- Year 2022
- NSF Noyce Award # 1758353
- First Name Tanya
- Last Name Berezovski
- Discipline Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Geosciences, Mathematics, Physics
Victor Donnay, Bryn Mawr College
Tanya Berezovski, Saint Joseph’s University
PRNP-S is very mindful of the fact that NSF gives out substantial funding to recruit new STEM teachers. We believe that in order to make that investment meaningful, you need to put in place a strong program that retains and develops excellent STEM teachers. We all know the statistics of how many new teachers leave the classroom after their first year. We feel our approach is important because it helps to respond to this critical issue of retaining teachers.
PRNP-S asks the question “What kind of supports does a first and second year teacher need in order to stay in the teaching profession and to become engaged, excellent classroom teachers and change agents in their schools.
We are building on a capacity building grant that we received from NSF to develop a new teacher support program. In this model, we had first and second year teachers attend monthly meetings and work with external mentors for support and development of pedagogical and classroom management skills. We learned from this iteration that it is too late to start in the first teaching year because teachers become so overwhelmed with what they have to do that they feel they do not have time to attend other PD. In our new model, we work with pre-service teachers so that they build a belonging community and find value in the work they are doing together. This keeps new teachers coming out to monthly sessions and continuing to build their social capital. Our framework includes a focus on Education for Sustainability and Culturally Responsive Teaching which engages our pre- and new in-service teachers and keeps them coming back for 3 years of support and development.
We have found that by using our monthly Cohort meeting and mentoring support approach that our teachers are staying and continue to be excited about working with each other. Our first cohort saw all 5 of our classroom teacher finish their 2nd year of teaching and our next cohort of 24 teachers will all remain in the classroom for their 2nd year. We have an additional 25 teachers who will be graduating their preparation programs in May and who are taking jobs in high need schools in the Philadelphia area and who are enthusiastic about returning to our monthly cohort sessions where they find support for their personal well-being, as well as their professional and instructional learning.
This poster is called Beyond the Plan. As a project under the Philadelphia Regional Institute for STEM Educators (PRISE), we are able to expand on what our original proposal indicated that we would do to have broader impacts in the educational community:1. We formed a partnership with the West Chester Citizens and Scholars program in which their pre-service and new in-service teachers join with our Noyce Scholars for Cohort meetings broadening the social network and resources for our Scholars2. We have been able to connect our Noyce Scholars to a variety of other projects that PRISE runs which allows them to continue to broaden their social networks, feel connected to a larger community of STEM teachers and gives them opportunities to develop teacher leadership skills3. By focusing our PRNP-S program on EfS and CRT and their implications for social justice, we have found content that engages teachers and their students so that STEM becomes relevant for their lives. This helps build STEM Literacy and creates agency in both teachers and students to become change agents for good.4. We have connected our Noyce Scholars from this grant to Noyce Scholars in the Philadelphia area allowing better placements for pre-service teachers in classrooms where other Noyce teachers also focus on EfS and CRT and have extended the Noyce social network for support and opportunities