So, yes, for better or worse, TFA will still be relevant for many years to come. We live in an imperfect world, and while TFA may not be a perfect solution, neither are the conditions for recruiting and retaining teachers in urban and rural schools.
When there is a relationship, you're shooting the teacher a text when your son had a rough weekend for reason X. When there
He's written a how-to guide for getting low-income students engaged in school.
When Ms. Lewis describes her first time entering her own school classroom and meeting her students, you can see how this is a love story. Many fear urban classrooms full of Black and Brown students, and in her case Special Education students, but she ran towards them.
5. Realize that the only person in the room you can control is yourself. You cannot "manage" students. They must be persuaded
Community colleges is not the final destination, however if utilized strategically, urban students can benefit from the opportunity to attend them; particularly if they were to obtain an associate's degree during their final two years in high school.
If you want to close achievement gaps between poor students of color and their wealthier white counterparts, you must reduce the high levels of socioeconomic isolation in urban communities.
These residency schools and their master teachers would gain a reputation for excellence that would inspire young educators to intentionally embrace the teaching profession and ask each other, "Where did you do your residency?"
I hope our leaders can, as iO's mission states, "think broadly" enough to let go of rigid, behaviorist notions of what education means. I hope they will heed the many stories like this one that prove the dramatic, turn-around impact of the arts on "under-performing" schools.
There is a bright spot on the horizon--a leader in education who through his innovative and effective approach to teaching students in the inner cities, has proven himself to be astonishingly disruptive to the status quo in the best of ways. His name is George E. Leonard.