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TEACHER TRAINING Teach For America • Dallas–Fort Worth Summer Institute

The summer is an incredibly important time for new Teach For America corps members across the country. Each year, thousands of young leaders joining Teach For America attend a summer-long training institute. This year, for the first time ever, we are elated to host our very own training institute here in Dallas called the Teach For America DFW Summer Institute. We believe excellent teacher training is the first step to expanded opportunities for students. At the Teach For America DFW Summer Institute, corps members will be equipped to perform on their first day of school and beyond. Through teaching summer school, learning from expert educators, receiving immediate feedback through rapid coaching cycles, and participating in collaborative planning, corps members will become proficient in the foundational skills of strong instruction and management, as well as building relationships with students, families, and colleagues. Together with Dallas ISD, SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, and Momentous Institute powered by the Salesmanship Club, we are combining our assets through the Teach For America DFW Summer Institute to build better teachers for our community. We know the key to success is to lean into partnership to accomplish more for our teachers and students. We invite you to learn more about the Teach For America DFW Summer Institute by reading this brochure or attending one of several events this summer organized to give you a glimpse into the training and leadership development that Teach For America corps members receive at Institute. We are grateful for your support of Teach For America. Together, we will continue ensuring that every child in Dallas–Fort Worth has access to an excellent education. With determination and hope,

Alexandra Hales Executive Director, Teach For America • Dallas–Fort Worth



Story of Now


The Need for a Great Education


Our Two-Part Theory of Change


Summer Institute


Week By Week


Three Schools, One Vision


Teach For America • Dallas–Fort Worth


Dallas Independent School District


Momentous Institute


SMU Simmons School of Education


Words We Live By


The Duck


Regional Advisory Board


Institute Leadership Team


Teach For America • Dallas–Fort Worth 600 N. Pearl Street Suite 2300 | Dallas, TX 75201 | 214.754.7104 |






Teach For America’s mission is to help build the movement to end educational inequity. We do this by recruiting and developing talented, committed leaders who will fight to transform the academic and life trajectories of students from low-income communities. There are many important efforts happening to address the injustices facing America’s children growing up in poverty and we strive to be a key partner among many. Our commitment starts with developing teacher leaders who offer their students the opportunity to attain an excellent education, and it continues through the work our alumni pursue across education and related fields. We drive change through leadership, ultimately with and for the sake of our students, both inside and outside the classroom. We believe that this is a unique and important role to play and our efforts, alongside many others, will enable us to reach our vision of “One Day” in our lifetime.

One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education. 2

A community-wide effort is gaining momentum to improve the present reality for students attending public school. By relentlessly pursuing what is best for kids, our corps members and alumni are working with local partners to blaze a trail for lasting change for all students across the Metroplex. This year, our 360 corps members teaching in 6 school districts will work to close this opportunity gap for DFW students. These teachers join more than 500 alumni working in education across DFW. Together, they will impact more than 50,000 students daily. By 2020, we aim to work in partnership with the community to dramatically increase college persistence by tripling the number of students graduating from high school college-ready. In support of this work, TFA–DFW will impact 100,000 students throughout the Metroplex by the end of the decade.



Big things are happening in education in Dallas–Fort Worth.


Only of third grade students in Dallas County met the Texas state standard for reading in 2014.1


Only of students in Dallas County graduated college-ready in 2014.1


OUR TWO-PART THEORY OF CHANGE We recruit and develop outstanding leaders who commit to making an immediate impact by teaching in low-income communities and become lifelong leaders in the long-term movement to end educational inequity. TRANSFORMATIONAL TEACHERS


• Since launching in 2009, TFA–DFW has recruited over 1,200 corps members to North Texas. • TFA–DFW teachers are more effective than other early career teachers. 2 • In math & science, TFA–DFW teachers in their second year outperform both new and experienced teachers. 2 • Students taught by TFA–DFW teachers excel on the STAAR. 2

• Over 70% of TFA alumni work in education in North Texas.

› 190 alumni work as teachers. › 70+ alumni serve as principals, deans, assistant principals, and instructional coaches.

› Other alumni fill key

positions in school administration and various education non-profits.

0 0 0 , 50

During the 2015–2016 school year, TFA–DFW’s 360 corps members and 500 alumni working in education will impact over 50,000 students across the Metroplex.

Source: Commit! Study, 2014 Source: Dallas ISD, Classroom Effectiveness Index, 2015




SUMMER INSTITUTE Teach For America DFW Summer Institute is a seven-week pre-service training program that will transform student outcomes and teacher development. Through an innovative approach, TFA will develop curriculum, train teachers, and provide resources for educators and organizations across DFW. Excellent teacher training is the first step toward expanded opportunities for students.

