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Education

Life Lessons: New Teachers Talk Challenges And Triumphs

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Rhema Thompson / WJCT
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The first quarter of school is over in Duval County Public Schools, and we thought it would be a good time to catch up with two new teachers we’ve been following since June.

George and Tiffany are two young science and engineering professionals who decided earlier this year to take the plunge into full-time teaching. They did so through an urban education training program known as the Jacksonville Teacher Residency. WJCT’sRhema Thompson been chronicling their journey into education through our special “Life Lessons” series.

In their own words, George and Tiffany reflect on their experiences, their challenges and their expectations so far.

Meet Our Two Featured Teachers

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Credit Rhema Thompson

Name: George Jeffrey Teuber

Age: 23

Hometown: Palm Bay, Fla.

Education: Currently, completing master’s degree in Medical Sciences at the University of South Florida.  Earned a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from USF.

Education-related activities:  Served as rowing coach for the Stewart’s Foundation and a patient advocate at St. Joseph’s Hospital. He also served as a designated site leader for a project with USF students and community teenagers providing financial education and assistance to families in need in the Tampa Bay area.

Teaching philosophy: “To teach, one must mold the delivery of material to the individual student.”

 

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Credit Rhema Thompson

Name: Tiffany Ciara Allen

Age: 23

Hometown:  Portsmouth, Va.

Education: Received a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Education-related activities: Served for several years as an instructor of 3rd through 8th grade students in the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) program.

Teaching philosophy: “Whether differences are associated with race, socio-economic status, religion, sexual orientation, or disabilities, everyone is entitled to unmerited reverence.”

About the Program

The Jacksonville Teacher Residency Program was developed by Duval County Public Schools in partnership with the University of North Florida and the Jacksonville Public Education Fund as one of several privately-funded Quality Education for All initiatives aimed at improving the district's education talent pool. The medical-residency style program is modeled after the Urban Teacher Residency United based out of Chicago, and is the first to launch in Florida. The program recruits high achieving undergraduate math and science majors and places them in high-need schools for a total of four years—one year as a resident with an assigned mentor and three years as a teacher in one of 36 targeted, underperforming schools.

Cost: $1.6 million approved and funded through QEA; $5.5 million in total proposed.

This story is part of American Graduate - a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help local communities implement and identify solutions to address the high school dropout crisis.

You can follow Rhema Thompson on Twitter @RhemaThompson