"Teacher residency programs are, by definition, district-serving teacher education programs that pair a rigorous full-year classroom apprenticeship with masters-level education content. Building on the medical residency model, teacher preparation programs provide residents with both the underlying theory of effective teaching and a year-long, in-school “residency” in which they practice and hone their skills and knowledge alongside an effective teacher-mentor in a high-need classroom. New teacher residents receive stipends as they learn to teach, and commit to teaching in their districts for three or more years beyond the residency... It is an extensive focus on clinical preparation that makes the residency model different from any other teacher preparation program in education. From beginning to end, every aspect of the model is designed to provide teachers the knowledge and skills they need to make an immediate impact in the classroom - a difference every one of their students can feel." —National Center for Teacher Residencies
Consider the following survey results. In 2014 the Louisiana Department of Education surveyed teachers with one to five years of experience. The results showed that 50% were not fully prepared for the realities of a classroom, 42% were not prepared to teach students with diverse needs, and 49% did not know how to analyze data in order to set goals and plan instruction.
Read the full survey results from "Partners in Preparation" at https://www.louisianabelieves.com/docs/default-source/links-for-newsletters/partners-in-preparation-survey-report.pdf?sfvrsn=6.
Penn State Harrisburg’s Teacher Residency Collaborative places qualified candidates—“residents”—into a full-year co-teaching apprenticeship in local schools with carefully selected mentor teachers who can encourage and coach residents through all the components of classroom teaching, including:
- Classroom set up and initial planning in summer
- Starting school with the students on the very first day
- Learning about the diverse needs of students through early diagnostic assessments and parent-teacher conferences
- Opportunities to analyze student performance and other related data in order to set goals and plan instruction
- Participating in faculty meetings and professional development with the teachers in the building
- Anticipating the holidays and learning how to retain growth after breaks and schedule changes
- Developing authority and confidence through managing behavior and routines
- Planning units and lessons that align with the curriculum and assessments in use at the school
- Sustaining progress throughout the year and closing out the year in June
- So many more components beyond those a typical student teacher sees
In addition, the residency is an opportunity to become more engaged with the school community and the families of the students.
This unique residency experience is uncommon in traditional teacher preparation programs, making Penn State Harrisburg’s Teacher Residency Collaborative a rare and special opportunity to develop professional credentials that could make employment following graduation more certain. Our school partners in the Residency Collaborative are committed to interviewing residents for potential job openings.
Some stipends and scholarships are available through participation in the residency.
Findings from a study of teacher residency programs across the United States
Novice residency program teachers felt more prepared than other novice teachers in the same districts.
Novice residency program teachers and other novice teachers in the same districts had similar retention rates.
Silva, Tim, Allison McKie, Virginia Knechtel, Philip Gleason, Libby Makowsky. (2014). Teaching Residency Programs: A Multisite Look at a New Model to Prepare Teachers for High-Need Schools (NCEE 2015-4002). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.