“It can create a cohort of people coming here and even if they’re not in my district, they’re in the Dayton area,” Berry said. “They grow our intellectual capital.”
Berry said some districts just had their first black teacher in the district. It’s not an easy position to fill, and if there isn’t a person of color in the district, connecting the new teacher to a teacher of color in another district can help with retention and growth. , did he declare.
Due to the lack of diversity, schools across the state have been trying to recruit more diverse people into the teaching profession for years, and many schools have programs to achieve this goal.
For example, Dayton Public, Trotwood Schools and Mad River Local are working together on a program that would recruit future sophomore teachers from these schools and send them to a participating local university. The students then returned to teach in this school.
DPS also has a $70,000 grant from the Montgomery County Educational Service Center to pay off a portion of student loans for various applicants who work for them.
The problem is that these programs can give school districts limited ability to recruit and retain teachers. DREAM would allow schools to pool resources and mentor teachers outside the district.
The number of teachers available in the state has become a concern for districts in the region. Ohio has issued a fluctuating number of teaching licenses since 2000, with between 45,000 and about 67,000 licenses issued each year, according to ODE data. The number of licenses issued fell steadily between 2010 and 2017 but started to rise again in 2018. But with many teachers set to retire, districts are worried about the future of the profession.
All students benefit from teachers of color, said Maya Dorsey, director of equity and collaborative impact at Learn to Earn Dayton, which is involved in the project.
Research cited by the Ohio Department of Education has shown that students of color perform better academically when taught by someone who looks like them, and that white students also benefit socially and emotional when taught by non-white staff. Teaching is a predominantly white female profession, she noted.
“It needs to be changed,” Dorsey said. “So we’re trying to do what we can locally to create opportunities for all students to be exposed to that opportunity.”
Allyson Couch, director of educational services for Oakwood Schools, said the idea was still new. It all started in conversations between the school’s human resources directors. DREAM plans to recruit more schools next, she said.
“Our goal is to create an enduring model, something that will continue long after us,” Couch said.