With nearly two hundred thousand military service people leaving the armed forces every year, there is a great need to provide these deserving men and women with rewarding and high-quality jobs. At the same time, many of our nation’s schools are challenged to meet the needs of children living in poverty, subjected to life in areas with high crime and often being raised in single parent households. There is a great discrepancy left by the unmet needs of both of these populations.
That is where Troops to Teachers comes in. Troops to Teachers (TTT) is a Department of Defense program, managed by DANTES, that helps current and former service members find new careers as public school teachers. Troops to Teachers provides them with an opportunity to use the leadership skills, knowledge and experience they gained in the armed forces to positively affect the lives of students.
Who is DANTES?
The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) is dedicated to the mission of helping present and former service members to pursue their various educational goals.
Who does DANTES Serve?
DANTES’ task of bolstering our nation’s educational system by tapping the valuable resource represented by our military personnel, is achieved by serving four different sectors of our society.
These sectors are;
– Service Members: The men and women who will become TTT’s next generation of highly qualified educators for young people.
– Educational Institutions: The organizations who are in need of qualified teachers with an above average teaching and working ethic.
– Education Counselors: Those whose difficult jobs it is to help students and working people attain the knowledge, training, and guidance they need to gain valuable skills.
– Military Education Leadership: The people who teach those who eventually become the next generation of TTT educators.(3)
What is Troops to Teachers?
Established in 1994, Troops to Teachers was a result of a federal initiative to better serve both our armed service members and our nation’s children. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2000 transferred responsibility for TTT over to the U.S. Department of Education, but the DoD continues to operate it through DANTES. In 2001, the No Child Left Behind Act provided for the continued authorization of TTT. In 2013, the National Defense Authorization Act was revised to allow for TTT’s continued funding once again. It also transferred responsibility for the program back into the hands of the DoD.
The mission of Troops to Teachers is three-fold.
1. To help Service members to successfully transition from military life to full or part time employment as public school teachers.
2. To help our nation’s public school students by providing them with dedicated teachers and positive role models.
3. To aid public schools through the provision of teachers proficient in all the critical subjects, (science, math, language, special education, technical fields and more), and teachers with a superior work ethic who will not be dissuaded by the challenges presented to them by teaching demanding student populations.
Above and Beyond
Troops to Teachers does everything possible to help motivated and promising aspiring teachers to overcome whatever barriers may stand between them and a career in teaching. Aspiring teachers are given more guidance than they could receive through any other program. TTT provides graduates with hands-on mentoring by a retired educator who will oversee their classroom work after job placement so that the new teacher should not feel that they have been left to their own devices. TTT, in many cases, also offers financial assistance to service members while they are going through their education to become teachers.
The professional educators of TTT know that it’s not just the reputation of Troops to Teachers that’s at stake every time one of their participants steps into the classroom. It’s the future success of every child in that classroom and the communities that they will grow to serve. That’s why TTT is dedicated to providing new teachers with everything they need to bring their valuable experience into the classroom and engage young learners. Their homepage provides links to resources and information that will direct participants toward their goal.
Those participants who qualify can be provided with financial assistance. This type of aid is aimed at helping aspiring teachers with no prior teaching experience who may have difficulty overcoming the experience-barrier to employment. The financial aid provided to them can enable them to attain the extra tuition and financial security that can make a critical difference in their lives as well as the lives of those who depend on them.
In order to meet their objective of helping eligible former service members make the switch to a new career in teaching, a vast network of State TTT Offices exists to give program participants the assistance and counseling they need to achieve their certification requirements and ultimately employment in an institution where they can make a difference.
Who Can Apply?
Any current or former U.S. military service members who received (or will receive) an honorable discharge may apply.
A Perfect Fit for Teachers and Students
Service members have experience training others. They are disciplined, and task oriented. They have a desire to serve, possess a collaborative mindset and have the ability to get kid’s attention.
TTT will provide its participants with counseling services to include identification of the certification requirements of the state they intend to work in. They also help with job placement.
Successful participants will teach in K through 12 schools anywhere in the U.S. including Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Troops to Teachers’ counselors give participants information on the most attractive jobs available in the state or region where they wish to teach.
Studies have shown that TTT graduates are effective teachers. They have been shown to be more likely to work in high-risk districts where poverty and crime are heavily factored into the lives of students. Research reveals that TTT teachers are less afraid to work in such places. And it is in this way that Troops to Teachers is helping to address the needs of an underserved population and bringing critical educational skills to places where others would fear to go.
The program’s funding is appropriated each year. Former military personnel who are interested in pursuing a career in teaching students from Kindergarten to High School, a Bureau of Indian Affairs schools or a charter school are encouraged to apply and may submit a registration for via the following link.