Teach Forward Houston

Teach Forward Houston (TFH) is a ground-breaking fellowship developed in partnership between the Houston Independent School District (HISD) and the University of Houston. This collaborated efforts, works to ensure our city’s schools are staffed with highly effective teachers who are passionate about improving their community through education. The fellows of Teach Forward Houston will earn a Bachelor of Science in Teaching and Learning before returning to the greater Houston community for a minimum of four years as an HISD classroom teacher.

While at the University, fellows receive academic support from The College of Education (COE) and will move through their degree plan in a cohort fashion and will have access to the network of support from the COE. Fellows will receive additional support from the Urban Experience Program (UEP) through our holistic approach to advising that empowers students with personal, career, leadership, and financial development resources. We will focus on monitoring to ensure fellow’s success and offering specialized programming focused on preparing these upcoming-educators with skills needed for success in their future classrooms.


Hear From the Fellows

If you have kept up with the 2017 NBA Playoffs, there have been several story lines. One has been resilience. Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics lost his sister to a car crash. He played the very next day and scored 35 points right after sitting on the bench in tears. Patrick Beverly of the Houston Rockets shed tears on the court after knocking down the first shot of the game hours after learning of his grandfather’s passing. Despite having to be there for their families, travel back and forth between funerals and games, and grieve themselves, these men have not missed a game (or played poorly for that matter). Unfortunately, I can relate to the experiences of these men.

On October 10th, 2016, my dad passed away. I woke up to a phone call informing me he was in the hospital, 15 or so minutes after I arrived there he was gone. This obviously changed my entire life. I did not see this coming. Although there is never a good time for something like this to happen, the timing sucked. My mom and my dad’s birthdays are in October, followed by Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my parent’s wedding anniversary. In addition, I missed a week of classes, had midterms the following week, and had to commute to campus so I could be with my family at home. And it all happened in the blink of an eye. This is enough to shut anybody’s routine down and throw one off course. I could not let that happen. That is why resilience is crucial to success in college and in life. No one’s life is perfect. No matter what you plan, life puts roadblocks in the way. The following are my tips for overcoming said roadblocks.

  1. RECOGNIZE & UTALIZE YOUR RESCOURCES. I could not have made it without God and countless people who made contributions. More people are willing to help more than you may realize. Don’t even be afraid to ask for little things. You do not have to handle everything by yourself.
  2. STAY ORGANIZED! Not only is it important to stay organized while having to handle a tough situation, it is important to always stay organized. That way, when things get difficult, you can keep track of what you need to catch up on, and not feel even more overwhelmed.
  3. THE STORM WILL PASS. Trials don’t last forever. It is important to look ahead and know that the present is not the permanent. You can get through it.

Whether it is the tragic loss of a loved one, a feeling of being overwhelmed with school, or something as trivial as basketball, we all go through trials. They test our resilience. Despite the sob story, I have killed my first year of college. Coming out on top feels good.

*Nathan McCleskey graduate from Bellaire High School.

When I began my first semester at the University of Houston, on the fall of 2016, I found myself in a small perfect haven. I saw many restaurants, a massive recreation center, and great commodities that I longed for in high school. Now, I’m in my second semester and my definition of “commodity” has changed drastically. Here is a list of the conclusions that I have reached and think that every high school newbie should know:

  1. Keeping busy keeps you out of trouble.
  2. Time is GOLD.
  3. Being with your friends/classmates ALL the time is not the best idea.
  4. Punctual means 30 minutes before class.
  5. Want good parking? Arrive 2 hours earlier.
  6. Food is important for your survival (Do not starve).
  7. Food is also a factor to GAIN weight.
  8. Balance in your personal and academic life is key.
  9. Study habits are NECESSARY.
  10. Bravery means DARING to ask a question, DARING to reach out for help and DARING to meet new people!

*Yenifer Martinez graduated from Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy.


I am currently a TFH Fellow and have questions about non-academic resources at U of H, who do I contact?

Please contact the UEP TFH Program Coordinator, Ms. Sharlene Laud or stop by the Program office (Student Service Center Building 1, Room 302) for more information.

I am currently a TFH Fellow and have questions about my classes, who do I contact?

Please contact the COE Program Coordinator, Ms. Ana Morales or stop by the College of Education Farish Hall 126 for academic advising, including registering for classes.

I know a current HISD senior or junior that has a passion for education and giving back to the city of Houston, who do I contact?

Please email TeachForawrdHouston@HoustonISD.org for more information.