Seeking the next generation of teachers
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 10:25
by Nicole Rodman

    As anyone who has ever been a teacher can tell you, it is an exhausting, yet rewarding, profession.
    Though they spend hours of their own time (and many of their own dollars) preparing lesson plans for students, the magic of seeing a child finally learn a concept is payment in and of itself.
   
Yet, the work is tough and many teachers burn out within a few years of entering the classroom.
    According to a 2009 report by the National Commission on Teaching & America’s Future (NCTAF), a third of new teachers leave the profession within five years.
    Additionally, according to NCTAF, within the next  decade, up to half of the nation’s current educators could be lost due to retirement.
    Hoping to recruit the next generation of educators to Baltimore County, the Baltimore County Public School (BCPS) system has implemented the Baltimore County Scholarship Loan Program.
    Instituted in 2006, the program offers loan scholarships to current BCPS seniors interested in a teaching career in mathematics, science, special education or technology.
    Students may apply for a $4,000 loan scholarship to be used to enroll at a full-time approved teacher education program at a Maryland college or university.
    The award may be used for tuition, fees, books or educational supplies.
    In exchange for the loan scholarship, students sign a promisory note agreeing to teach full-time in a BCPS school.
    Students may apply for the award each year up to four years, though they must teach in a BCPS school for one year for each year of the award.
    In accepting the scholarship loan award, students agree to attend an approved Maryland teacher education program.
    Students must attend the teacher education program full-time (at least 12 credits per semester) and commit to teaching in one of BCPS’s critical need subject areas (mathematics, science, special education or technology).
    In addition, students must maintain Maryland residency and begin teaching at a BCPS school within six months of graduation from college or university.
    In order to be eligible for the award, students must be a BCPS senior and have a minimum grade point average of 2.80.
    To apply, students must submit an application with a resume listing school and community activities.
    Students must also submit three references, two from a teacher, guidance counselor or principal and one from a community service representative or employer.
    Information and an application form are available at BCPS high school guidance offices or online at www.bcps.org/parents/pdf/BCPS-Scholarship-Program-Brochure.pdf.
    Applications are due by Friday, April 12.
    Applicants who receive scholarship awards will be notified by Tuesday, April 30. An awards ceremony for recipients will be held on Wednesday, May 8.