The Montclair State University’s Red Hawks Rising Teacher Academy was featured in #InnovatED, an online video series developed by the United States Department of Education (USDOE).
#InnovatED offers a comprehensive review of the ways that schools are changing their curriculums to meet the demands of students. The series is available on the social media channels of the USDOE which include the Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona’s accounts.
In collaboration together with the Newark Board of Education and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) The Red Hawks Rising Teacher Academy is a revolutionary partnership that provides students within East Side or University High School to attend college-level classes without cost which can lead to education at Montclair.
Students participating in the program also receive stipends of $3700 from AFT to cover education-related expenses and ensure their progress through the program. When they finish the high school level, Red Hawks Rising students will be granted a pre-contract for a return trip to Newark to teach after the successful completion of their Montclair master’s degree.
The aim is to build an array of teachers who go back to their communities and teach at the school where they were educated to serve our public interest. Now, this unique initiative has earned national recognition.
“Having this opportunity to support young teachers into the profession and then bringing back their knowledge is such a powerful testament to the kind of justice work that I’m committed to,” said Montclair Associate Professor of Teaching and Learning Co-Leader of the Academy Mayida Zaal. Zaal is the director of the program with Danielle Epps, the director of Teacher Education Admissions recruitment and diversity of The Montclair Center of Pedagogy.
“I had amazing instructors when I was a kid, and they greatly influenced me. I want to emulate them and to be able to be a role model for others,” said Melissa De Almeida who is a student at East Side and a member of the program, as reported by Montclairmagazine. “As someone who would like to be a teacher, and is a lover of children This program is an excellent chance. I’ve always wished to come home to work in Newark because for my heart, Newark is home.”
The show is hosted by USDOE Office of Communications and Outreach Senior Advisor Lynda Lopez The #InnovatED story highlights the Academy and includes interviews with Zaal De Almeida, Newark Superintendent Roger Leon MA ’96 East Side High School Principal Mario Santos, and East Side High School teacher Erika Plumley.
“Having students of color assuming teaching roles in our schools is extremely important,” said Leon. “What better way of growing our own than actually growing our own?”
“It’s the idea of helping teachers become the teachers I needed as a kid,” Plumley wrote in the article. “Teaching our children to think independently and that they deserve an opportunity to sit at the table and to return to instruct the next generation It’s crucial. It’s part of the discussion that has to be had.”
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