'Grow Your Own' Teacher Programs

Instructor leading a collaborative teaching session

What is a 'Grow Your Own' program?

'Grow Your Own' (GYO) is a teacher preparation strategy focused on developing teachers from the local community. This might mean offering paraprofessionals, teaching assistants, or career changers an opportunity to move into the classroom; or simply ensuring novice teachers have the supportive training they need to stay for the long term. GYO programs are often successful pathways for attracting and retaining teachers of color.

According to research by New America, there are GYO programs in nearly every state, and 31 states offer some funding to incentivize them. GYO programs often overlap with teacher apprenticeship programs or teacher residencies.

'Grow Your Own' at Relay

Relay partners with over 30 school districts across the country on a variety of 'Grow Your Own' type programs. These include para-to-teacher or tutor-to-teacher pipelines, strategic staffing initiatives with a strong focus on recruiting from in-district employees and local career changers, state-grant-funded programs, and more. Many participants enroll in our Master of Arts in Teaching - Teacher Residency program; some are full time teachers earning their MAT or alternative licensure.

Case Studies

Colonial School District: Creating an Infinite Pipeline of Educators
Memphis-Shelby County Schools: Tapping the Talent We Already Have