Teacher-Coaches & the Learning Differences Fellowship

patrick capriolaAn organization known for recruiting young people to work in high need scenarios trains teacher-coaches through a newly launched program. Teach for All is the network that recently placed professionals from many countries in the fellowship program to assist students with learning differences. The program is purposely called the Learning Differences Fellowship with a duration of two years long. It is partly focused on helping those with disabilities. Co-founder of Teach for All, Wendy Kopp, is also the founder of Teach for America. The principles and structure of these two organizations are very closely related.

The young professionals who decided to embark upon this fellowship program all come with their own stories that drive them along this journey. Twenty-nine year old Gustavo Rojas Ayala from the Teach for Mexico program is motivated by a few of his personal experiences. He valued teachers who spent extra time with him as he writing and reading while young. As he grew older, Ayala received the opportunity to teach in rural Chile to an all girls secondary school. He encountered students who reached their teenage years and still did not have the proper reading and writing skills. It was necessary to assist each student one-on-one, however the large class sizes posed another challenge. From here, Ayala learned about the fellowship program and became enthusiastic about working on a global scale.

Teacher-coach, Amrit Poudel of Teach for Nepal pointed out a few reasons why having a fellowship dedicated to learning differences is so imperative to today’s students. He mentioned that teachers from Nepal too often believe that one style of teaching will benefit every student. That mindset is causing students to leave school prematurely and not have all the skills they need to succeed. This fellowship provides the grounds for a new way where instructors really understand the students needs and the best methods to help them.

For more information on this global fellowship program, visit Ed Week’s article here: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/09/10/03teachforall.h34.html

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Patrick Capriola is a professional educator in Jacksonville, FL with over a decade of experience improving educational outcomes. He has served as a teacher, school administrator, and teacher trainer.