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The Teacher Residency: An Innovative Model for Preparing Teachers

Abstract

"Recruitment and retention challenges are once again leading to teacher shortages across the nation. Especially in urban and rural school districts, low salaries and poor working conditions often contribute to the difficulties of recruiting and keeping teachers, as can the challenges of the work itself. As a consequence, in many schools--especially those serving the most vulnerable populations--students often face a revolving door of teachers over the course of their school careers. Many of these teachers are underprepared for the work of teaching and learning.

Turnover is higher in districts that meet shortages by hiring teachers who have not completed an adequate preparation, as novices without training leave after their first year at more than twice the rate of those who have had student teaching and rigorous preparation. Similarly, teachers who do not receive mentoring and support in their first years leave teaching at much higher rates than those whose school or district provides such support. Under these circumstances, everyone loses: student achievement is undermined by high rates of teacher turnover and by teachers who are inadequately prepared for the challenges they face. Schools suffer from continual churn, undermining long-term improvement efforts. Districts pay the costs of both students underachievement and teachers' high attrition."

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