After the Residency Year, Urban Teachers start their first of three years as a teacher of record. After your 14 month residency, you will have over 1500 hours of practice with students. You continue to receive 1:1 coaching, you complete your graduate school coursework and receive your Master's degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Education that May. You need to meet Urban Teacher's accountability bars to continue to move on in Urban Teachers' program each year.
In year 3, you will continue as a teacher of record and, while receiving your final year of 1:1 coaching, you will continue to develop your teaching practice. During the third year, if you can demonstrate your ability to improve student achievement through nationally normed assessments, as well as the skills and behaviors of an effective teacher, you will earn your teaching certifications in the grade and content of your placement and program of study, along with Special Education. (In Dallas, you will also be certified in ESL.) Once you pass the exams you will be a fully licensed teacher in the state in which you are teaching!
Year 4 is your year! Throughout this year, you will teach full time and mentor Urban Teachers residents. Now it is time to transition from Teacher to Teacher Leader! Read more about some alumni in our program here.
Many of our teachers are ambitious and excited about leading other activities outside of their primary teaching job. While some are concerned about finances, working a second job would not be possible during your first two years in the program. Between coursework and training, there is rarely enough time to balance the demands of a second job but in the third and fourth years, your time is yours to do with as you please. If you'd like to coach or lead a club after your second year with Urban Teachers, we say "Definitely!" We have many Fellows who take on leadership/coaching/mentoring roles in years three and four.
Performance assessments are used frequently throughout your time with Urban Teachers as a way to help develop you on your path to becoming a great teacher. We utilize a tool we call the Teacher Practice Rubric for evaluations, which you can find a sample here.
We have worked closely with partners from Westat and Education Analytics to refine and strengthen a set of measures that fairly assess teacher effectiveness for this high-stakes decision. We plan to only recommend teachers for certification who meet high expectations for classroom performance across three measures:
- Teaching practice: During their third year in the program (and second year as teachers of record), participants are rated by their coach and by an independent observer on our Teacher Practice Rubric—the same tool used for feedback and accountability purposes from the start of the program. We compute an average score across four areas of practice. This score makes up 40% of the final effectiveness rating (or 70%, for those who do not have student gains data).
- Student gains: Students in the classrooms of Urban Teachers participants take a computer-adaptive assessment at the start and end of each year. We compare the average growth of students in each classroom to the typical growth rate of students in urban districts. This student gains score makes up 40% of the final effectiveness rating.
- Growth mindset & professionalism: the Teacher Practice Rubric includes a fifth strand comprised of indicators of professional behaviors and attitudes. Similar to the teaching practice rating, coaches and site teams note where participants fall on each of the indicators and compute an average rating across indicators. The combined score from their third year in the program makes up 20% of the final effectiveness rating (or 30%, for those who do not have student gains data).
Urban Teachers also trains our teachers in best intervention practices and assessment tools. Examples include Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) taught in literacy coursework, Do The Math and Do the Math Now taught in math coursework, and Woodcock-Johnson taught in Special Education coursework.