Proud to be from Pittsburgh: Brashear Teaching Magnet

PITTSBURGH — Educators with the Pittsburgh Public School district want to spark an interest in the next generation of teachers, as early as middle school. That's where the Brashear Teaching Magnet program comes in. The program looks for potential future educators, and starts giving them teaching experience at a younger age.

Char-les Stephens has been involved in the program for four years now. She says she didn't always think about being a teacher someday, but over time her perspective has changed.

"Maybe I do like teaching," Stephens told us about her changing thought process. "Maybe I never understood what a teacher actually does."

Initiatives like this program are invaluable for Pittsburgh Public Schools. They are taking a more intentional approach in recruiting a more diverse teaching workforce.

"Pittsburgh is much like other large cities in which the teaching workforce is predominately white, and the student ratio is disproportionate to that," said the district's Chief Human Resources Officer Robert Harris.

Over the past 30 years this program has been around, coordinator Hanna McCarthy has seen its impact first hand.

"When they see my students come out, the little ones will look and say, 'Oh, they're like us, I'm going to be a teacher too'."

In May, Char-les will graduate. She plans on attending Slippery Rock to study elementary special education, and says the teaching magnet program made that possible.

Said Stephens: "They're the reason why I for sure want to do teaching."

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