TEACH FOR AMERICA PROGRAM CONTINUUM Corps Member Recruitment & Selection

Ongoing Training & Coaching

Summer Institute

Alumni Investment & Support




At the center of Summer Institute is a focus on teacher development and coaching.

Strong teacher training drives student results in summer school classrooms.

The program serves as a resource and training ground for a community of educators beyond the TFA network.


ELEMENTS OF SUMMER INSTITUTE CURRICULUM Teach For America DFW Summer Institute operates with four priorities to ensure that all kids have the opportunity to succeed in summer school and beyond. • STUDENTS: Grow as learners and leaders on the path to college persistence.

• STAFF: Expand our impact by investing in people and partnership.

• TEACHERS: Prepare for the journey toward leadership in the classroom and beyond.

• COMMUNITY: Steward collective action toward progress and persistence for all students.

These priorities drive the four key types of training for new teachers:



Through professional learning and coaching, teachers will learn to execute lessons effectively, internalize studentlearning objectives, evaluate student progress, and select the right teaching methods to meet these objectives.

Facilitated discussions around diversity and identity will help teachers build a learning culture that is inclusive, safe, and productive for all students. Teachers will learn how to build relationships with students, families, and colleagues.



Community engagement activities will provide teachers the opportunity to learn about communities across DFW, access resources in the local landscape, and build relationships with students and families outside of the classroom.

Whether transitioning geographically, professionally, or both, it takes support and planning. Teachers will receive resources and participate in activities to ensure a smooth transition into the Dallas–Fort Worth community and the Teach For America movement. 7


SUMMER INSTITUTE WEEK BY WEEK WELCOME TO TEACH FOR AMERICA & DALLAS–FORT WORTH “WE ARE POWERFUL, YET UNFINISHED” We welcome corps members to Teach For America and to their new home, DFW. Corps members will prepare for their summer of training and transition by getting to know one another and TFA staff, learning about their charge as corps members, settling into living quarters at SMU, and onboarding with their school districts.



INTRODUCTION TO TEACHING & LEARNING “WE ARE LEARNERS” Intensive training on summer school sites kicks off this week. Corps members will begin working with the many educators from Dallas ISD, SMU, and Momentous Institute who will support their development this summer and beyond. Professional learning focuses on executing lessons with purpose, building relationships with students, creating a productive classroom environment informed by key social-emotional principles, and exploring how identity shapes leadership inside and outside the classroom.

ENGAGING STUDENTS IN LEARNING “WE ARE CREATORS” This week, corps members step into summer school classrooms to lead instruction under the guidance of Dallas ISD faculty mentors and TFA coaches. Professional learning continues with focuses on how to engage learners throughout a lesson and how to utilize daily student data to make decisions. Experiences across the Metroplex will give corps members the opportunity to learn about the many communities that make up DFW.



LEADING STUDENTS TO LEARNING OUTCOMES “WE ARE FLEXIBLE” As corps member confidence grows in the classroom, coaching and professional learning will delve deeper into previously introduced topics. Focuses for the week include sharpening execution skills in specific parts of the lesson cycle, responding to students when expectations are not met, developing questioning techniques, and exploring how our biases can impact how we lead in our schools. This four-day week ends with an Independence Day celebration for students, families, and staff at school campuses.


STUDENT OWNERSHIP IN LEARNING “WE ARE RELENTLESS” Corps members begin making the shift from executing to planning lessons this week. Coaching and learning focuses on developing stronger questioning methods, planning the practice portion of a lesson, and continuing to support students to meet behavioral expectations. In the diversity learning series, corps members will explore the role stereotypes and assumptions can have on relationships with students and colleagues. Corps members will visit with mission-similar local organizations who work against the impact of stereotypes in order to further equity.


CELEBRATING STUDENT LEARNING “WE ARE UNITED” During this last week of summer school for elementary and middle school students, teachers and students will prepare for end-of-summer district examinations and begin to say goodbye. Corps members will continue to build planning skills and to differentiate for individual students during practice. As two of our three summer school sites come to a close, corps members, students, and their families will have a chance to share in the celebration of students’ progress during summer school at a close-out event.


PREPARING FOR STUDENT LEARNING THIS SCHOOL YEAR “WE ARE POWERFUL, YET UNFINISHED” During this last week of summer school for high school students and the final week of Summer Institute for all corps members, training shifts to preparing for the school year ahead. Corps members will learn about setting goals and a vision to drive their classroom leadership, learn to plan backwards from state standards, and begin developing a culture plan for their school year classroom, based on all they learned during summer school. Corps members will engage with their school year principal around their summer school students’ growth and their strengths and areas of development as an educator. They will then begin training with their respective school districts.

