Dallas Teacher Residency is very much looking forward to the opportunity to participate in the recently developed Dallas ISD Student-Teacher Council. What an opportunity to engage in such an important dialogue around teacher preparation. Take a moment to read the piece put together for DTR highlighting the initiative.
Dallas Teacher Residency Founders to Serve on Dallas ISD Student-Teacher Council
March 10, 2014
Dallas Teacher Residency (DTR) Co-Founders Rob DeHaas and Elizabeth Kastiel were recently extended an invitation to serve on a new Dallas Independent School District (DISD) Human Capital Management initiative, termed the Student Teaching Advisory Council. The council, which will meet once per academic semester, will help facilitate a collaborative effort to ensure that student teachers within DISD are provided with the most effective student-teaching experience possible. According to the district, collectively, the council will “have the opportunity to help guide Dallas ISD in its student teaching program, prepare student teachers for their future as educators, and promote and advocate the importance of effective student teaching internships.” Representatives of educational programs, community leaders, principals, and other school staff will make up the council.
“This is an encouraging and proactive step taken by Dallas ISD to address the critical student teacher needs within a large urban school district, stated DTR Co-Founder and CEO,” Rob DeHaas. “If we are looking for ways in which to improve the first year teaching experience, it makes sense to provide rigorous, purposeful, and well-structured training experiences for student teachers – and to provide these experiences to them within the actual schools and school districts that these teachers will eventually go and teach as first-year teachers.”
This initiative is one of several recent efforts taken by the Dallas ISD Human Capital Management team to overhaul systems and structures previously in place that had received criticism from those both directly, and indirectly impacted by Dallas ISD Human Capital strategies. According to sources within the Dallas ISD Human Capital Management department, establishing stronger relationships with local university teacher education programs as well as with principals within the district are examples of specific actions being taken by the district to not only improve the overall student-teacher experience within the district, but to also increase the number of student teachers in general throughout the district.
These efforts are also suggestive of the District’s willingness to facilitate a dialogue regarding key issues such as teacher preparation with stakeholders in the community.
“From an organizational perspective, having a seat at this table is very exciting for DTR,” DeHaas said. “It not only reflects our growing relationship with Dallas ISD, but it gives us the opportunity to interact and collaborate with a number of great educational leaders, community advocates, and school personnel across the city – all of whom understand the importance of teacher preparation and teacher quality.”
The council will congregate for the first meeting in April.
Dallas Teacher Residency (DTR) serves as a strategic response to local urban school districts’ need to recruit, prepare, and retain effective classroom teachers to serve urban students in urban classrooms. Research demonstrates that the classroom teacher serves as the single greatest catalyst in increasing levels of student achievement. With that said, nearly 50% of all urban school teachers leave the profession within their first three years – creating long term economic consequences for urban school districts,’ and more importantly, academic consequences for children in urban schools. Through a rigorous and purposeful year-long apprenticeship program patterned after a medical residency model, DTR is a district-based teacher education program that pairs master’s level education content with a rigorous full-year classroom apprenticeship with trained mentor teachers in urban classrooms. DTR prepares and supports teachers to successfully serve students in urban schools, ensuring that prior to having a classroom of their own, program residents are provided with the training, skillset, and on-going support necessary to best meet the needs of students in urban schools. Through this innovative approach to teacher training, DTR aims to create both high-quality educators, in addition to creating support systems which ensures educators have the opportunity to provide students with the largest possible academic impact – which occurs in the classroom.