In an effort to multiply the number of teachers and provide quality education for students, teacher residency program Project Inspire pairs the best teachers with disadvantaged students. Future teachers will be paired with expert teachers, enabling them to learn from the best while earning their masters degree in education.

Soft Skills“You’re not a perfect teacher from the beginning,” said science teacher Adrianne Cowan. “You have to develop your craft.”

Six years ago Project Inspire was launched by the Public Education Foundation in Hamilton County, Virginia.  The idea was to train middle and high school teachers by creating a residency for a year, where new teachers were in the classrooms of effective and highly experienced teachers.  After the residency, graduates must spend at least four years teaching in a struggling school in Hamilton County.

Rapid growth is planned for the project.  The number of residents is set to double next year, from 25 aspiring teachers to 50.  There is also a plan to begin a partnership with Lee University, and include elementary literacy teachers.

“We are excited about the wider net we can cast,” said Mark Neal, director of Project Inspire. “It’s all about increasing the district’s access to a diverse and talented teaching force.”

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