Beyond the Lone Hero: Providing Supports for New Teachers in High-Needs Schools
Sarah Elizabeth Barrett, Donna Ford, Carl James
This essay examines the activities and challenges encountered in a partnership between a faculty of education and a local school board in Toronto, Canada. The goal was to address concerns over a 40% drop-out rate amongst Black students in the Toronto District School Board.
Teachers were to identify areas of concern, and to use university resources to investigate and improve work with students. Initially, findings were disappointing, teachers often felt isolated working on their own, and some administrators perceived the project as disruptive to the overall running of the school.
Faculty came to the realization that to help support their own graduates they needed to shift priorities from research to providing opportunities for dialogue, and to acknowledge the positions and perspectives of a variety of participants in the system.