NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – While students are enjoying summer break, some of the best and brightest educators in DFW have been working to make sure they are ready for the upcoming school year.

Teach for America educators serve in schools where over 80% of students quality for free or reduced-price lunch.

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Jessica Guthrie, the Senior Managing Director for Teacher Leadership Development with TFA DFW says the work their educators do goes well beyond just lesson plans.

“The biggest thing is that we bring in leaders to work alongside our communities, to collectively fight to give every child the opportunity to succeed,” Guthrie explains.

Currently, TFA DFW serves North Texas students in Dallas ISD, Fort Worth ISD, Richardson ISD, Uplift Education, Idea Public Schools and KIPP, a network of public charater schools.

“KIPP has over 250 schools across the country,” Guthrie explains. “The mission of KIPP, which I love, is to bring together families and communities to create joyful, academically excellent schools that prepare students to build skills and confidence to pursue the paths they choose.”

TFA chapters in Texas have partnered with KIPP Texas this summer, to prepare their first-year educators, like Niko Ellison, to enter the classroom this fall.

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“I want them to take away that English can be exciting,” Ellison says.

Teach for America is bringing 100 new teachers into the DFW education landscape this fall and the partnership with KIPP allows those first-year teachers to not only teach summer school classes, but also be mentored by some of the best educators in the business.

“During that time, they get feedback from that mentor teacher, they also have a coach from Teach for America, where they receive not only feedback to set them up for that lesson, but feedback in response to that lesson,” Guthrie says. “So they are literally growing on a daily basis.”

“You have to plan out each lesson beforehand and think of things like, ‘how students are going to talk to one another… how am I touching on diversity and inclusion…’ and keeping all of that within my lesson plan to keep those students engaged throughout,” Ellison says.

Giving first-year teachers the tools needed to help themselves and their students succeed.

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“So that they continue to show up relentless, resilient and ready for whatever students bring to them each and every day,” Gutherie says.

Madison Sawyer