Opinion
Teacher Preparation Opinion

Teacher Preparation is Evolving

By AAEE — November 30, 2016 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

We know that teachers have a significant impact on the children they teach. Research has consistently shown that the most influential factor in a student’s academic growth for any given school year is the teacher in the room. From prekindergarten through twelfth grade, each teacher’s skills and expertise contributes to a student’s educational outcomes. Each student’s educational outcomes, positive and negative, will influence and impact the student’s success in future school years and life.

From my personal experience as a math teacher, a school leader, and now as a district leader in Monroe City Schools, I have seen firsthand the effects of effective teaching on students’ learning. I have also seen, unfortunately, what happens when all students do not have access to effective teachers because of critical teacher shortages and attrition. In a district in which 87% of students are economically disadvantaged, each year it has become a greater challenge to hire and retain certified teachers.

Recently, Louisiana’s state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted teacher preparation policies that provide a yearlong residency for all aspiring teachers. These policies will take effect for all preservice teachers in the fall of 2018, but Monroe City Schools is not waiting until then to get involved.

Our district views teacher residencies as a powerful tool to address teacher shortages and prepare teachers to teach in our schools. This is why, in the summer of 2016, we committed to fund mentor teacher training and stipends for undergraduate resident teachers who are completing a yearlong residency in Monroe schools this school year.

Our superintendent Dr. Brent Vidrine has made this commitment based on the belief that school districts play a powerful role in preparing aspiring teachers and creating career pathways for our most effective teachers. As the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, I dedicate part of my time to oversee the residency program and collaborate with our partner institutions, Louisiana Tech University, the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and Grambling State University.

From our perspective, investing in a yearlong residency program provides Monroe City Schools with several advantages:

1) Teacher residents spend a year in our district, learning our school culture, expectations, and communities. Research shows that new teachers are likely to be hired in the school or district where they completed student teaching, which means that we are more likely to be able to hire these new teachers and keep them in the schools where they are most needed.

2) Our most effective teachers serve as mentors, ensuring that residents are learning the craft of teaching from our best teachers. Further, the mentor teacher position provides the opportunity to invest in the teaching profession while allowing them to continue to hone their teaching skills.

3) School and district leaders co-construct and collaboratively oversee the residency experience to ensure that teacher residents have mastered essential teaching knowledge and skills before they receive a professional teaching certificate.

It’s just the first semester of our first year implementing residencies, but we are already seeing its impact on students and teachers. During a recent visit from US Secretary of Education Dr. John B. King, Jr., the mentor teachers who were initially reluctant to host residents shared that the experience is improving their teaching and providing more one-on-one and small group teaching time for their students. The residents also described the power of gaining a year’s worth of practice alongside a mentor.

As a part of the larger workforce strategy in Monroe City Schools, the residency program has helped to develop a pathway into teaching in our schools and a pathway of leadership for our most effective teachers. We see the investment in residencies as vital to the long-term success of our schools and our students.

Serena White

Supervisor of Curriculum

Monroe City Schools

Monroe, Louisiana

Related Tags:

The opinions expressed in Career Corner are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teacher Preparation First-Time Pass Rates on Teacher Licensure Exams Were Secret Until Now. See the Data
The National Council on Teacher Quality published first-time pass rate data on teacher licensing tests, which had been hidden for years.
8 min read
teacher 1276371740 stylized
Drazen Zigic/iStock/Getty
Teacher Preparation The Complicated, Divisive Work of Grading Teacher-Preparation Programs
As the two national accreditors for teacher-preparation programs evolve, the battle over market share heats up.
9 min read
Illustration of checkmark
Getty
Teacher Preparation Remote Learning Is Changing Schools. Teacher-Preparation Programs Have to Adjust
For schools to leverage lessons learned during the pandemic, new teachers need better training on how to work in online environments.
8 min read
A teacher tries to keep up with her technology training
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty Images Plus
Teacher Preparation Opinion Far Too Many Educators Aren’t Prepared to Teach Black and Brown Students
Teacher-prep programs can help address that inadequacy, writes Sharif El-Mekki.
5 min read
A group of multicolored people stand together looking in both directions
Ada DaSilva/DigitalVision Vectors<br/>