On March 6, a team from the AUS School of Education attended a “Diversifying the Educator Workforce” conference that focused on retaining and sustaining teachers of color. Hosted by the WA State Professional Educator Standards Board and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the objective of the event was to provide the opportunity for stakeholders to hear and share strategies to increase underrepresented candidates in the educator workforce, with the focus on pathway efforts to retain a diverse teacher workforce and to maintain and sustain grow your own programs.
Members of the Antioch School of Education and their partners in the Kent School District led a session titled, “Supporting and sustaining community teachers: A collaboration between Kent School District and Antioch University Seattle.” The session focused on AUS’s own “grow your own” initiative, the Alternative Route to Teacher Certification (ARTC) Program, and the supports that the program and the district have put in place for its emergent teachers. Two current teacher candidates in the program, Barbara Nourse and Gyna Rios, shared their experiences and insights along with Beatriz Diaz, a mentor teacher. Among other things, they highlighted the importance of their program cohort and the value of a strong mentorship model. These teacher candidates and mentor demonstrated that they are leaders in their community and advocates for their fellow teachers and the students and families that they serve.