Prepared To Teach collects and shares stories from our partner sites where aspiring educators, teachers, faculty, administrators, and others are transforming the teacher preparation landscape. Here, you’ll find accounts of on-the-ground experiences from people who are making locally-grown teacher residencies work across the country.

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Real People, Real Stories

Written Reflections

  • Making connections as a student teaching intern

    Annika Lucke, Western Washington University student and Ferndale School District intern

    November 2019

    Over the first few months of the residency program, I’ve benefited in many ways—but the chance to develop strong professional relationships stands out as having shaped my experience so far. Those connections have defined my time in the residency and helped me hone my skills as an educator.

    The support I’ve received from my field supervisor is the kind of close, supportive relationship that other student teachers do not have the opportunity to experience in their internship year. My field supervisor has committed to being there for each and every one of her interns. With frequent visits to our schools, check-ins via email, and the class time we have with our field supervisor, I feel it’s impossible to slide under the radar and not receive help. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with a full year of student teaching, and at times it can feel like things are moving fast. At times, I question if I’m capable of handling everything, but the support of my cohort, my cooperating teacher, and my field supervisor makes me feel heard and encouraged.

    I am also thankful for my strong relationship with my cooperating teacher. She has graciously invited me in as a co-teacher and shared her classroom space with me in a way that makes it feel like my own as well. My cooperating teacher and I spent a lot of time preparing the classroom before school had even started, and in this time we got to know more about each other and create a bond. Building our relationship since before students even arrived has really helped us going into the school year. I feel that we can openly talk about the areas of my practice I want to improve, I can ask for advice, we can vent to each other when needed, and we can share our personal lives as well.

    I’ve grown to understand the importance building these kinds of connections with the people you work with. The teachers at my school are all a family, and they share so much of life together. This is an experience that I feel honored to be a part of. Without the opportunity that the residency program has given me, I might not have the same time and exposure to my field supervisor and cooperating teacher that I have now. I have gained so much just from the past few months and I look forward to what more is to come.

Anonymous Spending Snapshots

  • Five days as a teacher resident in a large urban school district

    Take out

    Age range: 26+

    Clinical practice time commitment: 32 hours/week. I receive a total of $8,400 during my three semester program.

    Commute to clinical practice placement: 45 minutes to an hour driving

    Rent and utilities: I live with my fiancé, who pays the entirety of our rent. I pay around $200 for utilities each month.

    Car insurance: $275/month

    Other recurring costs: $7/month for Amazon subscription

    Student loans: About $40,000 total.

    Day One

    I went to the market to gather food for making my lunches and dinners for the entire week. I spent about $200 on groceries. I made breakfast egg cups to get me through Wednesday, salad lunches through Wednesday, and prepped food for 3 dinners during the week. Because I spent all of this time prepping for the week, I ordered Thai food for dinner, which totaled to $50.

    Total: $250

    Day Two

    This day, I did not spend any money because I had prepared a breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I made my coffee for the day and had filled up my gas tank over the weekend.

    Total: $0

    Day Three

    I didn’t spend any money because I ate my prepped meals and still had gas in my tank.

    Total: $0

    Day Four

    I brought my breakfast and lunch to school. A peer from class bought me a coffee with her points from Starbucks.

    Total: $0

    Day Five

    I spent $20 to fill my gas tank up half way. I brought breakfast and lunch to school, but needed to buy dinner since I was at school late. My dinner came out to be $60 with food and drinks.

    Total: $80

    Five Day Total: $330

  • Four days as a resident in a small city

    Granola bar Age range: 22-25

    Clinical practice time commitment: 40 hours/week. I receive a $5,000 stipend each semester for serving as a teacher resident.

    Commute to clinical practice placement: 10 minute drive

    Rent and utilities: I live with 4 roommates and I pay $300 in rent, utilities included.

    Other recurring costs: I pay a $45 copay each month for medication.

    Student loans: About $60,000 total.

    Day One

    I ran late for making tea in the morning, so I picked up an energy drink as well as chips and dip from a gas station ($8.22).

    Total: $8.22

    Day Two

    I went on a date after school and filled my gas tank, totaling $63.48.

    Total: $63.48

    Day Three

    I had a friend in town, so went out for a double date. I spent $27.59.

    Total: $27.59

    Day Four

    I bought granola bars to keep in my room for students, and bought groceries for myself (167.93).

    Total: $167.93

    Four Day Total: $267.22

  • One week as a student teacher in a rural town

    paper towelsAge range: 22-25

    Clinical practice time commitment: I spend about 15-16 hours/week completing my clinical practice.

