South Carolina is currently experiencing a teacher shortage. But one school district thinks they’ve found a way to help get more teachers into classrooms.
Greenville County Schools launched its GATE program – the Greenville Alternative Teacher Education Program – last fall. The three-year training program is designed to train people new to teaching, often those who are transitioning from another career. Teachers-to-be spend three weeks in intensive training before being assigned to a classroom in one of two subject areas where educators are in high demand.
GATE participants are early- or mid-career professionals with bachelor’s degrees and relevant experience in the subject they’d like to teach.
“We look for people who are interested in teaching math or science at the middle or secondary level and who do not have certification in education,” said Debra Lee, clinical director of the GATE Program.
Participants benefit from the program by avoiding the additional time and expense of attending college for a year or more to take the classes required by the state to be certified before being allowed to teach. Participants also begin to earn a teacher’s salary following their brief introductory seminar. After three years of teaching in a Greenville County School and continual training, including monthly seminars, professional development classes and other conferences to help them develop their teaching skills, participants earn a full professional teaching license from the South Carolina Department of Education.
The GATE program began with nine participants last year. It is now accepting applications for 10 new prospective teachers to begin working this fall.
Greenville County School District is one of TransformSC’s five entire districts designing, launching and promoting transformative practices for every student in every classroom every day. For more information on TransformSC, visit: www.sccompetes.org/transformsc .
This post contains excerpts from an article published by the Greenville News. Read the full article here>>