Today, Relay announced that it will begin serving current and aspiring teachers in the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth in summer 2017. Relay will work with local partners to help meet the urgent demand for new teachers in Dallas County, an area that experienced a turnover rate of 19% in 2015, losing 5,000 teachers each year (Bain & Co.).
Relay will launch two programs in summer 2017: a teaching residency for aspiring teachers and a master’s program for current teachers.
The Relay Teaching Residency is a two-year program that enables recent college graduates and career changers to enter the teaching profession through a rigorous, structured apprenticeship. Participants work alongside a mentor teacher (called a Resident Advisor) as a teacher-in-residence during the first year of the program, logging approximately 1,200 classroom hours of clinical experience (the average teacher candidate spends about 300 hours student teaching). Residents move into a full-time teaching position in the second year, while continuing to receive support from Relay professors, earning state certification, and completing a master’s degree.
Relay Dallas-Fort Worth is offering the teaching residency program in response to the urgent need to cultivate diverse teaching talent in the Metroplex. While nearly 80% of students in Dallas county identify as black or Latino, the majority of teachers (52%) are white (Bain & Co.). At Relay campuses across the U.S., nearly 70% of Residents identified as black or Latino in 2016-17, and Relay is recruiting locally and nationally to attract recent college graduates and career changers to begin their teaching careers in Dallas and Fort-Worth.
“In the 20 years that we’ve been working in Dallas-Fort Worth, we’ve seen the impact that powerful role models have on helping diverse students envision brighter futures for themselves,” said Rich Harrison, Chief Academic Officer at Uplift Education. “At a time when we’re facing real teacher shortages in the area, we’re eager to partner with Relay to create new pathways for young people to enter the classroom, and to thrive as teachers and community leaders.”
Relay Dallas-Fort Worth will also offer an Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program for current teachers in the area. Certified teachers with at least one year of experience will have the opportunity to advance their skills in instructional pedagogy and content, including elementary education, secondary English, mathematics, science, and social studies.
“Relay helped me take my teaching to the next level,” said Brittany Jones, a 2015 graduate of Relay Houston’s M.A.T. program who now serves as an instructional coach at KIPP DFW. “After completing my master’s, I was able to confidently use data both to inform my own teaching and to give targeted feedback to the teachers I coach.”
After launching its first Texas campus in Houston in 2014 and its second in San Antonio this year, Relay was invited by partners including Commit!, TeachDFW.org, Uplift Education, and KIPP DFWin Dallas and Fort Worth to expand its offerings to the Metroplex. Relay has served more than 235 teachers from 11 different school partners in Texas over the last 3 years, and is eager to grow its impact and expand its partnerships with local school districts in the Lone Star state.
“The Metroplex is a rapidly growing, richly diverse community,” said Dean of Relay Dallas-Fort Worth Jabari Sims, a former teacher and principal who began his career teaching in Texas. “We are grateful for the warm reception we have received from our partners in Dallas and Fort Worth, and we’re excited to offer high-quality programs to prepare teachers in DFW.”
Relay Dallas-Fort Worth is Relay’s 14th campus in the United States. Relay DFW received a Provisional Certificate of Authorization from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) on February 7, and will begin training teachers on May 20, 2017.