    Commute to clinical practice placement: About a 25 minute drive

    Outside job time commitments: I work at the YMCA anywhere from 2-10 hours a week. I also nanny for 4-7 hours a week and I work as a paraprofessional subtitute anywhere from 4-7 hours a week.

    Rent and utilities: I live with 3 people. Rent is $560 a month.

    Utilities: Internet is $20 a month. Other utilities are around $20-30.

    Other recurring costs: $5/month for Hulu and Spotify

    Day One

    I purchased mascara but used a gift card so I didn’t spend any of my own money, so no spending today.

    Total: $0

    Day Two

    I didn’t spend any money today.

    Total: $0

    Day Three

    I purchased paper towels for $18 at Costco and drinks and lunch for $13. I spent more on paper towels so that they last longer for our apartment.

    Total: $31

    Day Four

    No spending, I prepped my lunch beforehand.

    Total: $0

    Day Five

    I bought a sandwich and a coffee for lunch. The sandwich was around $9 and the coffee was $5. I do this very rarely and only when I am starving and stayed longer on campus than anticipated.

    Total: $14

    Day Six

    Bought gas and groceries. Gas was $35 and groceries were $98.

    Total: $133

    Day Seven

    I went shopping for clothes and spent $45 at secondhand stores.

    Total: $45

    Seven Day Total: $223

  • One week as a teacher resident in an urban area

    birthday cardAge range: 22-25

    Clinical practice time commitment: 28 hours/week. I receive a $5,000 stipend each semester for a total of $15,000 over the course of my three semester program.

    Commute to clinical practice placement: 45 minute drive

    Outside job time commitment: 7 hours/week

    Rent and utilities: I live with family, so I don’t pay rent.

    Car Insurance: $125

    Other recurring costs: Computer payment: $100/month, pet insurance: $32/month, gym membership: $10/month.

    Day One

    No spending day!

    Total: $0

    Day Two

    I got gas on the way to work for $22.64. I also had a hard time sleeping the night before so I stopped at Starbucks for a coffee that was $5.34.

    Total: $27.98

    Day Three

    I had to pick up supplies for a classroom science experiment: cotton balls for $1.02 and Ziploc bags for $4.12.

    Total: $5.14

    Day Four

    I stopped at Starbucks on my way to work and bought a latte for $5.88. I also stopped to get gas on my way to work for $28.43.

    Total: $34.31

    Day Five

    No spending day!

    Total: $0

    Day Six

    I bought a birthday card for my Master Teacher’s upcoming birthday for $1.99.

    Total: $1.99

    Day Seven

    I went out to dinner with a friend and spent $23.21. I also had to get gas again due to having a far commute and poor gas mileage on my vehicle. I spent $24.53.

    Total: $47.74

    Seven Day Total: $117.16

  • Four days as a teacher intern living with her fiancé in a small city

    Age range: 22-25

    Clinical practice time commitment: 11 hours/week. I have the opportunity to receive financial support through substitute teaching, but there are limited days I can sub this semester.

    Outside job time commitment: 20 hours/week

    Commute to clinical practice placement: 15 minutes, I drive.

    Rent and utilities: I live with my fiancé. Rent is $925.00 before other bills. Utilities are about $100.00.

    Car payment: $410.00

    Credit cards: About $900.00

    Insurance: $350.00

    Phone bills: $85.00

    Student loans: None.

    Day One

    I bought cookies for lunch from the grocery store, total cost $2.59. I also spent $23.89 on pet supplies and picked up toilet paper, laundry detergent, baking soda, corn dogs, and waffles for $58.18 at Costco.

    Total: $84.66

    Day Two

    Coffee run before teaching my first lesson: $4.89. Also pay the phone bill for my fiancé for a total of $39.00.

    Total: $43.89

    Day Three

    I was too busy to get food all day, so my fiancé brought me Panda Express at work for $17.17. I stop by Petco to pick up litter for $7.86 and refill my gas tank at Fred Meyer for $39.47. I also make a credit card payment ($123.00).

    Total: $179.64

    Day Four

    I purchase food for my fiancé and I from my coffee stand where we get a discount for $9.69. Pay for a chiropractic re-exam ($115.00).

    Total: $124.69

    Four Day Total: $432.88

  • Three days as an undergraduate student teacher in an urban area

    Age range: 21 or under

    Clinical practice time commitment: About 10 hours/week. I don’t receive any direct financial support from my program at this time.

    Outside job time commitment: 10 hours/week

    Commute to clinical practice placement: 20 minutes by car.

    Rent and utilities: I live with one roommate, we each pay $600.00 in rent and utilities are about $60.00/month.

    Cell phone bill: $100.00

    Amazon student prime: $4.00

    Student loans: I anticipate owing about $26,000.00 upon graduation.

