The director of talent strategy for Indianapolis-based The Mind Trust says a new initiative launched in collaboration with Indianapolis Public Schools and the Mayor’s Office of Education Innovation will to address teacher shortages in one of the hardest-hit areas of the city. Jackie Gantzer says Teach Indy will strengthen the pipeline of teacher talent by recruiting educators from throughout the state and country to teach in public schools within the city’s urban core.
Gantzer says The Mind Trust is investing up to $200,000 in the first year of the collaboration, which is centered around the theme "This is Why You Teach." In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, she said the campaign showcases the city’s assets both in schools and the community as a whole.
"We have such a wide array of school models and communities in Indianapolis that no matter what it is you’re passionate about as a teacher, you can find a school and you can find a neighborhood where you can ignite that passion and you can develop it and you can really thrive in a community that continually inspires you," said Gantzer. "So I think, from an education perspective, it’s that diversity of school type, diversity of school leadership and diversity of local community, but we all know Indianapolis is also a great place to live and is one of the most affordable big cities in the country. So there’s also a lot of benefits just to living in Indianapolis as well."
The initiative includes a website that features a job portal to connected interested teachers with job openings at more than 100 schools within IPS and the city’s public charter school sector. The Mind Trust says the effort seeks to follow best practices developed through similar initiatives in Memphis, Denver and Washington D.C., among other locations.
"Quality education is the engine of the American dream – in Indianapolis, we are driven to make that dream a reality for all children," Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said in a press release. “Working with our community and district partners, the Teach Indy campaign will enable us to attract and retain talented teachers in our city, ensuring quality education is accessible to youth in our urban core.”
Gantzer says the goal is to inspire teachers from throughout the country to see that Indianapolis is allowing teachers to pursue their passion in the classroom and to generate excitement around the teaching profession in general.
"We know that Indianapolis is a great place and our teachers know that Indianapolis is a great place but I think it’s important to elevate that across the country and to show just what makes Indianapolis special and that, no matter what your passion is for teaching, that you can do it here in Indianapolis," said Gantzer.
You can learn more about Teach Indy by clicking here.