From Boardroom to Blackboard

Career Changers Bring Math Lessons from the Real World
By Marilyn Sherman

"I went into this because I believe in public education, but ... I need to be on the inside to do something about it." A former banker, NU-TEACH graduate Dorne Eastwood left a $500 billion portfolio to teach mathematics in Chicago. PHOTO BY MARK SWINDLE

One day Dorne Eastwood was managing a $500 billion portfolio as a banker, and the next day she was training to become a mathematics teacher in an underserved school. Like other graduates of SESP's innovative NU-TEACH alternative certifi cation program, Eastwood gave up a comfortable office job to stand at a chalkboard in an inner-city mathematics classroom.

NU-TEACH provides highly qualified mid-career adults a fast track to becoming teachers in high-need areas such as mathematics. In a single year NU-TEACH interns earn certification to teach in Chicago schools. After completing coursework and student teaching in the summer, they teach under the mentorship of a master teacher and take classes during the school year. SESP's partners in the NU-TEACH program are the Golden Apple Foundation, Inner-City Teaching Corps and Chicago Public Schools.

NU-TEACH was founded in 1998 with the goal of creating educational opportunity for students in Chicago Public Schools. According to director Sylvia Smith-Demuth, students in underserved schools in Chicago would not have a chance to go to college without taking substantive mathemat- ics courses. "We make certain that the students who need to have upper-level math courses will get teachers with a strong background," she says.

Why Teach?

Scott Galson was an econometric forecaster before he entered NU-TEACH and became a mathematics teacher at Chicago's Walter Payton High School. PHOTOS BY ANDREW CAMPBELL
Most of the people who enter NU-TEACH in mathematics come from careers in finance, technology, banking, engineering, actuary and economics. They have realized that they want to do something more service-oriented and people-focused, and they are committed to improving education in urban schools.

"I know it sounds corny, but it was the time in my life when I needed to start giving back," says Eastwood, who left banking after 22 years to teach at Northwest Middle School. With her children out of college and financial responsibilities behind her, "I knew a change was in order, and I wanted to do something worthwhile."

NU-TEACH grads sometimes find that a taste of teaching draws them in
By Marilyn Sherman with photos by Mark Swindle and Andrew Campbell