VTfT and VBCPS partnership recruits new teachers, offers future contracts

The Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow (VTfT) program has been a popular elective within the school for several years, although it has recently grown exponentially in student enrollment. So much so, that discussions for an academy program are within reach.

And, although the COVID-19 pandemic has closed schools to students all over the country since March, these motivated VTfT students remained steadfast in their educational interests, keeping the class close with thoughts of a future teaching contract in Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS).

VTfT I and II teacher Jennifer Nardelli has been the only program’s only teacher for the past five years. And, with each passing year, Nardelli seems to incorporate more collaboration with local schools and students, the newest VBCPS initiatives and ideas, new technology and best teaching practices into her classroom for her students to then take out into the world.

“I love that VTfT allows high school students a chance to work with kids and learn about teaching so that they can see if the path is right for them before they go to college,” Nardelli said. “Teaching VTfT is definitely the most rewarding aspect of my career.”

Each year, graduating seniors who have completed two consecutive years in VTfT, as well as an internship at a local elementary or middle school, are considered for a teaching job after completing their [respective] higher level education courses. Furthermore, these students who are offered contracts have gone above and beyond, not only completing the necessary requirements of the course, but who also exemplify the VBCPS standards of a full-time professional teacher.

Her hard work is paying off, particularly this year, as ten graduating seniors have been awarded a VBCPS teaching contract upon fulfilling teaching requirements and returning home to Virginia Beach.

According to Nardelli, when students figure out that teaching is their true calling, it is truly amazing to have played a part in that student’s journey and she is always proud to see them evolve.

VTfT II student senior Eric Michals has been involved in every aspect of the program during his tenure in the class and realizes that education and teaching requires more than simply curriculum.

“Working with my classmates, observing Mrs. Nardelli and teachers in my other classes, my internship and our partnership with a local kindergarten class where we would create our own lessons and activities was impactful,” Michals said. “But I also realized that working with students, no matter their age, is so important because school and a teacher can be a child’s best hope for a good day.”