University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

Commit. Serve. Teach.

In The View from the OEP on February 3, 2016 at 11:26 am

Teach For America (TFA) was big news in Arkansas last week, and today we wanted to highlight a similar Arkansas-specific program that places high quality teachers in high-need schools in Arkansas. The deadline to apply for this outstanding program is March 6th, 2016.

The news about TFA came when Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced funding to support 150 new TFA teachers to be assigned to school districts in south and east Arkansas.  In addition, members of the Little Rock business community were donating an additional $3 million in private funds to hire some 65 new TFA teachers in the Little Rock School District specifically over the next three years.

Here at OEP we have had the pleasure of working with many TFA teachers, and have found them to be smart, hard-working, dedicated professionals who care about educating their students. We are excited about students being taught by folks like these.

The fact is that teachers matter to kids. We support high quality teachers in classrooms, and have found great teachers can originate from sources other than traditional teacher training programs.

ATC Logo

The Arkansas Teacher Corps provides a ‘home-grown’ path to making a difference for Arkansas students.  There are several benefits to becoming an ATC Fellow (what they call their teachers) that prospective difference-makers should consider:

  • More Commitment: ATC Fellows commit for three years. Longer than the TFA commitment, ATC Fellows provide more stability to students and schools.
  • More Local: Arkansas Teacher Corps provides a ‘home-grown’ path to teaching in Arkansas, for Arkansans. Training takes place in Arkansas, addresses the needs of Arkansas students, and the vast majority of ATC Fellows are from Arkansas.
  • More Opportunities: ATC Fellows are placed in low-income or rural districts throughout Arkansas, because there are students in all regions who can benefit from a high quality teacher.
  • More Support: There are currently 43 ATC Fellows teaching in Arkansas. TFA’s current corps is over 8,600, with 110 serving in Arkansas. ATC’s personalized professional support, close relationships with school districts, and a strings-free Fellow stipend of $15,000 over the three years in addition to a regular teaching salary, ensures that ATC teachers get the support they need to be effective educators for students.

Arkansas students are waiting for great teachers!  Every year, ATC has many more requests for teachers than they can fill. Like Gov. Hutchinson noted about TFA: once district leaders work with ATC, they continue to request more teachers from the organization.  Districts need great teachers, and you can help!

ATC is looking for service-minded individuals from all different backgrounds. Please pass this information along to people you know who want to make a difference in the lives of Arkansas students.  Check out http://arkansasteachercorps.org/ to learn more.

 

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