CASE STUDY 1:
Khalil is a 28 year old African American male selected to participate in the 1st cohort of the
TTO program. At the beginning of the school year, he was not hindered by typical intern
institutional barriers (i.e. CSET/CBEST passage) and was guaranteed a position in the district.
Because the district agreed to place Interns from national partners instead of district-recruited
Interns, however, there was no actual placement for him. As a result, Khalil began the year
on the district over hire list, which allowed him to work side-by-side at an alternative middle
school with a credentialed teacher at full pay. Thankfully, Khalils background working with
students in the penal system prepared him for this work.
Four weeks into the school year, he was placed into a Kindergarten classroom, ending the
stream of substitutes that had haphazardly introduced the student body, of which 80% are on
the free and reduced lunch program, to their first school.
Full of passion and vigor, and armed with two weeks of TTO training (in addition to the meager
120 pre-service requirement at his University), Khalil endeavored to effectively teach these
Kindergarten students, which were 70% African American and 30% Latino and Asian.
To ease him into the classroom, Khalil was given an incomplete set of teachers manuals and
outdated curricular materials, with no training or support to implement the random sets of in-
class materials left by previous substitutes.
Four weeks into the placement, it became evident that Khalil needed additional support in
lesson planning, pacing, classroom set-up, and needed to develop curricular and pedagogical
knowledge at the Kindergarten grade level, to augment his middle school preparation.
These were areas that the Principal indicated needed greater attention, despite classroom
management and intern coaches provided by the district.
While Khalil was struggling with pedagogy, several parents were openly appreciative of his
efforts with their children, even going so far as to ask the Principal if Khalil could follow their
children to the next grade level. Further, the Principal had publicly noted that Khalils class
prepared excellent presentations for both the Martin Luther King Jr. Oratorical Fest and Black
History Month, further demonstrating the impact of his family-friendly approaches.
What are the institutional barriers to supporting Khalil?
Given the current scenario, what are Khalils chances for retention?
CASE STUDY 2:
Armando is a 30 year old Latino male who was selected to participate in the 1st cohort of
the TTO program as a Social Science teacher. Although he relocated to Oakland, he was
from a comparable diverse area, and was eager to work in a similar urban environment.
Armando was also not hindered by typical intern institutional barriers (i.e. CSET/CBEST
passage) and was guaranteed a Social Science position in the district. He was hired after his
first interview, and was excited to take a position at a school site of historical significance
for the African American community that had been reconstituted into two small schools.
The school sits in the midst of gentrification and abandoned homes; used needles litter the
sidewalk approaching the school and on any given day, police cars sit out front. Despite
Armandos excitement, within a few weeks, his principal reached out to the TTO program,
stating that she thought he would have been stronger out the gate. He needed immediate
assistance with lesson planning, pacing, classroom set-up, and deeper curricular and
pedagogical knowledge at the high school level. His IHE did not provide an intern-supervisor
until December a full 3 ½ months into his first year teaching; the district provided an
intern coach and classroom management coach, but they were largely ineffective in helping
him develop lesson plans and more meaningfully engage his students. A visit to his class in
November revealed students who respected Armando, but whom could not remain in their
seats throughout a class period, often complaining of not knowing exactly what to do.
At the middle of his first year, Armando had two University supervisors, and was slated to
receive another in the spring. His second supervisor had suggested that he relocate to the
suburbs and leave the monkey students; Armando felt his supervisors exacerbated the
frustration he felt his first few months in the classroom.
Despite the lack of support from his IHE, Armando was committed to improving his practice,
and worked diligently to build community in his classroom. For example, at one of the monthly
TTO professional development sessions, Armando shared a powerful connection with an
African American student who had a history of fighting; this student was subsequently placed in
the penal system. Armando recognized that this student was caught up and planned to visit
this student just to let him know that I still care.
What are the institutional barriers to supporting Armando?
Given the current scenario, what are Armandos chances for retention?
"I can't thank you enough for assigning my coach! Her coaching, mentoring, insight, and perspective
has been a HUGE blessing. She is my touchstone of teaching. She is just amazing and I couldn't have
asked for a better coach!"
Cohort 2 member, 3rd grade teacher
"I just wanted to thank you for having us make the lesson plans for the first two weeks of the school
year. The process and whole planning for more than the next day preparation has really relaxed me in
these first days of teaching. I appreciate your help and that of the coaches!"
Cohort 2 member, high school math teacher
"I just wanted to personally say that the lesson planning for TTO was really helpful for me; it has helped
me be over-planned."
Cohort 2 member, 2nd grade teacher
"Thank you for really preparing us!"
Cohort 2 member, high school math/science teacher
"I'm actually starting to like teaching today. The school is great, the admin is super supportive and if
they let me stay, I totally will."
Cohort 1 member, middle school teacher
"Not until this week did I really understand how special our group is, both as a group, a team, a
movement and as individuals. I feel blessed to have all the TTO people in my life, because otherwise just
based on the district and as a first year teacher, I might have thought that I was the one that was crazy!
I look forward to working with you this year, both as a member of Teach Tomorrow in Oakland (You
Know!) and as a caring and effective teacher for your daughter!"
Cohort 2 member, middle school science teacher
"I want to thank you for all the preparation and time you have given us, to prepare us to teach! I really appreciate everything!"
Cohort 2 member, 4th grade teacher
"Thanks for everything. Without TTO, my dream of becoming a teacher would not have been a reality."
Cohort 1 member, 2nd grade teacher