Aspire Teacher Support Project

Apply Now!

Click HERE to apply

for all Program Options
 

Deadline to Apply is June 30, 2015
 

To apply as a mentor, visit wheelock.edu/mentor

Why It Matters

The National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (NCTAF) (2011) reports "over a third of the nation's new teachers leave the profession within five years. In urban school districts, one in five new teachers leave the classroom after just one year, and nearly half leave within five years." The NCTAF (2011) "urges the development and adoption of a new approach to teacher deployment that mobilizes learning teams comprising new teachers, teacher mentors, and teacher retirees..."

The goal of the Aspire Teacher Support Project (TSP) is to support, prepare, inspire and retain the next generation of effective transformative educators.

TSP works with teachers to increase their efficacy and retention through professional development and mentoring. Teachers can apply for one of the three program options below depending on their grade-level, experience-level, needs, and goals. Please read the Program Options section carefully to find the best program for you! All program options will take place from September 2015 to June 2016.

TSP, formerly called 5oaks New Teacher Support Project, is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich.

Program Options

Option 1: Aspire Professional Development Program

Who can participate? PreK-2nd grade teachers within their first three years of teaching. Also eligible are PreK-2nd grade teachers who have been in the field for 3+ years, but are within their first 3 years of teaching in a new district.*

Teachers engage in three competency-based hybrid professional development modules, in order to gain content knowledge and develop instructional skills in three areas:

  • Teaching Each Learner
  • Foundations of Reading
  • Operations and Algebraic Thinking

5oaks Educator Mentor programThe modules provide a unique hybrid experience combining on-line and in-person learning. Throughout the school year, teachers meet in-person as a class about once a month (9 meetings total) and complete online coursework, which includes readings, discussion boards, videos, and practicum assignments. Aligned closely with the Massachusetts teacher evaluation rubric, these modules provide teachers with core instructional skills in three content areas.

Program Benefits:

  • Up to 6 In-Service Credits upon completion of all modules (2 credits per module)
  • Opportunity to continue developing content knowledge and instructional skills
  • Membership in a supportive community of peers training together for one school year
  • Access to effective learning resources within each hybrid course

Option 2: Aspire Mentoring Program

Who can participate? PreK-5th grade teachers within their 2nd or 3rd year of teaching. Also eligible are PreK-5th grade teachers who have been in the field for 3+ years, but are within their first 3 years of teaching in a new district.*

Techer support mentoringThis program is designed for teachers who are seeking an experienced educator to create a personalized mentoring plan with them. Teachers in this program are assigned a mentor, either a colleague within their school or a retired educator, who has been identified as a strong educator. Mentors conduct classroom observations four times per month and support their mentee through additional activities throughout the school year. The mentor-mentee relationship is non-evaluative and personalized to the mentee's needs and goals.

Program Benefits:

  • Opportunity to fulfill Department of Elementary and Secondary Education required mentoring hours
  • A voucher to enroll for free in a Wheelock College graduate course
  • Personalized mentoring
  • Access to additional resources provided by the Wheelock College Aspire Institute to support the mentoring partnerships (when applicable and available)

For information about applying to be a mentor, visit wheelock.edu/mentor.

Option 3: Aspire Plus Program

Who can participate? PreK-2nd grade teachers within their 2nd or 3rd year of teaching. Also eligible are PreK-2nd grade teachers who have been in the field for 3+ years, but are within their first 3 years of teaching in a new district.*

This program combines the two core elements of the Aspire Teacher Support Project. Teachers participate in the competency-based professional development modules and receive mentoring support. Like the Aspire Mentoring Program, the mentors are either a colleague within the teacher's school or a retired educator. Mentors conduct classroom observations twice per month and support their mentee through additional activities throughout the school year. The mentor-mentee relationship is non-evaluative and personalized to the mentee's needs and goals. In addition, mentors in this program are knowledgeable about the competency-based professional development modules so they can support their mentee in this area as well.

Program benefits:

  • Up to 6 In-Service Credits upon completion of all modules (2 credits per module)
  • Opportunity to continue developing content knowledge and instructional skills
  • Access to effective learning resources within each hybrid course
  • Opportunity to fulfill Department of Elementary and Secondary Education required mentoring hours
  • Membership in a supportive community of peers training together for one school year
  • Personalized mentoring
  • Access to additional resources provided by the Wheelock College Aspire Institute to support the mentoring partnerships (when applicable and available)

For information about applying to be a mentor, visit wheelock.edu/mentor

*NOTE: Admission for participants who do not meet these qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Mora Owens, Project Manager, at mowens@wheelock.edu to discuss admission if this applies to you.

Additional Information

Participants in all programs meet as an entire group at three gatherings throughout the school year, the first being an orientation in September. The two other meetings provide a chance for participants to connect across programs and form a wider support network.

Please note that upon approval from Wheelock College's Institutional Review Board, Aspire will seek to evaluate the impact of the TSP. In support of this evaluation, Aspire will ask participants to complete related data collection activities. Participation in any evaluation activities, however, is strictly voluntary and in no way will determine program eligibility or access to services and benefits. If you have any questions or concerns, please email Mora Owens, Project Manager, at mowens@wheelock.edu.

Timeline

The Aspire Teacher Support Project will take place during the 2015-16 school year.

The deadline to apply is June 30, 2015. Applicants will be contacted regarding admission to TSP on a rolling basis beginning in June.

Have more questions? Contact Mora Owens at mowens@wheelock.edu.

For information about applying to be a mentor, visit wheelock.edu/mentor.

Photo of teacher and young students courtesy of Brande Jackson via Flickr and used under Creative Commons License.

Photo of teacher and one student courtesy of Jaimie Duplass's Fotolia portfolio and used under a Royalty Free license.

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