Todd Anderson, Former Los Angeles City Year Corps Member and Current Adelante Cohort Member
By Julia Fisher, Coordinator of Educator Effectiveness
The reasons people choose to become teachers vary as much as the people themselves. But I’ve found that most teachers- all the great and successful ones- share one key trait: they want to help shape young lives and open doors of opportunity through education.
You can count Todd Anderson among them.
I knew in college…that I wanted to teach,” says the Ánimo Inglewood Charter High School alum and current Adelante cohort member. “It became my passion when I was able to help peers understand and see things from a different perspective. I always knew I wanted to do something to give back to my community and have a positive influence on those younger than me.
Preparing new teachers
Like many teachers before him, Todd is developing the skills needed to cope with the immense pressures of being a first-year teacher. New teachers must prepare and deliver daily lessons, provide students with timely and relevant feedback, and effectively implement behavior management systems. In some districts, teacher coaching is weak if it occurs at all. This coaching occurs during their “preparation periods”—a slot without students meant to give teachers the time necessary to prepare for lessons, reach out to parents, read and provide meaningful feedback on student work and maybe use the restroom. At Green Dot Public Schools they are being coached by a multitude of voices: their school leaders, subject coaches, and university support providers.
During coaching, new teachers are asked to reflect on their lessons and analyze student outcome data in order to consider how to make revisions to their practice. Developing the capacity to reflect and refine is one of the most critical new teacher skills, but a new teacher’s schedule hardly allows them to plan for tomorrow, much less reflect on today.
While Green Dot has a proven track record of supporting and growing new teachers, we identify with the widespread challenge of a teacher shortage. We know others are working through similar challenges. We are constantly trying to improve by better understanding teacher sustainability and by developing solutions for commonly identified teacher pain points.
To address these barriers, Green Dot, in partnership with Loyola Marymount University, created the Green Dot Adelante Credentialing Program. Literally meaning “ahead, in front and forward”, the Adelante Credentialing Program aims to support a cohort of soon-to-be teachers as they earn their preliminary teaching credential and teach in a Green Dot Public School.
Soon-to-be teachers like Todd.
The program is meant to be intensive and immersive. I hope to grow professionally, and become the best teacher I can possibly be while being supported and taught by knowledgeable educators.
It will also be a great opportunity for me to work with and serve the young scholars in Watts who need more mentors that look like them and share similar life experiences.
The Adelante Credentialing Program allows teachers to:
- Begin their career immediately while earning a full-time, first year teaching salary
- Obtain their credential from LMU while working as a classroom teacher
- Enroll in coursework taught at Adelante placement school sites by Green Dot Education Team leaders
- Learn how to implement effective teaching strategies that have proven successful for our students
- Collaborate with a cohort of peers, all working to close the Opportunity Gap for students in Los Angeles
We have built a strong cohort of 13 teachers who have enrolled in the Adelante Credentialing. Educators will be instructed by the very practitioners who created the College Ready Teaching Framework (CRTF). They have designed coursework that prepares cohort members to be successful in our classrooms, serving students who need the most.
For Todd, he looks forward to building relationships with students and the community while improving as an educator. “I am really excited to join the Green Dot family,” Todd says. “Green Dot has done extraordinary things for my family. My sister and I were both able to attend Ánimo Inglewood and were able to move on to college and give back to our community. I’m very excited to join the great legacy of educators who work for Green Dot Public Schools.”
In turn, that means a better classroom experience for his students, similar to his time at Ánimo Inglewood Charter High School.