Mississippi Teacher Corps
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The Mississippi Teacher Corps (MTC) is a two-year teaching program that recruits college graduates to teach in "critical-need areas" of Mississippi. Since its inception, over 460 teachers have taught in public schools across the state. When participants finish the program, they receive a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Mississippi.
Historically, most teachers have been placed in the Mississippi Delta, though in recent years a growing number have been assigned to Marshall County, Jackson, Meridian, Aberdeen, and other school districts outside the Mississippi Delta.
Ms. Amy Gutman founded MTC in 1989. Working with Dr. Andrew Mullins, an employee for the State Department of Education, she brainstormed and modeled the program around the Peace Corps. They wanted college graduates from all over the United States to come teach in Mississippi in order to fill teacher shortages across the state, specifically in the Mississippi Delta.
In the program’s first year, it was a one-year program. When the program relocated to the University of Mississippi in 1993, the program changed to a two-year commitment that offered a Masters of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction. The Mississippi Legislature fully funded the program in 1994.
During the first two weeks of training, first-year teachers meet other teachers in the program, learn how to design a lesson aligned to the Mississippi state curriculum, and start teaching. MTC participants are split up into different classrooms corresponding to their subject to teach summer school classes at MTC Extended-Year Summer Program at Holly Springs High School.
This summer school program serves students from Holly Springs, Marshall County, and neighboring districts. The summer school is organized and supported by MTC alumni. These former participants serve as administrators or head instructors, TEAM teachers, that mentor first year teachers throughout the summer, model effective teaching strategies, provide constructive feedback and management advice, and support teachers through the varying difficulties within the teaching profession. During the first three weeks of summer training, the second years in the program offer advice, model lessons, and mentor the new participants.
After the summer school day ends, first year participants work on tasks with their TEAM teacher, attend graduate school class on teaching methodologies at The University of Mississippi, practice classroom management in role play scenarios, or attend a professional development workshop. Combined with the in-classroom teaching practice at summer school, these activities provide new teachers with the skills they need to be successful at their respective schools in the fall.
As participants make their way through the program, they receive the following benefits:
· Job placement with full salary and benefits in a Mississippi school district
· Intensive teacher training and a Class A teaching license
· Full scholarships for an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction
· Free textbooks for graduate courses
· On campus housing and a $1000 living stipend during summer training
· Mentoring, support, and professional networking from program alumni