    Day One

    I filled up my car’s tank for the week ($45.00) and ordered dinner in for $12.00.

    Total: $57.00

    Day Two

    Bought groceries that should last for about two weeks for $65.00. Because I try to keep spending to a bare minimum, packing a lunch saves a lot of money. You can cook one big batch of something and it’ll last for a week!

    Total: $65.00

    Day Three

    Grabbed a coffee before work for $5.00.

    Total: $5.00

    Three Day Total: $127.00

  • Weekly routine for a student teacher who's also the primary breadwinner for her family of three

    Age range: 26+

    Clinical practice time commitment: I am spending probably about 7-8 hours a day for 4 days, so 28-32 hours a week. As part of my clinical practice, I receive financial support in the form of a $5,000 stipend each semester. I also received a $5,250.00 scholarship and the the TEACH Grant for $3,283.

    Outside job time commitment: I’m working 30 hours a week outside of my clinical practice.

    Commute to clinical practice placement: My commute from my home to my clinical practice is about a mile, but then I also have to drive across town to my job which is 15 miles each way.

    Rent and utilities: I own my own home and pay two mortgages which total $1,105.00 per month. My utilities are about $275.00 per month. My husband also works in education, but I am the primary breadwinner and the main source of income for our household.

    Car payment: $970.12

    Car insurance: $207.00

    Internet: $130.00

    Credit cards: $100.00

    Netflix: $15.99

    Student loans: Right now I have $23,435.00 for my grad school student loans. I will probably have about $30,000.00 once I graduate.

    Daily Spending Routine

    I usually go to Starbucks every morning and spend about $10.00 to $20.00 on coffee, breakfast, and maybe some lunch on weekdays. I then go to work and stay until late in order to help make ends meet. I come home and then my husband, my son, and I eat out at various fast food restaurants—we spend about $30.00/night.

    I also work on the weekend, so I still stop to get Starbucks and spend my usual $10.00 to $20.00 on coffee and breakfast. My husband, my son, and I have the same evening routine.

    Total: About $40.00 to $50.00 per day, about $300.00 to $350.00 per week.

  • Four days as a full-time teacher resident

    Age range: 26+

    Clinical practice time commitment: 40+ hours each week.

    Commute to clinical practice placement: About 18 minutes.

    Rent and utilities: I live with my girlfriend and we pay $650.00 in rent and another $150.00 each month for utilities.

    Cell phone bill: $202.00/month

    Car payment: $345.00/month

    Hulu: $7.99.00/month

    Life insurance: $30.00/month

    Apple Music: $14.99/month

    Student loans: I’ll owe about $90,000.00 when I graduate.

    Day One

    I didn’t bring lunch, so I had to stop at 7/11 to grab a salad for $5.00.

    Total: $5.00

    Day Two

    I had to get an oil change for my car and an inspection. Then I found out that I needed new windshield wipers, new brakes, and rotors. I didn’t get the brakes and rotors because I don’t make that much money, so my total was $115.00.

    Total: $115.00

    Day Three

    I had class today so I stopped for dinner after at Burger King and grabbed a Whopper JR., small fry, and a drink with a coupon ($5.44).

    Total: $5.44

    Day Four

    I had a meeting and class, so I didn’t have time to go home to make dinner. I stopped and bought beef souvlaki and fries for $8.00.

    Total: $8.00

    Four Day Total: $133.44

Partnership Spotlight

  • Western New York Teacher Residency

    Canisius College and partner schools in Buffalo, New York are working together to address teacher shortages and improve instruction. Learn more about their innovative strategies for addressing teacher shortages, rethinking student instruction, and supporting aspiring teachers.

    Visit the WNYTR website

    Meet WNYTR Participants

    Seth Ehrenberg at his residency placement“What I really enjoy about the WNYTR program is the fact that I’m in a classroom, building relationships with my students over the course of a whole year rather than just a 6-7 week placement. It makes it easier to understand their style of learning, and make sure I’m adapting to all of their needs.”

    Seth Ehrenberg, Grade 4 Resident


    Phoenix Brown

    Current 8:1:1 Resident,
    Future Special Educator

    Briana Williams

    Current 5th Grade Resident
    Future Elementary Teacher

    Savannah Jonathan

    Current 3rd Grade Resident
    Future Elementary Teacher

  • Albuquerque Teacher Residency Partnership

    The Albuquerque Teacher Residency Partnership (ATRP) is a collaboration between Albuquerque Public Schools, the Albuquerque Teachers Federation, and the University of New Mexico. During their time in the program, all residents work in high-needs, Title I community schools. Each partner is invested in maintaining this high-quality, sustainable pathway to the classroom to help address shortages, increase access to preparation, and support equity.

