Bank Street Education Center

Prepared To Teach

Shifting the teacher preparation paradigm for the public good.

Prepared To Teach works across the country to solve a key problem in education: making sure everyone who wants to be a teacher can afford to attend a quality preparation program.

  • The Residency Model

    Teachers are every bit as important as doctors. Just like doctors, they need to work alongside accomplished professionals to learn their craft. Borrowing from medical preparation, residency models pay aspiring teachers to work in classrooms with expert educators for a full year before they graduate. There, they gain firsthand experience and apply theory to practice in a safe, supervised learning environment.

    All teachers need hands-on practice and pedagogical knowledge before entering the classroom. Prepared To Teach partners with preparation programs, districts, and schools to develop residencies that provide both. The best part? We bring financial models that work within existing budgets to design strong residency partnerships.

    We rely on proven strategies to make high-quality teacher preparation more accessible. All of our partnerships are about creating common-sense programs that work for everyone—teachers, faculty, school leaders, aspiring educators, and students. Learn more about the residency model, funding for teacher candidates, and how we work with local institutions below.

  • Why Pay Teacher Candidates?

    Research shows that when aspiring teachers are paid to practice for a year before leading a classroom, everyone wins—teachers stay longer, schools are stronger, and families have access to excellent education.

    Three important things happen when residencies pay teacher candidates:

    • More diverse individuals can afford to enter the profession.
    • Aspiring teachers have more time and energy to focus on learning the art of teaching.
    • New teachers graduate with more confidence in their skills and committment to the profession.
  • Adapting to Local Contexts

    Funded residencies make better teachers, and better teachers help students, schools, and communities succeed. But each context is different. The best residency model for New Mexico isn’t necessarily the best for New Jersey.

    With that in mind, the Prepared To Teach team has spent two years working with districts and preparation programs across 20 states. We’ve designed flexible models that help programs achieve financial sustainably. Our next step is to share the ideas with districts, preparation programs, and policymakers throughout the country.

Collage of teacher headshots

Practice Makes Preparation: Teacher Stories

Hear what it's really like to become a teacher, and how we can make the system better for everyone.

Prepared To Teach interviewed graduates of traditional, alternative, and residency programs about their motivations to become teachers, choices for preparation programs, and experiences during clinical practice and as teachers of record.

Now, we’re sharing these interviews to bring teachers’ voices into ongoing conversations about how to ensure every teacher can have a quality preparation experience.  When real teachers share their stories, we can see clearly what it takes to become an excellent educator: enough time to focus on learning, enough money to make preparation the priority, and enough practice to be ready on day one with kids.

See our new multimedia campaign, out now


Teacher and two students

Better teachers mean better schools.

High-quality teacher preparation is possible.
All aspiring teachers should be well-prepared for success in the classroom—and that means having the support necessary to participate in high-quality clinical practice that allows candidates to explore the complexities of pedagogy, to apply theory and research in diverse contexts, and to reflect on their own learning and development.

Prepared To Teach develops sustainable streams of public funding to support high-quality teacher preparation that brings practice into conversation with pedagogy. The result is teacher preparation that’s built to last, thanks to a focus on partnerships and sustainability.

How We Do It Resources for Our Work Meet Our Team

An Education Ecosystem that Works

What would it look like if we changed how we prepare teachers? Research shows that when aspiring teachers are paid to practice for a year before leading a classroom, communities see big benefits.