The Harvard Graduate School of Education is pleased to announce that 20 Harvard College seniors have been selected as the first cohort of Harvard Teachers Fellows (HTF) — an innovative program designed to create pathways for Harvard College undergraduates to enter a teaching career.
“I am absolutely delighted to welcome these 20 fellows to the HGSE community. As Harvard undergraduates, these students could choose any career path imaginable. They have chosen teaching, and, to me, there is no higher calling,” said Dean James Ryan. “I am both deeply thankful for their commitment to this work and incredibly excited to have them all as part of our inaugural class. I have no doubt that they, alongside Harvard Teacher Fellows Program alumni for years to come, will have a powerful impact on the lives of students. And I hope that their example inspires others at Harvard, across the Ivy League, and beyond to follow in their footsteps and to choose teaching as a career.”
The program, designed by HGSE faculty experts in teaching and learning, was created in response to the growing interest in education among Harvard undergraduates. It was also designed to respond to the need for more well-prepared teachers by drawing Harvard undergraduates into the teaching profession.
For the past year, HTF Program administrators actively recruited Harvard College seniors to participate in the program, which offers free, skillful teacher preparation to become middle school and high school mathematics, science, history, and English teachers in high need urban areas. HTF applicants participated in a rigorous multistep application process that included group and individual interviews to identify deep content knowledge, belief in every child, and commitment to education equity and the teaching profession.
“I could not imagine a better group of fellows to launch HTF. The fellows are passionate, insightful, talented yet humble,” said HTF Director Eric Shed. “We have begun to gel as a community and they have raised the already high bar of what is possible.”
The incoming cohort is 65 percent female and 35 percent male with 55 percent self-identifying as students of color. The fellows hail from nine different states and the United Kingdom, and represent 15 different concentrations from anthropology to mechanical engineering.
Lecturer Sarah Leibel, HTF master teacher in residence (English) who worked to recruit the cohort, noted that the selected fellows know their subject areas well, have teaching experience, and believe in the assets of the communities where they teach.
“This is an inspiring group of young people who recognize teaching as a profession and see social justice at the core of their work,” Leibel said.
Launched in 2015, HTF prepares teachers in three distinct ways by training students to teach specific subjects, preparing students to be skillful teachers through field-based training from their first day on the job, and providing continued resources and supports necessary to enable students to remain in teaching.
The cohort began the program in January and will undergo eight months of intensive, field-based preparation through August. Training includes both coursework and mentored teaching. Fellows continue on to one academic year of part-time, field-based training in districts and charter networks across the nation, during which they continue to receive intensive coaching and training from HGSE faculty. Following the training, fellows return to HGSE where the program culminates with an additional summer of coursework, mentored teaching, and the ability to earn initial teacher licensure. Students then enter the teaching profession with the skills and dispositions to become effective and successful teachers while receiving continued coaching and training from HGSE. In addition, fellows interested in continuing their studies may apply their HTF coursework toward a master’s degree at HGSE.