Serving in the City
The College welcomes the TR@TC, its new urban teaching residents program
In May, a group of twenty students, eager to make a difference in urban education, arrived at TC as the first cohort of Teaching Residents@Teachers College (TR@TC). Until July 2011, TR@TC residents will apprentice with experienced teachers at high-needs schools, earn a master's degree, and commit to teaching for at least three additional years in a
A. Lin Goodwin, Associate Dean of Teacher Education and Professor of Education, says the program "allows us to build on and expand the excellent practices we've been engaged in here at TC for many years--integrating clinical experience with coursework--which we know make a real difference in teacher preparation."
The program was funded last fall by a $9.75 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, where Secretary Arne Duncan has pressed for more hands-on classroom experience in the nation's teacher preparation programs. Goodwin, who helped launch the program, said TR@TC will deliver a total of 180 certified teachers to urban communities over the next five years. It is also designed to produce new knowledge about innovative approaches to teacher preparation and classroom practices that work.
Participants will emerge from the 14-month master's program with
Along with coursework, residents started their summer with school observations that exposed them to a variety of classroom situations and allowed them to begin building relationships with teachers and principals. In their first year, they will work side-by-side in a classroom with an experienced teacher committed to helping them succeed. In another effort to build learning communities, residents meet weekly as a group for workshops and instruction. The program also stresses deep content knowledge in the residents' area of expertise, and it incorporates digital tools and technologies to expand the learning process.
From newly minted college graduates to a former restauranteur, the new Teaching Residents come from widely diverse backgrounds and walks of life.
Naomi Sharlin, a May graduate of Bryn Mawr with a bachelor's degree in linguistics, took education classes and spent time at a high school in West Philadelphia while she was a college student. The self-described "university brat" from
Lesley Crawford, who studied fine arts at
Paul McCourt dropped out of the State University of New York at Fredonia in the late 1970s to start a restaurant in nearby Oneonta, then worked in the financial industry, for a time as head of human resources for the New York Mercantile Exchange. He came to TC in 2009, first to study elementary education, before transferring to the Teaching Residents program to prepare to teach children with special needs. "I find it challenging in ways that I just happen to be interested in," McCourt said of the program. "I think it's something that currently… needs people committed to it."
Richard Park, who grew up on
Whether they are recent college graduates or career changers, "in addition to being articulate and generous, they are making a fierce commitment to high-needs schools and urban education," Goodwin says of the inaugural cohort. TR@TC will hold information sessions for prospective applicants on July 12 and August 9, at 4 p.m. in Russell Hall Room 400.
Published Monday, Jul. 19, 2010