Local summer program aims to tackle current teacher shortage, promote diversity in education
CAMBRIDGE, MD. “When we look at today’s society and today’s classrooms they are more diverse now than ever but when we look at the teaching profession we can’t necessarily say the same thing,” said Dr. Richard Warren.
Don’t ask a child what they want to be, ask them what they want to change.
The High School Teacher University Program aims to do just that, bringing change to the field of education. “This will complement our programs already in place and allow us to encourage and hopefully develop more teachers locally grown right here in Dorchester County to come back and give back to our community,” said Director of Student Services Kirk Howie.
I’m told the program, in partnership with UMES, was created after a need for more teachers of color and representation in the classroom. “Statistics just on black male educators show that less that 2% make up the field of education, so there’s a dire need,” said Dr. Warren.
Students spend 5 weeks diving into a college level course and at the end of it receive college credit. One student tells me she was inspired to become a teacher through her mom and hopes to make a difference. “Show them that they can push further and close the gap between black, white, all races. It will let us come together as one.” said
Ultimately, Dr. Warren hopes to expand students minds on what teaching really is. “Yes we want kids to have the basic knowledge and we want them to know the knowledge that they need, but we also want kids to be productive citizens in society so that they can create a better world for themselves and those that come behind them,” said Dr. Warren.
School officials say this is a support mechanism that they hope students will continue to take advantage of years to come.
And if students are considering attending UMES, we’re told there’s a cohort and mentoring component to the program where students work and are housed together
and will be eligible for additional scholarships.