Education in Canada is a success story. Our public education is among the best in the world. Canadian students regularly out-perform their peers in the most developed countries.
But, in Canada, high quality masks deep inequality. On First Nations reserves, 3 in 5 children do not complete high school. In rural and remote communities, the drop-out rate is double the national average. And, too often, schools in rural, remote, and Aboriginal communities struggle to recruit and retain classroom leaders—particularly science, math, and language teachers.
With each day that goes by, thousands more children get left behind. We cannot afford to wait to start making a difference.
Teach For Canada's vision is to make education more equal by helping schools in rural, remote, and Aboriginal communities recruit outstanding classroom leaders. Communities that partner with Teach For Canada will shape every aspect of our recruitment, selection, training, and professional development strategies.
Teach For Canada will recruit exceptional young leaders—particularly those with education degrees, but also top graduates from other fields. We plan to start small, with fewer than 50 Fellows, and to prioritize hard-to-staff classrooms, in subjects such as science and math.
The Fellows will begin their preparation during an intensive summer institute, designed and implemented with the support of education professionals, master teachers, and community leaders. Pedagogical and cultural education will include lessons on the history and context of the communities in which the Fellows will serve. Once they begin teaching, local leaders and master teachers will provide our Fellows with constant support to ensure that they continue to succeed in the classroom.
Many Teach For Canada Fellows will stay in the classroom beyond their minimum two-year commitment. Others will become leaders in education and other fields. In either case, the experience of teaching—of fighting a pitched and personal battle against educational inequality—will shape Teach For Canada Fellows for the rest of their lives. This is how we will help build a truly national movement to make education more equal.
Teach For Canada is a new organization in the very early stages of development. For the past year, we have been working with Aboriginal and education leaders to shape our approach, and we continue to do so. As with any young non-profit organization, our early conversations have not been public, but we expect to begin a more public dialogue in the coming months.
The core values of Teach For Canada will lay the foundation for the entire program.