SF schools offer pathway for new teachers

The San Francisco Unified School District has come up with a new plan to alleviate a teacher shortage in The City, district officials announced Monday.

The newly created SFUSD Pathway to Teaching is a one-year credentialing program that will recruit and train new teachers, preparing them for standards-based and culturally relevant curriculum for students in The City’s highest-need schools and subject areas, according to district officials.

SFUSD officials are now accepting applications and nominations for the program.

The program is a response to a teacher shortage faced not only by The City, but the entire country, according to district officials.

The program is aimed to attract aspiring teachers who might not be able to leave their current job without financial support while training to become a teacher. The program is designed to be accessible and affordable, as the new teachers in training would earn a full salary while they’re earning their teaching credential, district officials said.

SFUSD chief Academic Officer Brent Stephens said in a statement:

“We need the SFUSD Pathway as another option for aspiring teachers to get their credential. We’ve heard a lot of interest from individuals who are already working in our school communities as a paraprofessional, substitute teacher, or an after school service provider.”

In its first year, SFUSD Pathway to Teaching is seeking elementary multiple subject teachers, elementary Spanish bilingual teachers and K-12 special education teachers. Over time district officials are hoping to expand to include more subject areas and grade levels.

Applicants who pass the selection process will then participate in an intensive training program next spring and summer. Trainees will build skills necessary for a long and successful teaching career within the district, according to district officials.

Beginning next school year, the new teachers will be able to lead their own classrooms with coaching from an expert teacher and support of ongoing development opportunities. At the end of the school year, successful teachers will be recommended for their preliminary teaching credential, offered a job within the district and two years of formal induction coaching and support.

The new program is just another option for prospective teachers interested in working in the district. SFUSD officials and partner organizations launched the San Francisco Teacher Residency seven years ago.

That program combines a yearlong classroom apprenticeship with targeted master’s level coursework at a local university.

Anyone wishing to learn more about the program or wanting to apply or nominate a potential teacher can visit sfusdpathwaytoteaching.org. The deadline for the first program is Jan 16, 2017.