Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow (VTFT)
Virginia's statewide program for recruiting high school students into the teaching profession
Teaching is the profession that makes other professions possible.
The availability of teachers in critical shortage areas and hard-to-staff schools continues to be a major challenge in the nation and in Virginia. Literature in this area suggests that while two million teachers may be needed nationally over the next ten years, traditional teacher preparation programs have only one million prospective teachers in the pipeline.
In Virginia, it is strongly felt that "grow your own" and high school programs capturing the interests of potential teachers may be one strategy toward resolving this challenge. As such, Virginia's Teachers for Tomorrow Program is offered to high school juniors and seniors interested in pursuing a career in education. The program is designed to attract teacher candidates from high school students to the field of education through exposure to a world-class curriculum and hands-on experience that focuses on teaching. Students must complete the following eligibility requirements to be considered for enrollment in the program:
- Have and maintain a minimum 2.7 grade point average or its equivalent;
- Submit three satisfactory teacher recommendations; and
- Submit a brief essay and application.
The Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow instructor is required to be a licensed teacher in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Instructors shall have at least 3 years of teaching experience at the secondary or postsecondary level; be endorsed in a secondary subject; and hold a valid collegiate professional or postgraduate professional license. A master’s degree is required for dual enrollment courses.
If your school is interested in finding out how to start the Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow Program, please contact Helen Fuqua, Program Specialist, at the Virginia Department of Education, Office of Career and Technical Education, phone (804) 225-2826.
In keeping with the challenge to increase the pool of highly qualified teachers, the purposes of the Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow Program are:
- To identify, train, and nurture high school students interested in a teaching career;
- To support the efforts of Virginia's school divisions to meet hiring targets by cultivating an effective "grow your own" recruitment program;
- To create a high school curricular experience designed to foster student interest, understanding, and appreciation of the teaching profession; and
- To attract students to teaching in critical shortage and high needs areas of the state.
In an era of teacher shortages, school divisions can identify potential teachers within their own schools. The Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow Program is an excellent long-term recruitment strategy to increase the pool of candidates who will be able to fill critical shortage vacancies, increase the diversity of teacher applicants, and promote the hiring of local candidates who are more likely to remain within their school divisions. The program fosters respect for teachers and the teaching profession and provides high school role models for younger students.
Additional benefits for Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow candidates include:
- An introduction to teaching and the teaching profession;
- Opportunities to satisfy beginning teacher assessment requirements;
- Potential dual enrollment credit;
- Scholarship information;
- Field trips;
- Classroom observations;
- Educational leadership opportunities;
- Teaching experience before college;
- Opportunities to make a difference in a student's life; and
- Meaningful, creative, hands-on learning activities.
The high school students will experience learning as individuals and as productive citizens as they explore new concepts and ideas. The students will experience the profession as they are guided through the history of education and the functions of schools and school divisions. Additionally, the students will experience the classroom as they become acquainted with teachers and teaching on a personal and professional level, including a brief internship in a classroom setting.
Below are some documents that can help you learn more about the Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow program. If you have any additional questions, please contact the Office of Career and Technical Education at the Virginia Department of Education.