The problem of how to attract and hang on to talented new teachers has dogged school districts across the country. Some novice teachers enter the classroom with little preparation and are left to sink or swim.
It’s no surprise that as many as 50 percent of new teachers in high-needs schools leave the profession within five years, according to national studies of teacher retention. But would a different, more on-the-job form of training make a difference...?
About half of the 15 candidates in Harvard’s new Teacher Fellows program are students of color, according to Katherine K. Merseth, a Harvard Graduate School of Education professor who designed the program. Merseth says the program, which offers remote access, will eventually increase enrollment to 100 students per year.
She argues that schools of education have a responsibility to diversify a mostly white teacher workforce, since public school classrooms are predominantly filled with students of color.
“We need teachers who can identify with students, who can say, ‘I did it. You can do it too,’ ” she said...
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