Prepared To Teach

Our Work

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

    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.

    • Recruit and support teacher candidates from under-represented backgrounds into programs that meet district hiring needs.
    • Embed deeply partnered fieldwork by shifting program design and working with school-based experts.
    • Adjust course offerings, logistics, and requirements to ensure teacher candidates can juggle requirements and complete programs on time.
  • 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:

    1. Coordinate staffing needs with preparation program enrollment and requirements to ensure that graduates are ready to fill key vacancies.
    2. Be open to creative use of staffing lines that embrace the roles residents can play in school improvement.
    3. Identify and facilitate opportunities to reallocate funding to residents and mentors.
  • Networked Learning

    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?

Just like living with a roommate is more budget-friendly than renting a one-bedroom place on your own, partnering for quality preparation is more cost-efficient, freeing up dollars to support residents and their mentors.
When resources are shared between partners, programs are more cost-efficient and provide increase savings for everyone.
Prepared To Teach
We were at a meeting the other day talking about the four schools our elementary teacher candidates will work in with some compensation this fall. We have moved so far forward in great part because of support and expertise from the Prepared To Teach team.
Mary Jean Mccarthy
Clinical Associate Professor and Director, Adelphi University