Tomorrow's Teachers

Tomorrow’s Teachers: Growing Our Own

The Tomorrow’s Teachers: Growing Our Own program at Indiana University Kokomo is designed to identify, encourage, and prepare individuals in one’s local community who are interested in becoming an educator or educational professional. This program is based on a Grow Your Own (GYO) approach and only works through great partnerships. The IU Kokomo School of Education and local school districts work together to create a pipeline of future educators that will meet local school staffing needs and shortages.

Some of the highlighted features and advantages of this program include:

  • Students will be taught by School of Education faculty through a blended format that includes on-campus meetings as well as meetings in local high schools.
  • Students will participate in school-based field experiences. These are hands-on and intentionally sequenced in P-8 classrooms that are coordinated and supervised by district educators and integrated into IU Kokomo education courses.
  • Students will experience hands-on engagement activities on campus where they’ll build community and network to gain a better understanding of the profession.

The Tomorrow’s Teachers program matches students interested in education with the resources to help them launch their career earlier. This program is currently running in area high schools. Courses can be utilized for dual-credit purposes and as part of a graduation pathway.

IU Kokomo Education Courses

  • Four pre-professional education courses taught by IU Kokomo Education faculty through a combination of in-district, virtual, and on-campus class sessions.
  • One course per semester, over two years (high school junior and senior years).
  • School districts may utilize these for dual-credit purposes. 
  • On-campus orientation before classes begin in the fall.

School-based Field Experiences

  • Structured field experiences are completed in the districts’ schools and classrooms.
  • Experiences are 1 part of the Education course and are coordinated with course content, standards, and assignments.

On-campus Engagement Activities

  • Students participate on-campus events/activities each semester.
  • Students are members of EdSAC (Education Student Advisory Council) and are invited to all events, meetings, and social.

Through career exploration and discovery, mentoring, extra-curricular activities, observations and experiential learning in P-12 classrooms, and Education-focused coursework, Tomorrow’s Teachers will develop knowledge and skills in the five areas below.

  1. Understanding the Profession: Tomorrow’s Teachers will learn about the profession, explore grade levels and areas of specialty, and understand the college preparation and licensing process to inform their decision about pursuing a career as an educator.
  2. Understanding the Learning Process and Individual Differences: Tomorrow’s Teachers will learn about the process of teaching and learning and develop an understanding of individual differences among students across various grade levels and from various backgrounds.
  3. Developing and Sustaining Relationships: Tomorrow’s Teachers will learn communication skills and professional behaviors to interact with fellow future educators, P-12 teachers and administrators, and university faculty and staff.
  4. Planning, Instruction, and Evaluation: Tomorrow’s Teachers will learn to engage in thoughtful planning, use effective strategies to promote learning, and assess student progress and growth. 
  5. Reflective Practice and Professional Growth: Tomorrow’s Teachers will learn to use reflection to develop an understanding of oneself as a future educator and advance professional knowledge and skills.  

Sound like something your district needs?

If you’re interested in exploring a Grow Your Own partnership with the IU Kokomo School of Education, please contact the Dean, Leah Nellis Ph.D., at 765-455-9287 or

IU Kokomo: Tomorrow's Teachers

Watch Tomorrow’s Teachers Video with Audio Description

Description of the video:

Tomorrow’s Teachers video transcript - 2023

Descriptive Audio (DA) - A small group of students who participated in the Tomorrow’s Teachers program at IU Kokomo are interviewed alongside Western High School educator, Sarah Kritzman. During the interviews, bits of video footage of the students are shown over the speaking.

00:00:00:03 - 00:00:01:16

A group of Tomorrows Teachers is playing with students and you can hear them yelling “Oh!” 


00:00:01:16 - 00:00:13:03

(DA) Sarah Kritzman speaks to the camera.

I think that students and parents need to understand this is not your traditional dual credit class. This is a college level course taught by a college professor that just happens to come to your high school campus.


00:00:13:04 - 00:00:21:23

(DA) Ella Hobson speaks to the camera. 

I think it really shows you the reality of being a teacher and it helps you figure out if that's something that you want to go to college for.


00:00:22:00 - 00:00:32:03

(DA) Courtney Brackett speaks to the camera.

I'm more comfortable on campus and with my professors and with students. So like when I go to my placements and practicums, I am just so comfortable with the teachers and the students because I got a head start.


00:00:32:04 - 00:00:42:09

(DA) Sarah Kritzman speaks to the camera.

And we need to acknowledge that there's going to be really high expectations. But so many of our students can rise to those expectations and the professors at IUK are phenomenal to work with.


00:00:42:15 - 00:01:05:19

(DA) Marlie Chafee speaks to the camera.

Yes, very happy. I'm very happy that I had this opportunity to get a head start in my college courses. I met a lot of friends and I met amazing professors through this program, and because of the program, I am graduating a semester early because otherwise I would be going four years instead of three and a half.


00:01:06:01 - 00:01:22:16

(DA) Ella Hobson speaks to the camera.

So for me, I went in thinking I wanted to teach high school English, and I came out still the same because I got to have experience teaching all the different grade levels and figuring out what kind of kids I really want to work with and what subject area I want.


00:01:22:16 - 00:01:42:14

(DA) Marlie Chafee speaks to the camera. 

The workload wasn't as much. It felt like it was a sneak peek of what college was like and transitioning into college. I knew how to use canvas. I knew how to get in contact with my professors, read the syllabus and what was required, at IUK.


00:01:42:19 - 00:02:02:10

(DA) Courtney Brackett speaks to the camera.

I would recommend to anyone to participate in this program whether you want to be a teacher or not. Like, even if you just think you want to work with kids simply because it's an amazing opportunity and it really prepares you to be a college student. You learn how to manage your classes, how to read syllabus. Just all of those like college things that you don't learn in high school.


00:02:02:10 - 00:02:06:12

Courtney Brackett

You learn through this program, which made my transition from high school to college so much better.


00:02:06:12 - 00:02:27:04

(DA) Sarah Kritzman speaks to the camera.

And so exposing our students to a true college course, to a true dual credit course, is something that is going to be beneficial for any student, whether they find out that education is the path that they want to take or they get into it and they say, you know what, this really wasn't for me, but I was able to gain all this positive experience and knowledge and how to function in a true college class.


00:02:27:08 - 00:02:41:23

(DA) Ella Hobson speaks to the camera.

I think that IU Kokomo is wonderful. It's a really tight knit community. Everyone is so nice and really cares about your journey into education and they just create a really supportive environment.


Watch Tomorrow’s Teachers Video with Audio Description

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