THREE SCHOOLS, ONE VISION This summer, we will serve students who attend Dallas ISD Division One schools in the Northwest Dallas community and work alongside Dallas ISD faculty and staff at three summer school sites in the Thomas Jefferson Feeder Pattern: Stephen C. Foster Elementary School, Francisco “Pancho� Medrano Middle School, and Thomas Jefferson High School. We are especially honored to be working alongside Timothy Hise, Division One Summer School Executive Director, and a truly outstanding group of Dallas ISD summer school principals, assistant principals, mentor teachers, and other school support staff as we drive learning for both students and teachers together. The Thomas Jefferson Feeder Pattern boasts:

2 National Blue Ribbon Schools National Center for Urban School 1 Transformation School of Excellence 21 TEA state accountability distinctions Schools serving nearly 10,000 students with some of the best teachers, leaders, and programs in the Metroplex




STEPHEN C. FOSTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 3700 Clover Lane Music meets math and art collides with science in a fine arts integrated curriculum. Students learn to work hard, get smart, and go to college!

FRANCISCO MEDRANO MIDDLE SCHOOL 9815 Brockbank Drive Students learn through the pillars of excellence, effort, and esteem, providing them with tools for success beyond middle school. With 24 distinguished-eligible teachers and a STEM Teaching Award winner, students enjoy an exciting and productive learning environment.

THOMAS JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL 4001 Walnut Hill Lane A focus on leadership and career pathway options guides students to be confident individuals who are ready to make a difference in the world. The high school has also achieved recent academic distinctions and boasts award-winning fine arts programs.


BUILDING A FOUNDATION Through an innovative partnership, Teach For America DFW will lead a collaborative new teacher preparation program. • A TFA designed program will allow collaborative support of novice teachers. TFA coaches and Dallas ISD faculty mentors will work side-byside to support new teacher development during summer school. TFA Professional Learning Leaders and Momentous Institute Faculty have worked together to design classroom culture training and will facilitate that training together this summer. • Teach For America DFW developed over 700 rigorous, student-centered lesson plans aligned to Dallas ISD summer school curriculum that will be available to all Dallas ISD summer school staff across the district. • On Monday and Tuesday evenings, TFA coaches and curriculum writers, Dallas ISD faculty mentors, SMU faculty, Uplift Education staff, corps members, and other Dallas ISD teachers will come together to discuss, rehearse, and plan for excellence in content-specific professional learning communities.

“The Teach For America DFW Summer Institute is a unique partnership opportunity. We know that a teacher with outstanding preparation is best positioned to lead ALL students to succeed. And, we believe it is possible to create a teacher training program that heightens the level of collaboration in our community to build even better teachers. This summer, we are joining together to transform the way we train new teachers in Dallas.”


—Alexandra Hales, Executive Director, Teach For America DFW


JOINING A COMMUNITY Teach For America DFW Summer Institute will build upon Dallas ISD’s current efforts to transform student learning. • Focusing our summer school efforts in one Northwest Dallas community, we will work in three schools. • We will lean on local school leaders who have proven that excellence is possible in every school and for every student. • Principals, assistant principals, and mentor teachers will guide new teachers in their development into classroom leaders. • Through this partnership, we will strengthen and expand school relationships, leverage existing resources, identify and meet the needs of the summer school program, and develop shared outcomes for summer success.

“The expansion of our summer learning labs allows us to reach more of our most at-risk students, engaging them throughout the summer in preparing for the upcoming school year. Partnering with Teach For America not only allows us to provide opportunities for significant academic growth for students during the summer, but also support the development of high quality teachers who will be entering our classrooms full-time in the fall.” —Mike Miles, Superintendent, Dallas ISD



FOCUSING ON THE WHOLE CHILD Momentous Institute will provide training on building students’ social emotional health in order to provide a strong foundation for outstanding academic achievement. • Working closely with TFA staff, Momentous Institute has designed teacher training modules that incorporate best practices from TFA’s 25 years of experience and integrated them into an approach to classroom culture based on the principles of social emotional health. • Faculty will lead sessions on building positive relationships with students and families to build students’ social emotional health skill set and increase student achievement. • Momentous Institute modules will use a strengths-based approach, tailored to the individual social emotional needs of each child and family.

