Denver Public Schools (DPS), the fastest-growing urban school district in the country, continues to pioneer the education industry through a unique learning model that’s recruiting business professionals and career-changers with no teaching experience — creating a new generation of teachers and leading to innovative solutions in the classroom. And, in January, when “changing careers” is a popular New Year’s resolution, this timely recruiting model is a win-win for teachers, students and the community.
“Talented, effective teachers at any point in their career are incredibly important for student success,” said Shannon Hagerman, director of Teacher Preparation Pathways for DPS. “Retaining professionals with varied life proficiencies – from attorneys to doctors, engineers, pilots and others – brings relevant experiences to students, especially in math, science and special education classrooms, to ensure their success.”
“These ‘corporate-gone-classroom’ teachers have a personal understanding of the content they teach, and they are able to represent this content in ways that are understandable to students. Most importantly, they bring an alternative perspective to the classroom, and our students benefit from this type of inspiration,” reinforced Hagerman.
Denver Teacher Residency Program (DTR) and Denver Teach Today (DTT) are unique programs designed to prepare, license, hire and keep skilled teachers in DPS classrooms. DTR and DTT are alternative ways for professionals, who already have a bachelor’s degree, to jump into teaching and transition from a different career. These programs are a steady pipeline for bringing talented professionals to the teaching industry and specifically to Denver Public Schools.
Through its DTR and DTT programs, DPS is making a powerful impact on local education while guiding other school districts, including a new residency in Seattle, on a national level. This innovative recruiting model is influencing the future of teaching and learning, in and out of the classroom.
DTR is a more time-intensive, in-depth program that puts professionals in the classroom for an entire school year before licensing them to teach on their own; while DTT is an accelerated, fast-tracked, five-week course designed to quickly prepare professionals for teaching in DPS.
Teachers who go through DTR earn a master’s degree from the University of Denver, have supported time teaching in the classroom and are guaranteed a job in DPS. Once teachers finish their fourth year teaching in the district, they receive full reimbursement of their tuition in the program.
Currently, DTR and DTT are accepting applications for this year’s programs. The application deadline for DTR is February 15, 2014. The application deadline for DTT is March 7, 2014. Typically, the applications take two to four weeks to complete, so applicants are encouraged to visit www.denverteacherresidency.org or www.denverteachtoday.org, to learn more and begin the application process. Both programs are looking for individuals from all backgrounds and careers, but the need is especially high for bilingual teachers who would be interested in teaching in Spanish or in the area of secondary math or science.
Applicants are not required to have teaching experience. All applicants must complete the online applications at www.denverteacherresidency.org or www.denverteachtoday.org.
Components of the applications include personal information, educational background, university transcripts, essays, references, résumé, and verification of a passing score for the PLACE or Praxis II exam, the exams anyone who wants to teach in Colorado must take.
For more information about both exams, visit the DTR or DTT websites and click on FAQs.
There are a limited number of resident spaces available. Once the application process is complete, DTR and DTT invite applicants for interviews and Phase II of the process. More information can be found at the above websites.