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Teaching Excellence Program - TEXT

TEXT, an acronym for Teaching Excellence Team, is a partnership Avila University maintains with over 185 specially trained mentor teachers from 25 school districts in the Missouri and Kansas area. Working with these professionals, we help develop excellent, qualified teachers through Avila’s education program.

The TEXT program is designed to allow excellent teachers in urban, suburban, and rural areas of Kansas City an opportunity to share their expertise with education students at Avila University, as the students begin to network with professionals in education. Teachers selected as members of TEXT may work with Avila students during various phases of their teacher preparation program: Practicum (an INTRODUCTION to education), class observations and student teaching.

The goal of TEXT is to prepare future teachers for increasing student success in American classrooms in diverse settings.

For more information about TEXT or to become a mentor, contact Mrs. Natalie Cobb, Director of Clinical and Field-based Experiences, at 816.501.2432 or natalie.cobb@avila.edu.


Why is there a need for TEXT?

Many teacher education students are completing degrees and receiving certification without being adequately prepared to meet the needs of students representing a variety of backgrounds. Many graduates of teacher education programs may not have developed through their experiences a familiarity with a variety of teaching settings (urban, suburban, and rural). This situation often leads to fewer teachers with the proper preparation seeking teaching positions in urban and rural areas.

Through TEXT, students at Avila begin their first educational experience in TEXT practicum with two diverse placements within their field of interest (by grade level and curriculum area). This allows the students to discover if they are truly interested in teaching as a career and to discover the rewards and challenges of teaching in various settings.

Within TEXT practicum, professional mentors provide a role model for excellent teaching and receive assistance from the practicum students who are encouraged to observe and serve as a paraprofessional in each of their five, full-day placements (serving a total of 10 days with two different mentors). Graduate Certification students serve their practicum at one site for five full days.


Becoming a TEXT Mentor

As a mentor, you will prepare education students for multicultural urban, suburban and rural classrooms to increase the success rates of students in each of these settings and to broaden the experiences of undergraduate education students to include a variety of settings in their teacher education, from initial experience in the classroom to the final selection of the professional teaching site.

TEXT Mentors' Responsibilities
TEXT Mentors may serve in some or all of the following roles:

  • Mentoring a TEXT Practicum student.
  • Allowing the Practicum student to assist with extra duty assignments.
  • Discussing your view of education, your philosophy, and your beliefs about teaching strategies, and sharing some of your experiences with your Practicum student.
  • Completing an evaluation of your student’s practicum experience with you.

Contact Natalie Cobb at Avila University at 816-501-2432 if you have any questions in regard to your responsibilities or concerns about your student.