July 8, 2020
NCTR and Partner News

Mississippi Teacher Residency Highlighted in New America Report

A June study from the New America Foundation asserts that Mississippi “stands out for taking a creative approach to addressing critical [teacher] shortages by piloting three initiatives: Grow Your Own programs to develop local teachers, a state-run teacher residency program, and a pilot program exploring the possibility for teachers to earn a license based on their performance.” This report outlines four key lessons from Mississippi’s early successes in these teacher recruitment and training programs, which will “help other states create opportunities for growing and diversifying a teacher workforce.” These are:

  • Pilot and evaluate initiatives before expansion
  • Adopt a data-informed strategy
  • Establish a plan for short- and long-term funding
  • Promote collaboration and coordination

The Mississippi Teacher Residency partners three universities with neighboring urban and rural K-12 school districts to provide undergraduate student Residents with 15+ weekly hours of on-the-job training and mentorship.  Says the report of teacher residencies’ impact: “Residency programs have a track record of bringing greater racial diversity into the workforce: nationally, they enrolled 45 percent candidates of color in 2015–16, compared to the 19 percent national average of teachers of color entering the profession.” 

Richmond Teacher Residency Mentioned in Local News 

A July 2 article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch announces the formation of a new education program hosted at James Madison University, which will supplement the good work of the Richmond Teacher Residency (in operation for a decade, now, in partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University). The “Virginia New Teacher Support Program” will be exclusively for educators in their first or second year teaching, and is not a residency, but professional development and coaching. The Richmond Teacher Residency, meanwhile, is now recruiting its 11th cohort and applications are open here through October 30.

Program Spotlight: Featuring this Year's Residents and Mentors

Alder Graduate School of Education (GSE) began in 2010 as a pilot program of Aspire Public Schools in California.  The program set out to create a pipeline of outstanding educators through an immersive residency model, matching them with a high-performing mentor teacher for a full school year.  Graduates were offered priority hiring, and their familiarity with the school community and culture prepared them to succeed from their first day as an educator.

Today, Alder offers these same services as a graduate school of education, working in partnership with K-12 public schools, districts, and charter management organizations, including the KIPP charter school network in the Bay Area.  Organizing around the specific needs of its partners, Alder creates right-sized pipelines of great teachers, trained in a residency program located in the school system for which they will eventually work.  New teachers are uniquely trained to meet the needs of their students, and partner schools enjoy a pipeline of teachers trained by their best.

Mentor of the Year Nominee

A 7th Grade ELA teacher and Alder GSE Mentor in the Bay Area, Nora Larson has risen among her Mentor peers as a role model and leader.  Multiple Mentors shared that they use Nora's planning tool or gradual release structure.  She is incredibly reflective and purposeful in her support of her Teacher Resident, planning thoughtful agendas and questions when she gives her Resident feedback. 

Nora balances having a strong relationship with her Resident, while also holding this person to high expectations.
Resident of the Year Nominee

Beatrice Fong is a passionate, student-centered, empathetic, reflective, professional, and proactive Teacher Resident with Alder GSE in KIPP Bay.  She is a model for her Resident peers and shows up as a leader in multiple ways with her Resident cohort, including thoughtful feedback and contributions in discussions.  Beatrice also goes above and beyond in her school.  From day 1, all of her decisions—like how she plans and why she builds relationships with students—have been made with a students-first attitude.
Resources and Connections

A new book based on research out of the University of Illinois Chicago, The Legacy of Racism for Children: Psychology, Law and Public Policy, connects the dots between the academic and adolescent struggles of Black students and adverse experiences of Black adults in the U.S. legal system.  Says this public radio review of the publication: “Authors in the book offer some ways that schools, districts, and teacher preparation programs can undo the school-to-prison pipeline, such as increasing educator knowledge and skills in a professional learning community, providing holistic supports to teachers, and enhancing preservice teacher preparation.” 

Research by the Wisconsin Policy Forum produced the first in a series of reports on teacher diversity in the state.  A Teacher Who Looks Like Me, as reported in local news outlet The McFarland Thistle, “examines the state’s teacher workforce and educational pipeline, finding that while its teacher workforce has become more diverse, it is not keeping pace with changes in the student population.”  Read the Executive Summary or download the full report

In The News
Teachers are Living in a Tinderbox of Stressful Conditions: These Scientific Approaches Can Help

Senior Scientist at Tufts University’s Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development Sheila Ohlsson Walker, CFA, Ph.D., says that in creating an ideal learning environment for students—to “develop the whole child” and tackle inequities in education—teachers need to neutralize their sky-high stress through positive lifestyle practices, plus professional learning and mental health support that should be provided by their school systems.

Recruiting and Retaining Teachers of Color: Why It Matters, Ways to Do It

This article highlights programs around the country aiming to diversify education workforces in those communities through Grow-Your-Own initiatives and other incentives for attracting people of color to the teaching profession, especially in urban areas that feature a larger proportion of Black and Latinx students.  Research shows that all students benefit from having teachers of color, but the workforce is still overwhelmingly white.

Universities Must Save the Next Generation of Essential Workers (Opinion)
Inside Higher Ed

Temple University PhD candidate Sarah Stinard-Kiel argues that graduate student workers are an undervalued commodity of institutes of higher education, and “graduate student labor is essential to a university,” generating “hundreds of thousands of tuition dollars” through instruction and research. With the pandemic upending higher ed, Stinard-Kiel warns, these future teachers, scientists and public health officials should not be taken for granted.

Joe Biden: I Will Have a 'Teacher-Oriented Department of Education'
EdWeek Blog

Democratic Presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden addressed delegates of the National Education Association’s all-virtual Representative Assembly last week, promising that classroom teachers will have more say in how federal education decisions are made.  "Education should be put more in the hands of educators," he said. "You should have more input on what you teach, how you teach it, and when you teach it. You are the ones in the classroom, you should have more input."  Biden has previously promised to name a teacher to the the U.S. Secretary of Education position in his cabinet, if he is elected.

Please note that the articles and events in the NCTR E-Blast do not reflect the opinions of our organization, but rather represent information that we believe will be relevant to you and your programs.

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