What is wrong with the teaching profession? Some would say even with innovation, the achievement gap between students of color and their white counterparts is growing. Also, the teacher force does not reflect the student population in many schools. These are just some of the potential answers to this often-asked question. The fact that we cannot find the answer to the question is causing many to believe we need to rethink a lot. One area that many are reviewing is how teachers are trained. The pathway to becoming a teacher is different than it was 20-30 years ago. Now, there are many options. It will be challenging in some schools to find teachers who come from a traditionally trained undergrad program route. Programs such as Teach for America and Teaching Fellows account for some of the teachers in classrooms across America. Even with this alternative route, the question regarding what is wrong with the profession remain. This has caused many to consider something different … teacher residency programs.
Teacher residencies have been gaining a lot of traction lately, as many consider whether the path doctors take will benefit the education profession. Those advocating for teacher residency programs believe the hands-on approach and emphasis on developing skills for the classroom are needed to prepare teachers to be in front of children. Over the last decade or so, teacher residency programs have appeared all over the country. Thanks to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), states have developed residency programs to improve their states’ education.
Teacher residency programs are a combination of graduate-level coursework at a university and full-time student teaching. Different from the student teaching experience in traditional preparation programs, these resident teachers are (1) teaching in the school they will for sure work in (2) being paid during the year residency (3) considered employees of the school. In the residency program, the resident teacher is paired with an experienced educator who serves as their mentor. Relay Graduate School launched a teacher residency program in order to change the education profession and change the way teachers are being prepared.
Now, that Relay is in its second year here in Indianapolis, many are excited to see how Relay and the teacher residency program will impact education and find the answer/solution to the question, what is wrong with the teaching profession? I will be tackling the question of Teacher Residency Program on the latest episode of The Recess Podcast featuring Relay Indianapolis Dean Dr. Carlotta Cooprider and two current resident teachers from KIPP Indy, Kelvin Owens and Kalian William.