Urban Teachers is committed to placing participants in high-need urban schools. During the residency year, the Site Team works to match participants to school partners based on several criteria, including school partner needs, participant experience, and if possible, participant preferences. While participants’ preferences are considered, Urban Teachers cannot guarantee placement in a specific grade level, content area, school site, or district. The Urban Teachers Site Team works to provide notification of school placement by the conclusion of the Summer Institute.
Participants make a four-year (4) commitment to Urban Teachers. For most, the years as a teacher of record are completed at the same school as the residency year. In other instances, however, due to a deliberate school system/CMO strategy, lack of vacancies, or other issues, a participant’s placement for the fellows’ years may be in a different school from the residency year placement school. Urban Teachers makes reasonable efforts to ensure the participant is hired in another school. However, Urban Teachers has no obligation to do so if the district/CMO to which a participant is assigned removed, refused to hire, or gave an unsatisfactory evaluation to a participant at any time, or if a participant is not meeting Urban Teachers’ performance expectations or program requirements.
In some districts, an unsatisfactory evaluation or a principal’s decision to not renew a teacher’s contract makes the teacher ineligible to teach anywhere in that district. In such cases, Urban Teachers cannot guarantee continued participation in the program for teachers who are ineligible for hire in partner schools. Program participants who are removed from a school, or not hired by a school, or who receive an unsatisfactory evaluation from their principal or the school/district evaluation system, may be dismissed from the program.
All school placement or hiring decisions are facilitated by the Site Team. Residents and fellows are placed at partner schools that have signed a contract with Urban Teachers, agreeing to the conditions of the partnership. Participants who leave their placement site and seek employment at another school site without Site Team guidance put their status with Urban Teachers at risk and they may be dismissed from the program. In exceptional circumstances a participant may appeal to the Urban Teachers Site Team leadership to transfer placements.
Host teachers play a critical role in the Urban Teachers experience. Host teachers are recommended by their principals and receive training from Urban Teachers. Selection includes an assessment of an educators’ willingness to share ideas, engage in co-planning, and act as a resource for residents.
Host teachers are expected to communicate with Urban Teachers and the residents assigned to their classrooms. They are also expected to stay informed about required clinical experiences, assessment cycles, and attend host teacher meetings. Host teachers provide feedback to Urban Teachers about the experiences in their classrooms and the growth of their residents. Host teachers incorporate residents fully into their classroom, engaging them in the planning and delivery of instruction, and developing cooperative and collaborative partnerships with their residents as co-teachers.
Each resident is paired with a host teacher in August, and may be assigned to a new host teacher beginning in January. Host teachers are expected to incorporate residents fully into the classroom culture and instruction. The goal is to develop a cooperative and collaborative partnership in these classrooms. Residents and host teachers should be viewed by students and school staff as co-teachers.
To support a productive relationship, Urban Teachers requires residents to complete the Host Teacher and Resident Agreement (see Appendices) during their first meeting with their host teacher. The host teacher and resident should each retain a copy of the signed agreement. The Site Team may request to review the agreement.