Medical school graduates work as residents to learn how to be competent doctors. The Boston Teacher Residency is training Renee Alves, 22, in an experienced teacher’s classroom, reports Christopher Booker for PBS NewsHour. She “will spend 10 months watching, emulating, and learning as much as she can” from Kayla Morse, who teaches third grade at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School in Roxbury.
Jesse Solomon, who taught math in Boston public schools for 10 years, co-founded the program in 2003.
One thing I saw a lot when I was teaching was– a number of brand new teachers coming into the profession. Smart, committed, hard-working, kind of willing to do whatever it takes– but not really knowing how to teach that first year.
My concern was always that they were learning on the backs on the kids that had them that year, right? So if you’re a first-year teacher in Algebra 1 class, you get another shot next year. For those kids taking Algebra 1, that was their shot at algebra 1. So had in my head that there’s gotta be a better way to do this.
Three of four residency graduates in the past 12 years are teaching in Boston — including Morse, who completed her residency four years ago.
The program “has shown success not only retaining more teachers but hiring more science and math specialists, and placing more Black, Latino, and Asian-Americans in the classroom,” reports Booker.
The program was redesigned when a 2011 Harvard study found that first-year residents’ students earned lower math scores than students of first-year teachers from traditional programs.
Now, residents are concentrated in fewer schools, says Solomon.
So if you have, you know, seven math residents and seven math mentors and a math clinic teacher educator, you have 15 people all in the same school talking together on a daily basis about what, like, does good math teaching look like– for– for the kids in this school.
Residents assist a mentor teacher four days a week and spend the fifth day taking graduate classes to earn a master’s in education.