Grow Your Own Teachers (GYO)

Grow Your Own Teachers is an initiative in the State of Illinois to identify, train and employ 1000 or more fully qualified teachers who have previous ties to the low-income communities where they work. Each program under this initiative is organized and run by a consortium of institutions, including at least a teacher preparation university or college, a community-based organization and a school district.

The program draws teacher candidates from persons who are not qualified for “Alternative Certification” programs (i.e. do not have a bachelor’s degree) but are either currently employed in schools in these communities or participating as an active parent or community member.

The programs are not “short cut” programs to teacher certification – each university is basing its program on their full undergraduate education curriculum. All candidates will meet or exceed Illinois State Standards.

The evidence of similar projects around the country shows that teachers who come through this kind of program are much more likely to stay in hard-to-staff schools and positions than teachers who come from outside the community.

Visit our GYO Forms page.