teachers has become much worse, and expanded to all subject areas. In fact, according to the California Department of Education, the 2015-16 school year began with 21,500 open teaching positions, while only 15,000 new teaching credentials are issued per year.  Project Tomorrow is pleased to share that we are addressing this problem through our Tomorrow’s Teachers Initiative programs, YouthTEACH2Learn and Educators Rising California.  Participation in both grew tremendously last year, and is on track to do so again in 2016-17.

In the meantime, we hope that you will join us in offering our congratulations to the YouthTEACH2Learn students at Jefferson High School.  We hope that they will continue on the path to becoming teachers, and we wish them the best of luck in all of their future endeavors.

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.

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/.

Recap: Project Tomorrow at the 2015 California STEM Symposium

This is a special blog post from Project Tomorrow Direct of Advancement, Greg Nicholson:

We enjoyed seeing many colleagues and friends yesterday at the 2015 California STEM Symposium, and making new friends in our two sessions:  “The Gender Divide and Digital Learning in STEM Fields” and “Recruiting the Next Generation of STEM Teachers through YouthTEACH2Learn.”  Both topics have been much in the news lately, and so interest and attendance was high. 
In the second session, we discussed the fact that the teaching shortage, especially in STEM disciplines, has reached crisis proportions.  In California, according to the California Department of Education, the school year began with 21,500 open teaching positions, while only 15,000 new teaching credentials are issued per year.  This is a result, in part, of a 55% reduction in enrollment in teacher preparation programs in California in recent years.  Unfortunately, the problem is a national one; from 2010 to 2014 there has been a 30% drop in enrollment in teacher education.  The predictable result is an increase in the number of emergency credentials issued to underqualified teachers: up 36% in one year in California.
Project Tomorrow’s YouthTEACH2Learn (YT2L) program is addressing this crisis by moving the starting line for teacher recruitment from college to high school.  YT2L is a science and math education program in which high school students take a full year class to learn about teaching math and science. The students develop a series of hands-on science and math lessons and teach these standards-based lessons in local elementary school classrooms on a regular basis throughout the school year, increasing the time that elementary students have in authentic science and math instruction and allowing high school students to gain real world experiences within teaching.
In our session yesterday, we shared newly released YT2L program results from 2014-15.  Some of the highlights include:
  • Increased student interest in teaching: 63% indicated that they are now interested in teaching after taking the course (51% were considering it before)
  • 93% of participants were comfortable managing a classroom; teaching skills improved on all indicators as a result of the program
  • Plans for attending a 4 year college rose from 87% to 94% from the beginning of the program to the end
  • 84% of elementary teachers said their students were more excited about learning science after YT2L high school students taught them science lessons
Thank you to everyone who attended our sessions, and especially to the teachers and students of YouthTEACH2Learn!  We will continue to share our results, and look for more information on student interest in teaching careers as a result of a special question on Speak Up 2015, which is available now!

Don’t miss Project Tomorrow’s sessions at the California STEM Symposium!

We are excited to attend this year’s California STEM Symposium at the Anaheim Convention Center and are thrilled to host two sessions today, October 29th! If you are at the symposium, be sure to mark your calendars for the following sessions:

The Gender Divide and Digital Learning in STEM Fields
Thursday, October 29
9:40am to 10:55 am
Room 206B
Presented by Ann McMullan, Project Tomorrow Consultant

Speak Up Project Research annually demonstrates the connection between gender differences in students’ use of digital resources for learning, and how girls want to use technology to explore STEM fields. This session will review the latest CA Speak Up results and discuss promising practices for erasing gender divides in learning.

Recruiting the Next Generation of STEM Teachers Through YouthTEACH2Learn
Thursday, October 29
3:30pm to 4:45pm
Room 207C
Presented by Gregory Nicholson, Director of Advancement, Project Tomorrow

YouthTEACH2Learn is a high school class teaching students how to develop and teach mathematics and science lessons to elementary students. Presenters share the experiences of students, past and present, and review seven years of research on this program’s impact on student interest and motivation to pursue STEM teaching careers.

If attending, send us a shoutout on Twitter at @SpeakUpEd and @ProjectTomorrow. We look forward to seeing you all at the Anaheim Convention Center today!

