Preparation programs can conceive a new status quo.
By working closely with P-12 educators, preparation programs can maximize the learning that happens in schools.
Redesigned programs often embed faculty expertise in schools. Cohorts of residents are placed together in schools, with program classes being offered after school onsite, often co-taught with mentor teachers. Faculty are in schools during the day, observing, guiding, and supporting residents in their day-to-day teaching. The school has an additional professional resource, and the faculty member is able to connect with residents on the ground, every day.
Preparation programs have identified key changes that facilitate P-12 partnerships.
Partnerships bring funded residencies within reach for all those who aspire to teach.
Teacher candidates spend a lot of time on the sidelines of the education system—right now, there’s a deep divide between “pre-service” and “in-service.” Student teaching keeps aspiring teachers outside of core functions, which means that schools miss out on key human capital and new teachers have a steep learning curve.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Prepared To Teach redefines partnerships between preparation programs and K–12 education to support a system in which aspiring teachers are key to schools. Residencies integrate aspiring teachers into schools, benefitting everyone. When residents serve an essential function, partnerships can transform teacher preparation:
- Instead of paying to practice, residents are paid to practice.
- Instead of being irrelevant to core school functions, residents are integral to schools staffing.
- Instead of graduating unprepared to teach, residents are prepared to lead a classroom.
Prepared To Teach facilitates conversations between partners that focus on jointly reimagining their work. We open up strategies that lead to better systems, better schools, and better teachers by transforming existing structures in preparation programs, districts, and schools. Through every step of the process, we ensure collaboration, both between partnering institutions and across a larger network of the places and people doing this work. Learn more about how we approach these changes below.
Preparation Program Changes
District and School Changes
Schools and districts can reimagine public education.
Across the country, schools are caught in a cycle of recruiting, hiring, and training new teachers, only to have them leave within a few years. The costs of teacher turnover are high—both financially and for student learning.
Districts can break the turnover cycle by partnering with teacher preparation programs. Strong partnerships can bring new resources to schools. Residencies can provide a foundation for new staffing structures, organizational systems, and instructional models. With a few key shifts, an embedded residency program can change the recruitment and hiring norm in the district and improve schools:
- Coordinate staffing needs with preparation program enrollment and requirements to ensure that graduates are ready to fill key vacancies.
- Be open to creative use of staffing lines that embrace the roles residents can play in school improvement.
- Identify and facilitate opportunities to reallocate funding to residents and mentors.
Prepared To Teach can facilitate the learning needed for change.
Our virtual communities of practice promote the diffusion of ideas, where creative thinking generated locally inspires others across the network to innovate. Prepared To Teach functions as a hub, supporting long-term strategic planning between sectors as a means of building and maintaining momentum for change.
Bringing partnerships together keeps the big picture at the forefront of conversations about what we want teacher preparation to look like. Schools, districts, and preparation programs see which strategies succeed across diverse contexts and identify ways to build on their progress. Learning together deepens our shared understanding of what works.
How do partnerships free up resources?
TranscriptTranscript Successful sustainably funded residency programs require strong partnerships so that universities and districts can share resources, find new opportunities, and spend their recruitment and preparation dollars efficiently. By partnership we mean more than just good relationships. It's more like a metaphor of moving in with a roommate. Imagine, for example, the city where people live alone in separate apartments. They have their own space and resources, but the expenses of living alone can be a burden. One person might not be able to invest in a stereo system without cutting other necessary items out of the budget. The other person might not be able to afford a TV. But by pooling their dollars to move into a larger apartment, they can move in together even if it's slightly more expensive. They both give up some privacy and shift some habits to make things work, but, simply, they have to make some compromises. But at the same time, they save money. With patience, shared goals, and effort, they also cut their expenses, get access to that television and that stereo, and build what could be a lifelong supportive relationship. In short, they both win! What if we apply the same concept to university district partnerships? Both teacher preparation providers and districts can benefit from this kind of deeply embedded collaboration, realizing long-term savings and new benefits that create an integrated school support system and stronger teacher candidates. Teacher preparation providers have experts ready to teach and lead strong recruitment offices focused on finding candidates and students who are ready to get into the classroom. Schools and districts have great teachers ready to lead, opportunities to find funding for candidates who fill necessary roles, and experienced administrators looking for paths to school improvement. And they're both spending a lot of money on preparing hiring and retaining teachers, but if they form an effective partnership, they both have access to important resources. Total costs decrease, savings emerge, and new opportunities to transform the system are available to teacher candidates, mentors, schools, and providers, bringing school improvement and students to the forefront of the teacher preparation process. When resources are shared between partners, programs are more cost-efficient and provide increased savings for everyone.