“Momentous Institute is committed to transforming kids’ lives through building a solid social and emotional health foundation to improve learning. We are thrilled to partner with Teach For America this summer to equip teachers with the skills to create a strong classroom culture for students to succeed.” —Michelle Kinder, Executive Director, Momentous Institute



COLLABORATING WITH EDUCATORS Faculty and master teachers affiliated with SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development will lead a reflective time for broader learning. • Under the direction of SMU faculty and master teachers, corps members will meet in professional learning communities that provide a supportive yet challenging space. • With support from SMU faculty, teachers will practice teaching new lessons, react to classroom management dilemmas, discuss feedback, and analyze student progress in order to guide and improve instruction. • Together, teachers and faculty will study the fundamentals of teaching and practice techniques to prepare for all elements of classroom instruction.

“Teach For America provides a valuable pipeline of teachers into some of our city’s most challenging classrooms. We are proud to serve as a major certification partner for Teach For America instructors in the region and delighted to open the Simmons School’s facilities and resources for the Teach For America DFW Summer Institute. The teachers will be a welcome addition to our campus this summer.” —R. Gerald Turner, President, SMU


WORDS WE LIVE BY WE ARE POWERFUL, YET UNFINISHED Week 1 of Summer Institute introduces this leadership orientation to create a strong foundation. We are positioned to dramatically improve outcomes for students in partnership with others, even as we continue to develop our own capacity to lead.

WE ARE LEARNERS Week 2 of Summer Institute is all about learning. We must continuously recognize the capacity of others and of ourselves to grow and change. We do not have all of the answers, but we will work to better understand ourselves, our team, and our work.

WE ARE CREATORS Week 3 of Summer Institute focuses on being entrepreneurial in thought and in action. We are creators by considering multiple perspectives and avenues and inviting others to create alongside us.

WE ARE FLEXIBLE Week 4 of Summer Institute emphasizes flexibility. We recognize that plans are important, but that change is inevitable. Our work is full of tough choices; we won’t get everything right, but we will continue to move forward.

WE ARE RELENTLESS Week 5 of Summer Institute employs a spirit of relentlessness. We practice what we preach and ensure our actions align with our expectations for ourselves and for others. We work to the finish line.

WE ARE UNITED Week 6 of Summer Institute focuses on building a united team to ensure that we are keeping students’ best interests in mind. Along with our community, we are a team that has been brought together to further progress and persistence for all students.

WE ARE POWERFUL, YET UNFINISHED Week 7 of Summer Institute circles back to where we began. We are stronger than where we started, but we still have room to grow.


THE DUCK It all began in the summer of 2009… A corps member named Allen (who is now a school leader in DFW) was having a rough day during Summer Institute. Two fellow corps members decided to cheer him up by buying him a gift — a yellow rubber duck. They dubbed it the “good luck duck.” Allen shared this gesture of kindness by passing the duck along to others who were having a tough time, and they, in turn, continued to pay it forward. The duck has become a symbol of solidarity throughout the Teach For America • Dallas–Fort Worth experience. At every All-Corps Conference, staff recognize five corps members who have represented the Teach For America core values and present them with their very own rubber duck. This is a cherished badge of honor. At the end of every school year, newly inducted alumni pass down the original rubber duck to rising second year corps members during an annual “Passing of the Duck” ceremony. Like those that have come before them, the 2015 corps will be introduced to the story of the duck during their Summer Institute experience, and the tradition will live on.

The duck is our mascot…and so much more.



Todd Williams



Community Volunteer

Executive Director, Commit!

Catherine Rose Vice Chair

Community Volunteer

Garrett Boone

Lee Hobson

Chairman Emeritus and Co-founder The Container Store

Founder and Managing Partner Highside Capital Management

David J. Chard

Chris Mahowald

Dean of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, SMU

President & Founder RSF Partners

Kelly Compton

Senior Partner & Managing Director The Boston Consulting Group

J. Puckett

Executive Director The Hoglund Foundation

Jeremy Smith

Kathy Crow Community Volunteer

Executive Director Rainwater Charitable Foundation

Bev Dale

Michael Sorrell

Community Volunteer

President Paul Quinn College

Larry Dale

Aleta Stampley

President & CEO Dale Resources, LLC

Community Volunteer

Margaret Hirsch

Mike Terry

President The Hirsch Family Foundation

President & CEO M. Terry Enterprises, Inc. 18



Alexandra Hales

Elizabeth Fritze Cheek

Rea Foster

Executive Director

Vice President Teacher Leadership Development

Senior Managing Director Development

Maggie Rieth

Lacey Tomanek

Cary Wright

Managing Director Operations

Senior Managing Director Partnerships and Human Capital

Chief of Staff


One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.

Teach For America • Dallas–Fort Worth 600 N. Pearl Street Suite 2300 | Dallas, TX 75201 | 214.754.7104 |





Teach For America DFW Summer Institute 2015  
Teach For America DFW Summer Institute 2015