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November 25, 2020 Wednesday 01:37:54 PM IST

Harvard Teacher Fellows provides new teachers, local impact

Policy Indications

For five years, Harvard Teacher Fellows (HTF) has provided Harvard undergraduates with an innovative pathway into teaching, preparing fellows for the complex world of education through five semesters of coursework, summer student teaching, and a yearlong teaching residency. In schools from Oakland, Calif., to New York, fledgling HTFers have grown into accomplished educators.

Of the 28 fellows working in schools across the Boston area, half are working in the Chelsea Public School District (CPS), in a city The New York Times once called the “epicenter” of the pandemic in Massachusetts.

CPS, a district where more than 80 percent of students are classified as high needs and over 40 percent are classified as English language learners, found homes for the new fellows as teachers of record and co-teachers. While Chelsea normally accepts HTFers for hard-to-fill positions like high school chemistry and math, this year, fellows are filling positions across the board, bringing their expertise in both STEM and the humanities to CPS students.

All fellows are being mentored by master teachers in Chelsea as they continue to develop under the supervision of HTF. “The HTF fellows, in addition to having a growth mindset and being open to feedback, are really knowledgeable about their content,” says Sarah Kent, assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction, and assessment at Chelsea Public Schools. “Some of the new humanities fellows are bilingual, which has also been helpful.”

In another local placement, the impact of this year’s HTF fellows is even more pronounced. The Academy of the Pacific Rim (APR) Charter School, in Boston’s Hyde Park neighborhood, is a smaller school, and the five new HTF fellows have become valuable contributors to the community.

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