Program hopes to ‘inspire’ more to become teachers

Published 5:00 am Thursday, October 29, 2009

At some point during their young lives, a lot of children wantto be teachers. And at some point during their lives, a lot ofadults do too.

The Teach & Inspire Scholarship Program gives adults with abachelor’s degree the chance to not only get certified in areasonable amount of time while working another job, but also tocomplete teacher development and other incentive programs as aresult.

The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellencerecruits, prepares, certifies and supports quality teachers,Program Development Specialist Kate Stephens said Wednesday nightin a series of meetings at the Lincoln County Public Library.

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There is a critical need for teachers in several subject areassuch as math, English, chemistry, biology and history, Stephenssaid, and that doesn’t change even with the economy.

“These are subject areas where there are always a lack ofteachers,” she said. “These are the ones with a criticalshortage.”

Stephens said interested potential teachers can go to the Website,, where they will find directions tocreate an account and fill out a self-assessment form. There areonline orientation videos, and practice exams for later on in theprogram.

“There is no limit on how many scholarships we can give,”Stephens said. “Everyone who qualifies gets a scholarship.”

The scholarship covers the $975 cost of the online classes, aswell as three chances at both exams that need to be taken toachieve a certificate. The only expense to the student is a $200fee to enroll in the program upon acceptance, Stephens said.

Potential teachers also have to do 10 hours of classroomobservation, which Stephens points out is a good way to network andget a foot in the door.

“This is a good way to get your feet wet before you’re throwninto the deep end with a classroom of your own,” she said.

Completion of the program then requires three years of servicein a high-need school district, Stephens said. Teachers are allowedto find their own job in those areas so they can somewhat choosewhere they want to be, and begin to put down roots.

“We’re constantly partnering with new schools and districts,”she said.

Anyone interested in the Teach & Inspire Scholarship Programis encouraged to visit the website at