Teach For America Moves Summer Institute Online

A new project in Serbia allows people to learn languages taught by refugees via video chat during the COVID-19 pandemic

Teach for America is largely known for its Summer Training Institute, and this year the nonprofit is preparing to move its program online. Running June 11 to July 10, the full network of incoming corps members will participate in a virtual summer training program together. The institute will include members of 2,500 schools and 350 communities to participate in a rigorous virtual summer program that will prepare new teachers to thrive and impact change as future educators and leaders.

“Every teacher preparation program is going through the exact same thing right now,” said LaNiesha Cobb Sanders, a senior vice president at TFA who oversees the summer training in an interview with Chalkbeat. “It is being responsive to the environment that we’re in.”

“I just think that we have to prepare ourselves that on the other side of this when the school year starts our kids are going to need massive academic remediation from just the disruption of their school year and they’re going to need real supports around social and emotional learning, because this is a traumatic experience for all of us,” Crystal Rountree, executive director of Teach For America in Charlotte said in an interview with WFAE.

The program recruits members to become TFA “corps members” that commit to teaching for two years in a low-income community, where they’re employed by local schools.

Some teacher residency and fellowship programs, including the New York City Teaching Fellows program have had to scale back their program due to coronavirus-related budget cuts, while others like The New Teacher Project, an organization in the United States with a mission of ensuring that poor and minority students get equal access to effective teachers, decided not to launch its Minnesota program as planned due to COVID-19.

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