Teach For America Forges New Partnerships

Dec 28, 2015

Potential Teach for America educators at a recruitment retreat on Pine Ridge in 2013.
Credit Teach for America

Teach for America has announced new agreements with two tribes and one school that aims to get more teachers into reservation schools.
Teach for America recruits top young professionals, often right after college, and puts them in classrooms around the country.
South Dakota is facing a teacher shortage and schools on reservations like Standing Rock and Rosebud are areas of critical need.  
Jim Curran with Teach for America says the agreement helps recruit more Native teachers to come back home and teach in classrooms close to where they grew up.
Curran says while great teachers can come from any background, there is an additional added value for students who share common ground with a teacher.
 “And having the teachers share the identity, potentially sharing some of the same background, the same struggles, maybe even the same culture, even language background can just be… When we work within an educational system that has historically devalued or taken out Lakota culture history and language, having leaders that share the identity of kids can fight against that kind of historical oppression.” says Curran.
Curran says Teach for America hopes to bring in 25 new educators into South Dakota schools next year.
He says right now there about one hundred Teach for America professionals in classrooms across this state. He says demand for teachers continues to outpace supply.