In light of the dark shadows cast upon several cities across the nation over the course of the past several weeks (including our own city of Dallas), a committed group of future teachers came together in Dallas last Tuesday to begin their educational journey in pursuit of a career in teaching. In these trying times, these educators offered a much-needed beacon of light to a city still mending its wounds.
The group of 25 individuals gathered for the first time last Tuesday morning at the Downtown Dallas, Texas A&M University – Commerce campus. The day marked the first day of graduate school class for the new cohort of teacher residents participating in the Dallas Teacher Residency program.
The program, a partnership between Texas A&M University – Commerce and Dallas Teacher Residency, is committed to training and supporting aspiring teachers to teach in partnering urban school districts throughout the North Texas region. During the 14-month teacher preparation program, participants, (called resident teachers), spend an entire academic year training under the guidance of a hand selected mentor teacher, while also taking graduate school courses towards their masters degree and earning their teaching license. Following the apprenticeship year, graduates of the program earn full time teaching positions in partnering school districts – where they commit to teaching a minimum of three years in the district while also receiving ongoing support and coaching from Dallas Teacher Residency.
According to Dallas Teacher Residency Co-Founder, Rob DeHaas, the rich clinical experience program residents receive during their resident year is instrumental to their development and success as future teachers.
“We firmly believe that the best way to train teachers how to teach is to have them spend an extended amount of time practicing and honing their craft in actual classroom environments that mirror the classrooms and schools that they will be teaching in following their intern year,” DeHaas said. “Linking this extensive clinical practice with academic coursework, aligned pedagogy and ongoing support provides them with the foundation they need to be successful as first year teachers – a proven model that has a track record of success in other urban school districts across the country.”
In addition to the resident teachers, Dallas Teacher Residency will support mentor teachers and program graduates from the past two years. In all, during the 2016-2017 school year, the partnership will support over 70 teachers that will directly impact nearly 4,500 students in grades K-12 across 11 different campuses throughout the Dallas Metroplex.
The cohort of new resident teachers (Cohort 3) was selected from over 200 applicants received from all across the United States. Applications for the 2017-2018 cohort will be released and accepted starting in early September.