Educator attrition and shortages signal the need to rethink how we recruit, attract, prepare, and retain a high-quality and diverse workforce. The Maryland State Department of Education aims to elevate the stature of the teaching profession through support for Grow Your Own staff programs.
Grow Your Own programs are strategies and partnerships between educator preparation programs, school district, and community organizations that recruit and prepare local community members to enter the teaching profession and lead in their communities. They are designed to expand teacher and school leader pipelines, address shortages, and increase diversity to better align with student demographics.
In 2022, MSDE awarded $47,486,941 in Maryland Leads grants to 23 local education agencies to implement GYO programs. In Frederick County, there are efforts to grow certified behavior analysts, special education teachers, as well as the implementation of an administrator residency program to grow new school leaders. Similarly, Montgomery County offered tuition assistance for current high school seniors and paraeducators to pursue a teaching degree at Bowie State University or Montgomery College; and provided deliberate and structured mentorship opportunities for students interested in teaching careers to diversify hires and make teaching staff more representative of the district.