First-year HISD teachers say support makes the difference in Alternative Certification Program

Early on a Saturday morning, a group of 168 first-year teachers have gathered together at Sam Houston Math, Science & Technology Center for fellowship and support while learning practices to make them effective first-year HISD teachers.

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This is a key part of support for these first-year teachers who are interns in HISD’s alternative certification program — the Effective Teacher Fellowship (ETF).

ETF acknowledges the challenging work of teachers in urban school districts such as HISD and equips interns with appropriate skills to thrive in the classroom environment.  ETF has partnered with FuelEd, a unique training program that equips teachers with the social and emotional competencies necessary to establish high-quality relationships in schools.

In small group sessions, interns discuss and are exposed to the difficulties that their student face in order to better understand how this affects their performance in the classroom.

In addition, ETF offers interns top-of-the-line support through their very own teacher development specialist (TDS) and behavior management specialist.  Combined, the TDS team of seven has more than 67 years of experience in education.

Interns are assigned a TDS according to grade level and content area and will have at least eight face-to-face conversations with their specialist throughout the school year.

As the Saturday winds down and ETF interns head home, expressions of excitement, eagerness, and exhaustion are visible — but most of all optimism for what’s to come as they continue through ETF and their first year in HISD.

ETF is currently accepting applications for the 2015 – 2016 school year.  To apply, visit the ETF website at You can also learn more about the Effective Teacher Fellowship by following ETF on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.