Freeport School District welcomes prospective educators through Golden Apple Accelerators Program

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 6:52 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - "We need to prepare teachers for whatever environment they're going to face, whether that is in person or whether that is virtual," said Alan Mather, President, Golden Apple Foundation.

As the coronavirus pandemic impacts the way education will look for the foreseeable future, the Golden Apple Foundation is partnering with schools across the state to address an issue plaguing the system: teacher shortages.

One institution taking the baton locally is the Freeport School District, with what Superintendent Anna Alvarado calls the “meat and potatoes” of education.

"How do we identify critical standards, what will grading and assessment look like, how do we support our teachers and professional learning? While all the safety guidelines are real critical because that's a life or death right to safety. But we also have to remember that our moral imperative is also what the quality of teaching will look like," said Alvarado.

Foundation president Alan Mather says one of the few positives the pandemic brings is a heightened appreciation for excellent educators.

"Those who know how to teach in any environment, whether we're talking about a traditional classroom, where there is a teacher in front of a class or whether we're talking about a virtual environment," said Mather.

"There are still many of our teachers, I will say, much like many teachers across the state and across the country who are stressed out and nervous about school reopening. We have to acknowledge that we have put a plan in place, we need to work together, but then not shutting the door, and not listening," said Alvarado.

"We are in a global pandemic and we need to act like we're in a global pandemic. And there is nothing more important than the health and safety of our students and our parents," said Mather.

The Golden Apple Accelerators Program gives prospective educators a shot at hands-on experience and their teaching license, even as schools across the state focus on virtual instruction.

The Freeport School District will welcome some of the 30 accelerators to its faculty this year, where they will work with current teachers to develop lesson plans and help navigate the new remote-heavy curriculum.


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