THE RESIDENCY YEAR (Program Year 1)
The first year of the program begins with pre-work to help prepare for Summer A, also referred to as Summer Institute. This pre-work is completed prior to the start of Summer Institute to ensure that there is enough time to finish all experiences, which will lend insight into working in urban schools. Actual coursework starts in Summer A and continues throughout Program Years 1 and 2, including Summer B between Years 1 and 2. In both Summer A and Summer B, Urban Teachers places residents with summer partners to provide more opportunities to work on classroom management and other teaching skills and to apply what is being learned in the coursework. The Urban Teachers Site Team members serve as the management team for the summer session and will be the points of contact for all programmatic and administrative concerns. As residents transition to fall school placements, they continue to be supported by the Site Team.
Where possible, residents are grouped together into small cohorts in a partner school, serving as a school-based support system and a built-in learning community for each other. Residents spend time in each other’s classrooms so that they can experience different content areas and grade levels. Some residents serve in one host classroom in Semester 1 and then move to a new host classroom (within the same school) for Semester 2.
Residents are expected to become familiar with the communities in which their schools are located and with the resources at the schools that include, but also go beyond, the teaching staff. Residents become deeply integrated in the work of supporting students during their first year in the Urban Teachers program. They conduct one-to-one and group assessments, lead mini-lesson teaching, analyze student work and student data, teach small groups, and lead whole class instruction. Residents also participate in a practicum experience that is designed to provide an opportunity to work intensively with a small group of students from the host classroom. Residents work with students in math and/or literacy. The practicum allows residents to assess and analyze student data, and then plan and teach data-driven lessons. All of these experiences derive from the content and skills that residents are learning in their graduate coursework.
The residency year includes approximately nine (9) weeks of student teaching. The student teaching experiences give residents the opportunity to develop and practice their instructional and classroom management skills in a whole class setting. Residents are responsible for taking the lead in planning and delivering instruction in the host classroom for the entire school day during the designated student teaching days. For documentation, residents create a portfolio that chronicles the student teaching experiences, including lesson plans, samples of student work, and video footage.
FELLOW YEARS 1 & 2 (Program Years 2 and 3)
After Summer B coursework ends, participants who meet all residency year performance expectations and program requirements and secure a fall school placement in a subject or area that aligns with the content area of their program of study, become fellows and teachers of record. Fellows are employees of the school districts or charter management organizations (CMOs) in which they are placed as full-time teachers at the beginning of Program Year 2 with Urban Teachers. Fellows must hold initial certification (actual terminology for this status may vary by state) for their first two years as teachers of record (Program Years 2 and 3).
During the first year as a teacher of record coursework is scaled back, as the majority of the master’s level coursework was completed during the residency year. Coursework in Year 2 takes place one or two evenings a week. Coaching is still provided to fellows as they adjust to being the sole teacher in a classroom. Fellows in Program Years 2 & 3 receive ongoing, regular guidance and instruction through coaching across the school year that includes planning meetings, focused observations, and comprehensive coaching cycles.
THE TEACHING COMMITMENT YEAR- FELLOW YEAR 3 (Program Year 4)
By the final year of the Urban Teachers program, fellows will attain full teaching certification, having proven that they are effective teachers. Opportunities in Year 4 and beyond continually develop as the Urban Teachers cohorts grow. These include opportunities to serve as Summer Institute graduate assistants, coaches, mentors, and host teachers.