Student Teaching vs. Teacher Residency

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Hiyateacher, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. Hiyateacher

    Hiyateacher Rookie

    Jan 31, 2016
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    Apr 23, 2016

    I want to know what you all think about this. Which do you think is more effective in training teachers, traditional student teaching programs or teacher residencies? I was having this conversation with someone I went to college with. She graduated from our Alma mater's teacher education program, and I'm finishing up my student teaching in an M.A. in Teaching program. My friend is someone who is passionate about education but ended up leaving the profession after one year.
    I'm wrapping up my internship at an inner-city school. My program is very traditional in the sense that you take 2 years of courses in theory and then spend one semester observing one day a week in middle and high schools, and then a semester full-time teaching -- 7 weeks at a high school, 7 at a middle school. The teacher next-door to me is a resident teacher. Her program gives her the same degree as me, however, it is a 4 year process. This person is finishing her first year, where she is a co-teacher in a veteran teacher's classroom and takes night school classes in education. Next year, she will have her own classroom, finish up classes and graduate with her degree. The third and fourth year, she is a full-fledged teacher but still receives mentoring and coaching from the residency program.
    I look at the resident's experience and mine and it has been totally different. The kids view her as a real teacher and take her seriously. Whereas they know I'm just another intern (my university sends a lot of student teachers there) who is doing their 7-week run through. They do not take me seriously and treat me like a substitute teacher, despite the support of an awesome mentor teacher and an AP. This middle school experience has been awesome, but stressful at the same time because of how the kids view me.
    I wonder how different my experience would have been if I tried a residency. It seems very effective and those teachers apparently last longer than some of us who go through traditional teacher education programs. There's something to be said about these residency programs where you receive on the spot training and practical realistic training in courses taught by seasoned educators, compared to education theory taught by professors who either never taught in a K-12 classroom, or did briefly 30 years ago before getting their PhD and oblivious to how out of touch they are with education.

    Thanks for putting up with my tangent! What are your thoughts? Any teacher residents out there?
  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

    Jul 20, 2012
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    Apr 23, 2016

    I think it depends on the individual program. I work at a school with teacher residents who complete a one-year training program, where they are in the classroom four days per week and take classes one day per week. The following year, they are assigned their own classroom and receive coaching. I haven't been impressed at all with what I've seen. A big part of it is how good their mentor teacher is... If they are being trained by someone who hasn't kept up with trends in education, despite being very experienced, then the teacher residents aren't going to know, understand, and implement those new trends. I also think that there is a lot to be said for a traditional program that has the student observe and do field experiences at a wide variety of schools. If the student is only exposed to one school, then they will likely imitate what they observed at that school rather than taking in ideas from all of the school, evaluating what they've observed, and making thoughtful decisions about what is best for their own classroom. When I observe these teacher residents, it makes me very glad that I went through a traditional two-year master's program rather than doing one of these residency programs.
  4. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

    Feb 5, 2011
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    Apr 23, 2016

    We just partnered with a residency program at my school this year. We got three residency students who were all paired with very good teachers (IMO). One quit before the program started, and another was gone within a month. The one that lasted a month said she had no idea what teaching was really going to be like and it was just too much for her. She'd been a stay at home mom for quite some time and was looking for a career that would allow her to still spend a lot of time with her children. The third seems to be quite successful. She's very eager to learn and seems very enthusiastic about teaching. I have several of my sped students in that classroom and I love doing meetings with this resident because she's so legitimately interested in everything. I do think she's getting a better experience than our student teachers, who are only 100% in charge of the class for 2 weeks. I'm not sure how much practicum experience they get before that. I can never have one because we are partnered with a school that doesn't offer a sped program.

    That said, it depends on the quality of your ST program as well. Like Bella said, it's important to be able to see different schools and classrooms. My traditional program was very good, although it was undergrad, not MA. We started doing actual field experiences where we would go in and teach lessons from the first semester of freshman year. We started with 6 weeks teaching one subject 3 days per week, and by the time we got to junior year we were teaching 2 subjects four days per week for 10-12 weeks each semester. They made sure that we had experience in rural, urban, and suburban schools as well as in every grade we were going to be certified in. Senior year, my student teaching was a full year and I was 100% in charge by the end of October through the end of the year. I can't believe the programs around here only have their STs fully in charge for 2 weeks. No wonder so many people talk about how stressful their first year of teaching was! I felt very prepared my first year and seemed to have a much better experience than most people talk about. I think my program was probably better than a residency program, since those people are only in one school with one teacher.
  5. futureteacher13

    futureteacher13 Rookie

    Oct 8, 2013
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    Apr 23, 2016

    I'm starting my MEd in Elementary Education next month. I'm currently working towards earning my teaching certification in teach K-6 in Florida. I know it's going to be tough being a teacher and pursuing a Master's degree at the same time, but I've known many teachers who've done it and they said it's doable! :) I will complete Practicums/Field Experience throughout my entire program from start to finish and I will complete student teaching in 2017. My undergraduate degree has an education concentration, but I wanted to gain some knowledge both theoretically and practically in Elementary school teaching, so I feel that this degree will work wonders for me! :) I want to pursue this degree in order to be a better teacher for my students both in the practical sense and the theoretical sense. I've been a Para for almost 7 years, with most of those years being in middle school, and I have such a strong passion for children in elementary education and I want to see them be success. I most definitely believe that my passion for children, my determination, and my faith will get me through the tough times! :)

    As for the OP, I had those same moments your currently experiencing, and I'm only a Para. You are going to be a fantastic teacher and don't let anyone tell you differently! :) There might be times where you will feel like giving up, but press on and keep going. Our children need great teachers who a determined, passionate, and enthusiastic about teaching! :) As far as student teaching is concerned, as I previously mentioned, I won't begin mine until 2017, but from my experience as a Para, it's all about confidence! :) It will take you a long way! :) Good luck to you! :)

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