Project Tomorrow at the California STEM Symposium

This year’s California STEM Symposium takes place from October 29 to October 30, 2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Now in it’s third year, the California STEM Symposium continues to improve STEM instruction by defining the “how” or how to teach and integrate STEM subject matter and how to make it relevant and engaging for all students, as well as connect teachers and organizations that are working to build tomorrow’s STEM workforce with like-minded partners and resources.

Project Tomorrow is excited to host two sessions at this year’s event! If you are attending this year’s symposium, be sure to mark your calendars for the following sessions:

The Gender Divide and Digital Learning in STEM Fields
Thursday, October 29
9:40am to 10:55 am
Room 206B
Presented by Ann McMullan, Project Tomorrow Consultant

Speak Up Project Research annually demonstrates the connection between gender differences in students’ use of digital resources for learning, and how girls want to use technology to explore STEM fields. This session will review the latest CA Speak Up results and discuss promising practices for erasing gender divides in learning.

Recruiting the Next Generation of STEM Teachers Through YouthTEACH2Learn
Thursday, October 29
3:30pm to 4:45pm
Room 207C
Presented by Gregory Nicholson, Director of Advancement, Project Tomorrow

YouthTEACH2Learn is a high school class teaching students how to develop and teach mathematics and science lessons to elementary students. Presenters share the experiences of students, past and present, and review seven years of research on this program’s impact on student interest and motivation to pursue STEM teaching careers.

Are you attending this year’s California STEM Symposium? If so, let us know. We look forward to seeing you there!

Educators Rising California – October Newsletter

 
Greetings!!
We hope the school year is off to a good start and you have had a successful first meeting of your Educators Rising California chapter!
Don’t forget to register your school’s chapter with Educators Rising California. Once you do, you will receive a Chapter Starter Kit and a customized version of our YouthTEACH2Learn curriculum, which is full of lesson plans and activities that you can use throughout the year as you explore careers in teaching. Contact Gregory Nicholson at GNicholson@tomorrow.org for more information.

Webinar

In case you missed it, Educators Rising California State Director Julie Evans (Project Tomorrow CEO) participated in a webinar about the conditions needed to support great teaching for deeper learning with the Alliance for Excellent Education and the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future.
Click here to watch a recording of the event and learn more about the potential of technology to transform teaching and improve student learning.

From National

Students and Teacher Leaders, please register for Educators Rising Virtual Campus!
Click here to register
Google Hangouts
Through a series of Google Hangouts, Educators Rising connects students and teacher leaders with education experts and peer leaders for interactive, engaging discussions on high-interest topics.
Up Next: Episode 2: Education Policy 101: How to Be an Empowered Rising Educator
The 2016 National Conference for Educators Rising will be June 24th-27th at Boston University.
More details here: National Conference

Additional Resources

Are you up for the challenge? Our friends at TEACH.org have collected stories from current teachers about how and why they teach. Watch the videos here.
Help students shift back into schoolwork after a summer of fun through these fun math and science apps. Check out this list of apps from the New York Times.
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Thank you for your interest and continued support of Educators Rising California!
Be sure to stay updated on all things Educators Rising by visiting our website.

Welcome back to school with YouthTEACH2Learn and Educators Rising California!

