Stipends distributed evenly
Based on volunteer feedback, starting with the 2014-2015 school year, the volunteer stipend ($5000 per course per year) will be split evenly between the volunteer team instead of basing the amount on the TA vs. Teacher role.
Schools provide observation feedback
Starting in the 2014-2015 school year, schools will be required to observe new TEALS classes and new TEALS volunteers in their first teaching semester. They will provide feedback directly to teaching teams and report the feedback back to TEALS. TEALS staff members will continue to observe classes as frequently as possible, but due to increased program size, will not be able to visit as often as in the past.
Teaching teams placed into cohorts
Volunteers repeatedly tell us that hearing about what goes on in other TEALS classrooms is one of the most useful aspects of our monthly meetups and trainings. To facilitate increased sharing of classroom experiences, teaching teams will be placed in a cohort consisting of approximately 5 teams. The cohorts will meet ~2 per month via phone for 30 minutes. Cohorts will be led by experienced mentors (often multi-year TEALS volunteers). Though this represents a small increase in time commitment for volunteers, we think that the knowledge and guidance shared will help teams save more prep time than the time spent meeting in cohorts, and that it will increase program quality.
Summer Training held in multiple regions
As you know, returning volunteers do not need to attend summer training, but we thought it important for you to know that based on volunteer feedback, we will be offering in-person training this summer in at least 4 distinct geographic regions. This should help increase the preparedness of teams and build up a TEALS community. Returning volunteers are invited to participate in training, and share your experiences with the new volunteers.