LISD, Texas State surprise teachers with stipends
Special to the LPR
Lockhart Independent School District and Texas State University College of Education leaders surprised 17 Texas State University teacher residents Tuesday at Clear Fork Elementary School with $20,000 checks funded by a state grant.
The stipends are possible through a 3-year grant provided by TEA as part of its Texas COVID Learning Acceleration Supports (TCLAS) program. This year’s cohort of 17 teachers will receive a lump sum payment of $10,000 immediately to offset costs of their first semester of teacher residency, and they will receive monthly payments for the remaining amount throughout the rest of the school year. The funds are intended to provide financial support to student teachers who historically have had to pay to participate in student teaching programs in Texas.
The partnership between LISD and Texas State will continue to provide this stipend to 20 teacher residents per year for the next two years who are assigned to LISD schools. Texas State was named a TEA-approved vetted teacher residency program after following a rigorous application process. LISD applied to TEA for the funds to partner with Texas State.
Texas State Resident Landry Loera said, “This means that I’m really only focusing on myself and my education instead of worrying about how I’m going to pay for this. While I’m here at the school, my mind is really clear and free to do what I really want to do, which is to focus on becoming the educator that I’m needed to be for next year.”
Miranda Sheffield, also a teacher resident, added, “When I found out why they were here, I was shedding tears. I cannot believe we get this opportunity. I never would have been able to imagine this. I cannot be more grateful and thankful.”
“I am feeling a total mix of emotions right now. I am so grateful to have been part of this program, and I’m grateful that with this grant, I can focus on my students and how to become the best teacher for them and any of my future students,” said Toby Freedman-Marshall. “ It also means I can spend more time with my husband and my kids.”
A high-quality teacher residency model is one in which a teacher candidate is paired with an experienced, highly effective mentor teacher for a full year of clinical training and co-teaching in a K-12 classroom. Residencies take place at the undergraduate and post-baccalaureate levels. In some cases, residents receive a stipend during the year-long residency. In high-quality teacher residency models, the university and school district have shared ownership over the preparation, support, and success of the teacher.
“It’s very encouraging to see this highly collaborative partnership in which Lockhart ISD, Texas State University, and the Texas Education Agency are all coming together to provide the highest quality teacher education and to support our aspiring teachers,” said Michael O’Malley, dean of the College of Education at Texas State. “Our future teachers are talented and committed, and this innovative teacher residency helps ensure they will be fully ready for day one as full-time classroom teachers.”
“Lockhart ISD is proud of its valuable partnership with Texas State University and the impact our shared investment in teachers has made for student success,” said Superintendent Mark Estrada. “These $20,000 stipends, funded by Texas Education Agency, will make such a tremendous difference for these high-quality teacher residents so they can focus on teaching and learning during their residency with us.”
The teacher residents shared positive experiences teaching in Lockhart, noting the positive culture and supportive leaders and teachers. This paired with the new stipends has encouraged them to consider a future within Lockhart ISD.
“My plan is to graduate with my degree, and more long-term, I would really love to stay in Lockhart. I live an hour away near Bastrop, but I really love the environment here at Clear Fork Elementary, and with all of the other teachers and principals I have met in the district. That’s how far I’m looking. I want to stay here in Lockhart and help this community,” shared Freedman-Marshall.