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Project 012: Help Someone Else Teach for America

For Project 012 we asked you to think of ways your local public schools could be improved. David Shepard proposes we give teachers an extra pair of hands. Details after the jump. "I recently finished my undergraduate degree in Economics and Urban Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, where..


For Project 012 we asked you to think of ways your local public schools could be improved. David Shepard proposes we give teachers an extra pair of hands. Details after the jump."I recently finished my undergraduate degree in Economics and Urban Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, where I was very involved in education initiatives in St. Louis and East St. Louis. Now, I am a first-year teacher in West Philadelphia. Here is my idea:As a first-year teacher, the thing that I have noticed most is that teachers seem to have an incredible number of ideas for their students. I wish I had the time to take them on field trips, tutor them, and stay in communication with their parents every week, while at the same time making sure I have time available to create posters, plan engaging lessons and make copies. Furthermore, I don't think that any two teachers have the same ideas. Therefore, I think that the best way for individuals to help students in their community would be to partner with a teacher. Teacher partners could run errands for teachers who need last minute supplies, help plan and chaperon field trips, or tutor a student after school. I envision a simple database that matches teachers with partners. It would be really easy to organize. Both partners and teachers could register, and either one could contact the other."This strikes us as a really phenomenal idea. There are plenty of teachers whose effectiveness is limited by the number of hours in the day and who could use some logistical (and, probably, emotional) support. David's "teacher partners" would be like the support troops for Teach for America corps members and all our hardworking educators. They would also, of course, reap the psychic and karmic benefits of lending a hand.Image of West Philadelphia High School from Waymarking.com
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