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BC program forms teachers for urban Catholic schools

Natalie Lyzinski, a teacher at Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy's Lower Mills campus, discusses a language arts learning activity with sixth grade students Marlisha Amisial, Anabelis Diaz and Ferry Armand. Lyzinski is in her second year with the Urban Catholic Teachers Corps. Pilot photo/Jim Lockwood

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DORCHESTER -- Guided by its four pillars -- teaching as service, spirituality, living in community and simple living -- the Urban Catholic Teachers Corps (UCTC) forms young teachers for the Boston-area's urban Catholic schools.

The UCTC, administered by the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, is a volunteer teaching program for recent college graduates with a bachelor's degree in education. Each year, the program places about a dozen teachers in urban Catholic elementary and high schools in and around Boston for a two-year full-time teaching commitment.

Every year, the program includes a 50-50 mix of first and second-year teachers serving roughly ten schools.

Simultaneously, the teachers pursue a master's degree at Boston College in the Lynch School. Teachers begin their master's degree classes after Christmas of their first year.

Program director Karen Kennedy said that she looks for candidates who embody the program's four pillars when evaluating applicants.

"We really want someone who wants to live these values in the UCTC and beyond their own classroom and school culture," Kennedy said.

Some of this year's UCTC teachers said those pillars, as well as the entire experience of being in the program, makes them more effective in the classroom.

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