Academic Progress

Academic Progress

Teacher Preparation & Recruitment

Strategies

Recruit Educators with Credentials in Shortage Areas

Schools across the country face chronic teacher shortages in the areas of special education, bilingual education and STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). To better fill these positions in CPS, we will expand partnerships with university or alternative education programs that specialize in certifying teachers in one or more of these shortage areas. CPS will also create teacher residency programs and more student teaching opportunities in shortage areas as well as internships for those training to become special education service providers, such as school psychologists or occupational therapists.

Strengthen Student Teaching

Teaching is among the most challenging professions to master, especially for those who serve children living in poverty. To better prepare aspiring teachers, we will work with teacher preparation programs to expand the length of student teaching assignments beyond the 12 weeks required by the state and assign more student teachers to high-poverty schools. We will also provide professional development and guidance to CPS teachers who host student teachers so that they can provide the kind of practice and feedback that improves teaching practice. Better preparation will raise both student achievement and teacher retention.

Actively Recruit CPS Student Teachers for Teaching Positions

Chicago is a diverse, dynamic, rewarding place to teach, but we cannot take for granted that our best student teachers will apply for jobs in the district. To further interest our student teachers in a CPS career, we will invite them to networking events and host school visits that explore the exciting innovations underway in schools across the city and introduce them to principals who want to hire them.

Progressive, responsive, caring and relentless in their quest for excellence and success…that’s how I would describe CPS educators and school leaders.

Extend Early Offers to the Best Teaching Candidates with Credentials in Shortage Areas

CPS principals typically hire new teachers over the summer when positions open, often losing potential applicants to suburban districts that hire centrally in the spring. To secure the best candidates for CPS, the CPS Talent Office will offer teaching jobs throughout the winter and spring to the most promising candidates in shortage areas and refer them to principals as positions open.

Provide Intensive Support for Schools with High Turnover and Teacher Applicant Shortages

Schools with chronic teacher shortages are located in high-poverty neighborhoods, further disadvantaging the students most in need of a skilled educator. To overcome this inequity, we will work with principals at each of these schools to develop a hiring and retention plan. We will also prioritize these schools when placing student teachers and residents, or referring promising teacher candidates with credentials in high-needs subject areas.

Develop Teacher Leaders: Framework Specialists

Unlike other groups I have worked with, the Framework Specialists are visionary and responsive to the needs of teachers right here in Chicago Public Schools.

Who better to lead a districtwide effort to improve teaching than the teachers themselves? Several years ago, CPS recruited its top teachers to spread practices proven to lead to better student achievement.

Mary Tripp, a 7th Grade ELA teacher at Bateman Elementary, is one of the district’s 80 Framework Specialists. Their mission is to improve teacher competence in all areas identified by the CPS Teaching Framework, which includes planning and delivering instruction, creating a classroom environment that supports learning and growing professionally. Like other Framework Specialists, Tripp leads monthly workshops, creates instructional materials and even posts videos of her teaching online at the CPS Knowledge Center.

“I want teachers to recognize that often they are already doing these wonderful things and their students are growing both academically and socially as a result. But we are models for our students. They are never done learning—why should we be? The Framework has helped me personally to grow. I am now more engaging and purposeful. But I am always striving to be better, just like an artist, a dancer, an Olympic athlete or a composer. The Framework is what guides me to keep pushing myself.”

Page Last Modified on Thursday, January 04, 2018