How many teachers are 100% ready to enter the classroom on their first day of school? Most educators long to be effective and make a difference but start the year off feeling like they are left to sink or swim. YES, Inc’s mission is to ensure that children have access to effective educators. As part of our vision, this week our agency kicked off our annual Fundamental Foundations Session I, to vet teacher and resident candidates for our partner districts for the 2020-2021 school year. This week’s blog will explain what Fundamental Foundation Session is and layout how the Equity Pipeline helps our mission.
What is the Fundamental Foundation Session (FFS)?
Brenda Waters, Equity Pipeline Director for YES, Inc., defines Fundamental Foundation Session is “a launching pad toward effective educators”. FFS a rigorous process to recruit and prepare educators to place them in the Equity Pipeline so our partner districts have a pool of effective educators to recruit from. The teacher candidate vetting process begins during the month of October and runs through December. Interested candidates undergo a 5 and 15-minute interview/screening process to be invited to participate in FFS, where the vetting process continues. Each FFS event is held between the months of November-April. During sessions, all participating candidates are provided with information, training and the chance to pick which pipeline program best fist their why. In addition, districts share their district’s core values and culture so participants can see who is the best fit. During this time, our agency and district representatives make observations and recommendations based on performance during each of our sessions.
How does FFS work?
By taking time, before the district hires a teacher, to prepare and vet candidates, districts have spent more time with candidates as they grow in effectiveness than a typical hiring process. For the candidate, they are able to do their own vetting and grow more confident in their teaching skills. In our 2018-2019 session, participants went from being at a 5.6 in preparedness to a 9.1 by the end of FFS on a scale of 1-10.
What Does FFS Cost the Participant?
The FFS 100% funded through our Teacher School Leader (TSL) Grant program. We have seen that teachers are not recruited like any other profession. Top name companies are able to fly people in for interviews and the recruitment process. We have taken this approach to recruit teachers as we pay for teacher candidates to join us for FFS. Often, we are asked “Is this program for real?” because people are not used to a recruitment process like this. The simple honest answer is YES! This program has been a dream come true for many participants that wished to enter or continue in the noble field of education simply because they chose to believe in the process, and took the necessary steps to move forward.
Our grant was designed and written specifically to cover 100% of the essential costs to train, prepare, and recruit effective educators including: (travel to and from each session, lodging accommodations, daily per diem, reimbursement for lost wages during sessions for those who need to take unpaid time from a current occupation to attend, training paid for in full and any other direct cost for teacher certification or needed eligible degree program.)
What Are The Equity Pipeline Options?
When applicants are accepted into our program, they decide which pipeline option will best suit them. Teacher candidates looking to join the noble profession can choose between the 4 pipeline options below.
- Equity Pipeline One (EQ1)- Alternative Certification Program: This program is for candidates with an existing bachelor’s degree with a minimum of a 2.5 GPA but lack a teacher certification. YES, Inc. partners with TeachWorthy to provide participants with a 1-year alternative certification program and assistance with placement in one of our partnering districts after successful completion.
- Equity Pipeline Two (EQ2) Certified Teacher Program: This program is for teachers who already hold valid teacher certification. This program provides certified teachers with professional development opportunities and helps build relationships with our partnering districts and their recruitment teams.
- Equity Pipeline Three A (EQ 3A) Graduate Resident Program. This program is for recent college graduates and those seeking to change careers who have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.75 GPS and want to pursue a master of arts in teaching with teacher certification from the accredited Relay Graduate School of Education by participating in a two-year program in partnership with YES, Inc. The Residency program provides participants with a master’s degree with successful completion of the program, a $30,000 salary during their first year and if successful: a teaching position as a teacher of record with our partnering districts with an average $40,000 salary during the second year.
- Equity Pipeline Three B (EQ 3B) undergraduate Resident Program: This program is for paraprofessionals with 60+ undergraduate hours from an accredited college or university with a minimum of a 2.5 GPA, but have not completed a bachelor’s degree. YES, Inc. partners with TeachWorthy to provide paraprofessionals with a bachelor’s degree in education Pacific Islands University and certification through TeachWorthy.
As we continue to strive to provide effective educators, we will continue to create new ways to prepare and recruit in the ever-changing climate of education.
Watch a video from our 2018 FFS 1!