Tennessee Launches Apprenticeship Program to Resolve Teacher Shortage


On FOX and Friends Friday morning, Ainsley Earhardt interviewed the Tennessee Education Commissioner Dr. Penny Schwinn and Austin Peay State University student Malachi Johnson about the teacher apprenticeship program that is addressing the severe teacher shortage. Struggling to fill vacancies, the state of Tennessee is funding the apprenticeship program to give teacher candidates the opportunity to work in the classroom and earn money while pursuing their degrees. 

Teacher resident Malachi Johnson shared that the program has been particularly beneficial for him as it provides an exceptional support system in the early years of teaching. Students of the program receive guidance from college professors and a mentor teacher who guides them through the process of unit and lesson planning. Additionally, being able to work in the classroom itself is providing an authentic learning experience where teacher candidates will learn about all aspects of being an educator. 

Dr. Schwinn discussed the importance of having highly qualified teachers in the classroom who are committed to advancing student achievement. She shared that the program provides three years of experience alongside excellent teachers who will effectively prepare students for the classroom.

In response to Ainsley’s inquiry about Malachi’s experience working with children right away, he shared that seeing them everyday and seeing that he is making a big difference in their lives has made this opportunity even more valuable and special.


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