As students and teachers head back to school, we wish them the very best for a successful year.  The first day of school always brings with it a slew of other “firsts” and new experiences.  For Project Tomorrow and our Tomorrow’s Teachers Initiative, which seeks to recruit the next great generation of teachers by building new, early career pipelines, 2015-16 is especially remarkable for its “firsts.”  From the first day of teaching for alum from our first YouthTEACH2Learn math class in 2010, to the first day of new YouthTEACH2Learn classes for El Modena High School and Canyon High School in Orange Unified, to the first ever YouthTEACH2Learn Environmental Science course, piloted at San Juan Hills High School, we could not be more excited that the school year is here.
In another first, we just completed the first two days of instruction in a partnership with Loyola Marymount University and the Mathematics Leadership Corps.  Nine AP Calculus high school students from Culver City High School are earning a LMU Extension Certificate as Common Core Math Tutors, and will be providing tutoring during the school day for Algebra I students as part of a pilot of YouthTEACH2Learn.  In the first two days, the students began to learn about the thousands of decisions teachers make every day, from when to question, to listen, to guide, and to model for their students.  At the end of the second day, after role-playing scenarios such as “you are working with a student who only wants the answer to the problem: Solve the system of linear equations 3x – 2y = 12 and –x – 2y = -20,” the instructor asked, “Teaching: easy or hard?”  The students sat in stunned silence.  Like most people, these students had probably not given much thought to the intellectual challenge teaching presents.  Our Tomorrow’s Teachers Initiative programs, YouthTEACH2Learn and Educators Rising California, provide high school students with these challenging experiences so that they will know what teaching is really like, and can experience the rewards of rising to the challenge and making an impact in another student’s life.
Rising to the challenge requires support, so we work to ensure that teachers have the support and resources they need to best meet the needs of the students in our programs.  Project Tomorrow could not do this successfully without the support of our partners and financial contributors.  We are thrilled to acknowledge new support this year for our Tomorrow’s Teachers Initiative programs from Bank of America, Clovis Unified School District, and the Leonetti/O’Connell Family Foundation.  They join continuing and returning sponsors for 2015-16, such as the Annenberg Foundation, the Green Foundation, Pacific Life Foundation, Rancho Santiago Community College District, and the Roosters Foundation.  With their help, we look forward to the challenges, rewards, and successes ahead in 2015-16.

To learn more about YouthTEACH2Learn, visit http://www.tomorrow.org/programs/yt2l.html or click on the logo below.
To learn more about Educators Rising California, visit https://www.educatorsrising.org/ or click on the logo below.

Teacher shortage reaching crisis proportions in California and across the nation

We’ve been sharing news about the teacher shortage, especially in science and math, for a while now (see previous posts here and here).  This past weekend the New York Times reported that the shortage is now reaching crisis proportions in California, and increasingly, across the nation. Check out our summary below:

“[The teacher shortage] is not impending. It’s here.”

Monica Vasquez, chief human resources officer for the San Francisco Unified School District, is just one of several school district members nationwide who have experienced teacher shortages in their schools. Last spring her district offered early contracts to over a hundred teachers in order to secure candidates before other districts.

The teacher shortage in the United States has been noted as a huge change from just a few years ago, when school districts handed out pink slips to teachers. Now, districts across the country struggle with a shortage of teachers – a result of the aforementioned layoffs (during the recession years) combined with the improving economy in which fewer people are training to be teachers.

Although teacher layoffs happened nationwide, California was particularly hit, with 82,000 school jobs lost from 2008 to 2012, according to the Labor Department. This academic year, the California Department of Education estimates that districts will need to fill a total of 21,500 slots – a difficult task, as California issues less than 15,000 new teaching credentials each year.

In order to combat this shortage, schools nationwide are looking to hire applicants as soon as possible – which means sacrificing experience and credentials for some. One school in Rohnert Park hired a high school cross country coach as an elementary school physical education teacher before he began taking teacher credential courses; meanwhile, a masters degree student in Stanford University’s school of education was hired as a fourth grade teacher after a 45-minute telephone interview. During the 2013-2014 school year, nearly a quarter of new teaching credentials issued in California were for teaching internships, which enabled candidates to work as teachers while taking classes after school or on weekends.

“We don’t like it, but we do it,” noted Paul Beare, dean of the school of education at California State University, Fresno, where 100 of the 700 teaching credential candidates will teach full time while completing their degrees. While this may not be the ideal approach for schools, it is certainly a popular short-term remedy for the problem of teacher shortages.

To learn more, check out the original article, “Teacher Shortages Spur a Nationwide Hiring Scramble (Credentials Optional)” by Motoko Rich (New York Times).

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 the 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, formerly California F.E.A., encourages students to learn about careers in education and aid them in exploring teaching while providing meaningful opportunities to receive the mentoring and support they need to actualize their career aspirations. The California affiliate of Educators Rising has made several accomplishments during the 2014-2015 school year, including but not limited to increasing its chapters from 3 to 14 (with membership increasing from 55 to 358), producing a webinar on National Board Certification with National University, and doubling participation in the Educators Rising state conference with over 400 members in attendance. To learn more about Educators Rising, visit https://www.educatorsrising.org/.