Expect a Denver Public Schools teacher-recruitment program to set a new record

People will be lining up for this opportunity.

Reports about layoffs are about as rare as oxygen molecules these days; our blog "The Colorado Independent is Downsizing But Not Disappearing" is just one of many, many examples. In this environment, Denver Teaching Fellows, a Denver Public Schools program to train "mid-career professionals, retirees and recent college graduates to become teachers in Denver's high-needs public schools," should attract plenty of attention. Last year, the course's first, more than 600 applications were filed for the fifty available slots. Betcha that record will be shattered this time around. The deadline to apply is November 24. Look below for more information. -- Michael Roberts

Denver Teaching Fellows Announces Second Year Launch to Recruit Outstanding Individuals to Denver Public Schools

Denver, CO – Denver Public Schools (DPS) announces the launch of the Denver Teaching Fellows (DTF) program’s second recruitment season. The application deadline is November 24, 2008.

DTF is an innovative program designed to recruit, select and train mid-career professionals, retirees and recent college graduates to become teachers in Denver’s high-need public schools. The program will accept approximately 50 outstanding candidates to begin teaching math, science, special education and bilingual Spanish (K-6) in Denver schools in fall of 2009.

Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree, but no previous education coursework or experience is required. As part of the program, the Fellows receive intensive hands-on training at a Summer Institute and attend a licensure program through Metropolitan State College of Denver.

“We are excited to bring in another group of Denver Teaching Fellows to the district, and look forward to seeing the positive impact Fellows will have this school year,” said Shayne Spalten, DPS Chief Human Resources Officer.

The 2008 cohort of 50 new Fellows teaching in 34 Denver schools is composed of retired corporate executives, former engineers and research scientists, and various other committed career changers.

More than 600 applications were submitted for its 50 spots during the 2008 season.

“Children can learn against the odds if we have teachers who care about them and have a passion to see them succeed,” said new teaching Fellow Shirley Redding, who spent 32 years in the banking industry before becoming a special education teacher at Montclair Elementary through the DTF program. “I choose to live in inter-city neighborhoods instead of the suburbs, attend church in my neighborhood and prefer to teach students like me who may be somewhat at a disadvantage, but given hope and opportunity will become productive citizens.”

This initiative is a partnership between DPS, the U.S. Department of Education and The New Teacher Project, a national non-profit organization that works with school districts, states and other educational entities to enhance their capacity to recruit, select, and train outstanding new teachers.

About Denver Teaching Fellows

Denver Teaching Fellows are high-achieving individuals who will see to it that students excel academically in order to strengthen our communities and develop our future leaders. In addition, Denver Teaching Fellows form a powerful network of like-minded leaders who will join our efforts to improve the quality of our schools. More information is available at

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts