Investing in Innovative Collaborations for Teachers

Dec182012

Veteran and novice teachers are learning together how to improve educational outcomes for their students at William C. Overfelt High School in San Jose, California.

Led by the New Teacher Center, this professional collaboration is helping to transform teaching and learning at the high school in one of the lowest income neighborhoods in Silicon Valley, and it exemplifies the Applied Materials Foundation’s investment in teachers.  In addition to funding the New Teacher Center’s work at Overfelt, the Foundation is supporting similar efforts in Austin, Texas, Portland, Oregon, and Kalispell, Montana, all communities where Applied Materials has a presence. 

The majority of the Applied Materials Foundation Education Initiative investments focus on recruiting talented people to the profession, supporting their ongoing development, and encouraging professional collaboration, which increases leadership opportunities for experienced teachers.

The investment at Overfelt High School was recently highlighted in the Wall Street Journal. Read below a few excerpts from the article.

Advocates of teacher-training programs say one reason for the relatively high dropout rate is the traditional teacher education, which they say relies too heavily on classroom theory instead of arming newcomers with practical tactics to cope with a packed classroom of students with divergent abilities, language barriers or difficulty sitting still for 30 minutes.

"We talk about kids having opportunities-to-learn gaps. Teachers do, too," says Kitty Dixon, senior vice president for New Teacher Center, which is based in Santa Cruz. "It starts them down a downward trend to get them looking for other work."

At William C. Overfelt High School in San Jose, New Teacher Center last year helped design an extensive teacher collaboration program for veteran and novice teachers from different subjects to work in groups on classroom lessons and individualized improvement plans for students. New Teacher Center also helped line up donations from Applied Materials Inc., a tech company based in Santa Clara, to cover what Mr. Chiala says is an $18,000 cost of the program

Log on to the Wall Street Journal web site to access the full article. 

To learn more about Applied Materials' community investments, visit the Corporate Responsibility web site.