At Torsh, we are always quick to point out with pride that some of the world’s best graduate schools of education are clients of ours. Renowned for academic excellence, these top-ranked graduate programs provide rigorous, best-in-class teacher training. They are all unique but share a common goal: to launch teachers into the world who are fully-equipped to deliver outstanding results in each and every classroom.
One such client that we consider a feather in our cap is Harvard Teacher Fellows (HTF). This specialized program operates under the auspices of Harvard Graduate School of Education, which was recently named the number one graduate school of education in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Only Harvard College alumni and current Harvard seniors may apply to the HTF program. Applicants are desirous of a career in teaching and are firmly committed to working in an urban school upon program completion. They study over five terms and finish with their Massachusetts teacher license, which is valid in many states. HTF is built on an underlying foundation of social justice, and Fellows are motivated by a desire to close the achievement gap. The overarching goal of the program is to impact urban kids in need – In others words, kids who can benefit the most from exposure to the best teachers.
Our relationship with HTF began last spring. Since faculty and Fellows are frequently not co-located, they required a tool that could facilitate remote coaching and enable seamless, 24/7 collaboration. TALENT, our platform for teacher training and professional development, was ideally suited to their purpose. After some initial coursework and field study in the Boston area, Fellows are placed at one of Harvard’s partner schools in cities across the country. They spend the academic year teaching part-time while completing online coursework, all the while receiving intensive coaching from HTF faculty and mentor teachers.
Throughout the program, Fellows use TALENT to share videos of their practice in the classroom as well as materials such as curriculums and lessons plans with faculty, mentors, and peers. Recipients can then provide time-stamped comments, which can be reviewed at any time. Best practices are saved in an exemplar library. The Fellows have also been using TALENT’s walk through tool, which allows for in-person observations when coach and Fellow are co-located.
Already, TALENT is having a positive impact. Victor Pereira, Master Teacher in Residence with the HTF program, said that, “Torsh TALENT has been instrumental in the instruction and support we provide our Harvard Teacher Fellows at-a-distance. With our Fellows in their teacher residencies across the country during the fall and spring, TALENT allows our faculty to deliver video-based coaching, calibrate with onsite mentors, and seamlessly align instruction in our courses with their experiences in the field.”
We are excited to share that the first cohort of HTF students finished the program this past July and entered the classroom as certified teachers in September. We feel confident that these Harvard grads, who believe so strongly in the transformative power of education, are already having an impact. We look forward to a continued partnership with HTF, and are incredibly proud that they rely on TALENT to help them achieve their goals.