Lauren Ammons, Director of Partnerships, tells us how Urban Teachers DFW is improving the educational and life outcomes of children in Dallas schools by preparing culturally competent, effective career teachers who accelerate student achievement and disrupt systems of racial and socioeconomic inequity.
How does your company help other businesses become more effective?
Dallas businesses require a thriving pipeline of talented individuals who are invested in our community and equipped for the workplace of the future. The next generation of business, technology, science, and community leaders are in our Dallas classrooms today. We help ensure they have teachers who can prepare them to take on tomorrow’s obstacles and opportunities.
What differentiates your company from others in your industry?
Our program is intense. Our teachers receive a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins or American University and become dually certified to teach elementary education, secondary English or secondary math, and special education. Teachers in DFW also receive English as a Second Language Certification. We offer more comprehensive coursework and personalized support than any other teacher training program.
In the first year, our participants take part in a residency as they work alongside an experienced teacher in an urban classroom while taking graduate courses after school. In the second year, our participants become fellows, moving into full-time, salaried teaching positions, while receiving expert coaching from our clinical faculty. That guidance continues for the third year when our fellows develop their teaching practices to provide students with the support they need to thrive. Teachers who finish our program are committed to excellence, equity, and inclusivity, and have the skills and confidence to build lasting, fulfilling careers.
What do you enjoy most about doing business in the Dallas Region?
The Dallas Region allows teachers to shape the education landscape of one of the fastest-growing, most innovative regions in the country. We love the incredible support the Dallas community gives our teachers. Dallas loves teachers, and it shows!
Why did you decide to become a DRC member?
We believe that preparing highly effective teachers requires a commitment from the entire community, and we value our partnerships with Dallas businesses. Our membership in the Dallas Regional Chamber helps us ensure our teachers are equipped to train tomorrow’s workforce and allows us to develop innovative partnerships to support the health and wellbeing of our teachers and students.
How has your business changed in the past five years?
Urban Teachers DFW was launched in 2016 and has welcomed nearly 550 aspiring educators to North Texas. Over the last five years, we have grown our collaboration with community leaders and education partners like Lancaster ISD, Dallas ISD, and Uplift Education. We also launched new partnerships to help our teachers have access to housing, healthy food, and financial assistance. We’ve also developed innovative teaching practices in response to the challenges of COVID-19 and doubled down on our commitment to antiracism, launching new efforts to support teachers of color, eliminate inequity in our program, and ensure our teachers are prepared to confront racism and inequity in and out of the classroom.