Teach North Texas (TNT), housed under the College of Science and College of Education at the University of North Texas, is UNT's innovative secondary level STEM teacher preparation program. This summer the program conducted its seventh annual series of Induction Workshops, which are designed to provide ongoing support for graduates of the program. Since 2013, these workshops have ensured TNT grads remain in the education profession at a significantly higher rate than their many of their peers. In an era when multiple sources decry the high turnout rate in the teaching profession, over 80% of TNT grads are still in education after three years.
This summer's Induction Workshop series served 41 TNT-College of Science graduates, representing 28 different school districts and 35 different campuses. The Sid W. Richardson Foundation graciously provided funding for this event with a goal of supporting and strengthening math and science instruction in our North Texas region and beyond.
Highlights of the three day workshop series included morning sessions that involved all participants in a whole group setting. The afternoons featured four different breakout sessions which participants selected based on their upcoming teaching assignment for the 2019-2020 school year. The morning sessions focused on building the TNT graduate network, effective classroom management, and crucial conversations. The breakout sessions included deep dives into the effective instruction of Algebra, Biology, Chemistry, and Geometry.
Many positive outcomes were immediately apparent at the conclusion of this year's TNT Induction Workshops, although long-term benefits will have to be measured as time progresses. A partial list of the immediate benefits include:
• the development of a secure communication platform for on-going collaboration and support among graduates through the use of UNT Microsoft Teams and alumni's secure UNT email address
• the establishment of a TNT Twitter Chat on the first Thursday evening of each month
• practical training on "Effective Classroom Management through Reflective Listening" by Dr. Rudi Thompson
• an overview of Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, and Switzler
• $200 gift sets of classroom tools/supplies specifically selected for each content area, given to each participant
• renewed and strengthened connections to the TNT family of graduates, faculty, and staff
• public encouragement of fellow teachers through social media postings by several graduates, as shown below
We believe Cecelia Rodriguez, UNT Biology graduate from 2015, said it best in an Instagram post shared after the workshops, "Once in @TeachNorthTexas, always in Teach North Texas! Thank you UNT for having a program like Teach North Texas to prepare me to be an amazing teacher and a program that still cares for you after you graduate."
To learn more about Teach North Texas and the outstanding work they do to prepare future math and science educators for success in their careers, visit http://teachnorthtexas.unt.edu. To provide much-needed donor support to valuable STEM and education programs like the Induction Workshops, please contact Meghan Dours at the College of Science.