Bank Street Education Center

Prepared To Teach

Shifting the teacher preparation paradigm for the public good.

Prepared To Teach works across the country to make sure everyone who wants to be a teacher can afford to attend a quality preparation program. To make this a reality, we identify and work to remove financial barriers to quality preparation that disproportionately impact aspiring teachers who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color.

  • 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 people from underrepresented backgrounds, including aspiring educators who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color, 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 commitment 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 five 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.



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Graduate students learning in a classroom

Co-Designing Teacher Residencies: Sharing leadership, finding new opportunities

A new report from Prepared To Teach & Western Washington University
This report focuses on how a group of university teacher educators at Western Washington University’s Elementary Education program and district administrators at Ferndale School district reconsidered their approach to teacher preparation. Read about the successful outcomes of the work, including revisions to the residency like work opportunities, a revised placement process, a district “on-boarding” process, and responsive professional development throughout the residency. Finally, you can find the “ingredients” that enabled the district and teacher preparation program to identify needs and priorities while uncovering opportunities to work differently together.
Read Full Report

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.

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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.

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