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Grow Your Own Grant Program Needs Secondary Math Teacher Candidates

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Grow Your Own Grant Program Needs Secondary Math Teacher Candidates

Tennessee Tech is considering the second round of the Grow Your Own teacher grants.

But, College of Education Associate Dean Julie Baker said if they were to move forward, they would need to find new partner districts. Baker said the first round of candidates are preparing for classes this Summer, but still have eight participant slots to fill.

“Secondary ed math positions, that one has definitely been a little more challenging and that’s one of our high need areas across the state anyway,” Baker said. “So we knew that and that’s a reason why secondary math is targeted in this grant proposal is because we know that schools really need those teachers.”

Baker said they need their candidates in place in the next three weeks and feels confident those final slots will be filled. She said that recruitment has been the most challenging part of the Grow Your Own grant program.

“I think we would maybe try to get a little more creative or spread the word a little more across these communities,” Baker said. “And think about other ways to reach people in the communities who meet the criteria and are eligible. I think that’s definitely something that we would want to focus on with the school districts of course, but that recruitment process for the secondary ed spot that has definitely been a little more challenging than what we anticipated.”

Tech is working with the Putnam, White, Overton, Jackson, Warren and Grundy County School Districts.

However, Baker said that the candidates that are in the program are getting set up with financial aid and class registration. She said this is just the beginning of their next two years in the program to train and keep teachers in their home district.

“We have a meeting with the district directors and some of their supervisors tomorrow,” Baker said. “Just to kind of get an update and go over details with those six districts and like I said we still need about eight more candidates in specific areas with these districts. The districts are also going through the process of hiring all of these candidates into their districts for those teacher assistant positions.”

This is a two-year program, and they have targeted locals who have college hours but did not graduate and candidates with 60 hours of course work completed. These elementary school and secondary math and ESL candidates will be eligible to teach when they finish the program in 2023.


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