Calvert County Public Schools (Maryland)
Calvert County Public Schools is planning a summit to promote their Teacher Academy of Maryland (TAM) program. The TAM program is a high school program that consists of four core teacher education courses and an internship in a local school. The main goal is to recruit prospective 8th grade and 9th grade students to enroll in the TAM program. The summit will have meaningful breakout sessions that cover topics of importance, such as the benefits of becoming a teacher, team building strategies, and the opportunities the TAM program provides, including scholarships. In addition Dr. Richard Warren, the current Maryland Teacher of the Year, will be the main speaker. The day will include recruiters from Maryland colleges who will explain their teacher education programs so students can begin to understand the process and create a manageable plan. Approximately 20 eighth grade students from each of the six middle schools will attend along with 20 ninth graders and all current TAM students from each of the four high schools. The program will reach approximately 250 students.
This initiative addresses the pending teacher shortage and a need to "grow our own," with consideration for increasing the number of males and students of color who participate. In 2017, the state had 2,140 TAM students enrolled. Since 2013 the enrollments have ranged from 1,736 to 2,140 in 22 districts, so this confirms room for growth. As a small, rural county we strongly believe that we must inspire students about the teacher academy program before they choose high school courses. Ultimately, they will be well informed and well versed in the opportunities available for TAM students, including scholarships.
The benefits are immense. Current TAM students will be provided with a day of educational support. Eighth and ninth grade students will be well informed about the TAM program so they can make plans to register before they complete high school registration forms. Educators benefit by increased enrollment in the current TAM programs and classrooms benefit because additional TAM students will be interns in local classrooms. The community will benefit because students will see the value in teaching and commit to a profession that supports all others.
The Calvert County TAM Team hosted over 100 eighth and ninth grade students at the College of Southern Maryland on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. The Maryland State teacher of the year was our speaker, students attended interactive break out sessions, and visited with college representatives. Preliminary survey results show that students are more likely to consider the TAM program and teaching in the future.
"Thank you for the grant! We immensely appreciate your support for recruiting educators." - Dr. Melanie Sanchez