In partnership with Northwest Missouri State University, the North Kansas City School District operated a pilot "Grow Your Own" program this summer in hopes of getting high school students interested in pursuing a teaching career, according to the Kansas City Star.
- The program, which gives students college credit, would be followed by two tuition-free years at a community college, after which the students would transfer to Northwest Missouri State’s Northland Innovation Campus in Gladstone. The district would also give the students on-the-job experience, such as teaching in an after-school program.
The goal of the program is to diversify the teaching force and keep promising young teachers in the community.
As states scramble to address teacher shortages this year, some communities are hoping to avoid such shortages in the future by luring young people into teaching profession, even while they are still in high school.
A blog post earlier this year from the Center for Great Teachers and Leaders at the American Institutes for Research noted that little is known about how “grow your own” programs are designed and implemented. The post featured videos describing various models, such as Pathways2Teaching in Denver and a micro-credentialing program called Educators Rising. Training future teachers is also a high priority for New York City schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.
Surveys show, however, that young people are often not interested in going into a teaching career. An article last year in Educational Leadership discussed that high school teacher preparation programs face challenges such as a “lack of structure for how to implement a gold standard grow-your-own program,” but that new standards created by Educators Rising, along with its Educators Rising Academy curriculum are helping to solve that problem.