The Dallas Independent School District is recruiting its second cohort of Hispanic men for the district’s innovative Adjunct Teacher Residency Program.
The first group of 11 Latino professionals is nearing the end of the district’s new semester-long program.
While the participants have college degrees, they are not certified teachers.
Diego Morillo is training to teach science at W.W. Samuell High School in Pleasant Grove.
Morillo obtained his bachelor’s degree in physiology and once performed autopsies but traded in the profession to focus on his passion for teaching.
“If you really want to get to the heart of the community, get to their youth. They are future leaders,” he said.
Morillo left his teaching job at a private school in Pleasant Grove where he grew up and came across Dallas ISD’s program.
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“I ran into this program and it was ideal,” he said.
Candidates receive a $25,000 salary for the semester-long training that ends with an exam.
If they pass, they will receive a teaching position in the district and the district’s $56,000 salary for those without previous teaching experience. There is a probationary period for new teachers.
“Through this program, they’ll be trained and be able to make a difference in our classrooms,” said Eric Carrizales, recruitment and selection coordinator for the program.
The district has been recruiting more men in general, hoping to improve performance and build bonds between students and teachers of color.
An estimated 70% of the student body is of Hispanic origin, according to Carrizales.
While the district has plenty of Hispanic teachers, women far outnumber men.
The hope is that seeing men who look like them, share the same culture and often the same language will help more students thrive.
“Just that connection of having the same ethnicity and being able to confide in these men,” Carrizales said.
Morillo said most of his students are migrants like him. His family migrated from Ecuador when he was a little boy.
He’s already noticed a difference when some students begin to seek him out for help or advice.
“Me being here personally and being able to say that I got here through a degree, makes it very doable for them,” Morillo said. “That it is very possible, as an immigrant yourself or your parents to take the next step.”
Morillo said he looks forward to his final exam and continuing his path to the classroom.
“My responsibility as a member of this community is to make sure this community is in a better place so the next generation can take it just a little bit further,” he said.
Dallas ISD hopes to recruit nine new Latinos for the 2022 group.
The program requirements are listed below.
- Bachelor's degree required
- Minimum GPA of 2.5
- Demonstrated general knowledge of child growth/development and behavior characteristics
- Demonstrated ability to work with people from diverse ethnic groups
- Demonstrated organizational and interpersonal skills required to meet the goals of the position
- Demonstrated initiative and a willingness to follow verbal and written instructions
- Demonstrated effective communication skills both in oral and written form
- Demonstrated ability to work with children with disabilities
- Demonstrated flexibility to cope with the challenges of a rapidly changing world
- Demonstrated willingness to remain current with the latest developments in the profession
For more information about the program, click here.