Mr. Ross is one of 19 young men and women entering Baltimore classrooms this fall in Teach for America, a 4-year-old national program that recruits top college graduates to teach in some of America's most troubled schools -- without education degrees and with only six weeks of summer training. If they fulfill a two-year commitment, corps members will earn a Maryland teaching certificate.
The principal is a believer in Teach for America. She said she finds the corps members "bright, adaptable and idealistic. They're here because they choose to be here. And they learn a good deal about themselves and about life here on McCulloh Street." Six of last year's eight corps members will be back (one dropped out at mid-year; another left this summer), and another of this year's corps members, Felicity Messner, of Ann Arbor, Mich., will be teaching across the hall from Mr. Ross.
The Teach for America teachers began their training with 450 other corps members in Houston, then moved to Baltimore for two weeks of "induction" before they were turned over to the city school system for orientation. While they looked for apartments -- Mr. Ross will share with another corps member -- and explored Baltimore, Teach for America put them through a series of workshops designed to ready them for entry.
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