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MPS hosts “Teach for America” training for nearly 70 corp members

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MILWAUKEE -- For the first time, Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) is hosting "Teach for America Training." Aspiring educators and leaders have traveled from all over the country to train with MPS teachers while holding summer classes.

On a hot summer school day, Collen O'Brien helped her students. O'Brien is a California-born, New York-educated aspiring teacher. But for the last six weeks, she's been at the Greenfield Bilingual School in Milwaukee.

"It is a great partnership we have with Teach for America. So far, I hear all positive comments," said Juan Badillo, Greenfield Bilingual assistant principal.

Badillo also overseas the Summer Academy, which for the first time, is incorporating Teach for America  corps members.

One room over from O'Brien, Washington, D.C., native Madeline Osborn led her own class of third graders.

"It's been great. These kids are great and they know they are all watching me. They are fantastic and it's a new experience teaching in Spanish," said Osborne.

The program highlights an immediate benefit of having the corps members train with MPS, because they are being placed in schools throughout the city this fall.

"So many different communities across the city, and kind of taking the framework of how they are getting to know their community right now over the summer into their fall placement," said Christina Moutinho, corps member adviser.

The students are themselves, volunteers -- choosing to attend the MPS Summer Enrichment program, which gives corps members real classroom experience before the fall.

"I'm learning the ropes. I'm practicing. I'm getting feedback and every day is like a development and building on the next thing," said Latoya Friend, corps member.

MPS hopes the sum of all these parts will help fill teaching gaps throughout Milwaukee if the corp members decide to pursue an education career following their service.

Another way to recruit future teachers is by hosting an Educators Job Fair. MPS is doing that on Thursday, July 20th at James Madison School from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Licensed teachers and those soon to be accredited are welcome.