    View the ATRP website

    Hear from ATRP Leaders & Residents


    Financial support during clinical practice makes it possible for aspiring teachers to focus on their planning and preparation, getting to know their students, and participating in evening school activities instead of working another job.

    Program Leader, ATRP

    My biggest professional success so far has been having a really successful and positive formal observation with my supervisor. I was able to have a great conversation afterwards which helped me strengthen my teaching.

    Current Teacher Resident, Albuquerque Public Schools

    Working through ATRP has been really an amazing experience.  I love how close-knit our cohort is. We lean on each other for schoolwork, student teaching, and just life. My mentor is amazing and is constantly teaching me things and helping me grow at my pace. I also love working in the community schools—it really supports my learning to be in this setting.

    Current Teacher Resident, Albuquerque Public Schools

    I recently took over instruction for my class’s ELA unit, so I put a lot of effort into creating engaging activities that the students enjoy. The students have told me that they get excited for ELA now because it is interesting and the assessments often involve some sort of creative component so students enjoy it more.

    Current Teacher Resident, Albuquerque Public Schools

    The ATRP Design Team really has our backs and help us with registering for classes, juggling our life outside of the program, finding financial support through scholarships or other means, and just being there for whatever issues we might be facing.

    Current Teacher Resident, Albuquerque Public Schools

    This program makes a difference by placing resident teachers in schools that struggle to hire new teachers. It helps create connections between new teachers and the schools who need them.

    Current Teacher Resident, Albuquerque Public Schools

Students after school in the lobrary
Over the past semester, I have built a bond with a student who usually struggles to complete his assignments. During my placement, I’ve learned more about him as an individual and in the past two weeks, he has begun to turn in paperwork and do classwork. I feel that our progress one-on-one has lead to him wanting to do more in class with a little encouragement.
Kimberly Scott
Aspiring Teacher - Resident Student Teacher, University of Southern California
Teacher sits with two young children
Partner Voices
Knowing how much work goes into a school beyond the classroom teacher’s role is very important. You can learn about it in your program, but the actual practice of doing the work ensures you learn more and have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the work.
Natalie Reeder
Aspiring Teacher - Student Teacher Intern & Substitute Paraprofessional, Western Washington University
Partner Voices
We had a professional development on adverse childhood experiences that we attended in November, and the information helped me reevaluate the way in which I respond and handle one of our students in my first grade class. This particular student is very difficult to handle behavior-wise. She is constantly not following rules of the classroom, has a hard time focusing during reading, writing, and ELA time. She is very defiant when told not to do something. I have been trying the approach shared in the professional development to see if she responds and changes her behavior as a result of my building a stronger relationship with her. I’m excited to report that it is working and I’m reaching her on a whole other level!
Haley Henderson
Aspiring Teacher - Teacher Resident, University of New Mexico
Partner Voices
There is so much to learn about being a classroom teacher. It cannot be learned in just a few weeks. Residency Teacher Preparation is the best way to prepare teachers and support them as they complete their full-time work in classrooms.
Marjori Krebs
Residency Coordinator at University of New Mexico
Professional Development Institute session on rooftop garden
Partner Voices
Everyday I reflect on my practice, but recently I’ve been able to participate in parent/teacher conferences, which has especially pushed me to think about my role in the classroom.
Micha Camarillo
Aspiring Teacher - Student Teacher Intern, Western Washington University
GSE programs
Partner Voices
Extended clinical practice is important for aspiring teachers because of the increased access to direct feedback and examples in the classroom. These upfront experiences add to the teacher’s toolbox. It also offers opportunity to find balance and voice within the profession.
Teranda Kearney-Skinner
Aspiring Teacher - Teacher in Residence, Old Dominion University
Partner Voices
I’ve seen how our extra support for substituting has really been appreciated by other teachers and district members. Our consistent support in the area of para-educator substituting is something that other teachers have voiced that they are thankful for. I’m glad to help with this, and at the same time it gives me more exposure working in the area I hope to continue to work with in the future.
Annika Lucke
Aspiring Teacher - Student Teacher Intern, Western Washington University
Partner Voices
I want to be a part of this preparation program because I wanted to challenge myself working with a group of students that I was unfamiliar with. I also wanted to grow as an educator with all of the professional developments available to us and the addition semester of student teaching we are receiving.
Kimberly Scott
Aspiring Teacher - Teacher Resident, University of Southern California
Two students writing on white board
Partner Voices
One of the biggest professional successes I’ve had so far was listening to and helping a student get into contact with the school counselor when she was in need! It was one of those experiences where I wasn’t sure what do at first, but then the instincts kicked in!
Paige Torppa
Aspiring Teacher - Student Teacher Intern, Western Washington University

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