Urban Teachers offers the most thorough teacher preparation program model in the nation, providing participants with:
- A year-long co-teaching Residency
- A two-year Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program in partnership with the American University School of Education
- Three years of one-on-one coaching that culminate in teacher certification, and
- Four years of experience working in high-needs classrooms (including three years as a full-time teacher).
Our program is intense, and participants who complete their four-year commitment are prepared with the tools and skills needed to be an effective urban teacher. This is an investment that pays off for our teachers and their students.
YEAR 1 – THE RESIDENCY YEAR
The program begins with a 14-month Residency experience with extensive one-on-one coaching in a classroom setting. Residents work alongside a host teacher during the day, receive coaching support from highly-trained Urban Teachers instructional coaches, then take practice-based master’s level courses after the school day. The Residency school year is bookended by two different summer experiences referred to as “Summer A” (prior to the Residency school year) and “Summer B” (between the Residency school year and the first Fellow year).
“Summer A” (otherwise referred to as Summer Institute) is 4-6 weeks beginning in mid-June, and we provide Residents with the option of free room and board on a local college campus with other Residents. During the day, residents are co-teaching summer school at one of our summer partner locations (with a “Summer B” participant as their host teacher), and they begin taking graduate coursework in the afternoon.
The daily schedule typically includes scheduled activities from 7:30am to 7:00pm, Monday through Friday, with occasional Saturday sessions. Here is a sample week:
Fall and Spring
At the end of Summer Institute, Residents are responsible for obtaining their own housing, and our Resident Onboarding Specialists have resources to aid in this search. Residents will also have received their public school placement by then, and will have been matched with a host teacher (they could be with the same teacher all year, or could be with one in the fall and one in the spring). Once fall arrives, Residents begin co-teaching in their host teacher’s classroom during the day while continuing to take graduate courses in the afternoons and evenings.
Residents’ work with students in their host teacher’s classroom includes: conducting one-to-one and group assessments, leading mini-lesson teaching, analyzing student work and student data, teaching small groups, and leading whole class instruction. The Residency year also includes approximately 9 weeks of student teaching in total, largely in the spring. The student teaching experience gives Residents the opportunity to develop and practice their instructional and classroom management skills in a whole class setting. All of these clinical experiences derive from the content and skills that Residents are learning in their graduate coursework and coaching interactions.
YEARS 2-4 – THE TEACHING YEARS
After “Summer B” ends, participants who meet all Residency year expectations and requirements, including Residency standards in our Teacher Practice Rubric, become Fellows and teachers of record. For many, the years as a teacher of record are completed at the same school as the Residency year. Fellows are employees of the public school districts (traditional or charter) in which they are hired as full-time teachers at the beginning of Program Year 2. Fellows also hold initial teaching credentials during their first two years as teachers of record.
During Program Year 2 (the first Fellow year as a teacher of record), master’s coursework is scaled back, as the majority of the coursework was completed during the Residency year. During Program Year 3 (the second Fellow year as a teacher of record), master’s coursework is complete (participants have earned their M.A.T. by the end of Program Year 2), but coaching continues. In both Program Years 2 & 3, Fellows receive ongoing, regular guidance and instruction through coaching across the school year that includes a wide range of coaching experiences.
At the conclusion of Program Year 3, and entering Program Year 4, Fellows are recommended for full teacher certification, after having completed all program performance expectations and requirements, including Fellow standards in our Teacher Practice Rubric. Leadership and mentorship opportunities in Program Year 4 and beyond continually develop as Urban Teachers grows. These include opportunities to serve with Urban Teachers as Summer Institute graduate assistants, coaches, mentors, and host teachers. Opportunities may also become available through your school district or charter management organization.