Amplifying the Teacher Resident Voice this American Education Week

Subject
Impact of the Residency Model
Category
Recent News

November 14, 2022 — American Education Week celebrates all those who contribute to the positive impact of our nation’s public school systems. This includes those who may go unnoticed for the work and talent they bring to classrooms. One impactful role that comes to mind for us at the National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR) are teacher residents who spend a year in a classroom learning to effectively teach students with the support of a teacher mentor as they pursue their own journey of becoming a teacher of record. Teacher residents have a passion and drive for education that directly impacts students, experienced teachers who serve as their mentors, the school district in which they serve, and the teaching workforce overall

In acknowledgement of American Education Week, it is important to recognize their contributions and voices:

Image courtesy of Madera Teacher Residency

Liliana Miranda of the Madera Teacher Residency Program at California State University, Fresno decided to become a teacher amid the pandemic. After pursuing her undergraduate and graduate degree, she worked in the media and communications industry until she began questioning her career choice. She recalled her time as an undergraduate student enjoying tutoring her fellow college students: “I soon discovered how passionate I was about self-empowerment, especially for young Latino students, and decided to transition into a profession that would allow me to provide those necessary experiences and empowerment.” Miranda is six months from finishing her residency program and looks forward to leading her own classroom.  (Image courtesy of Madera Teacher Residency.)

Jonnie Silva of the Mississippi Teacher Residency Program is nearing the end of her first semester teaching a Kindergarten class – fully appreciating the opportunity to practice her learnings in a hands-on classroom setting. A wife and mother of three, she decided to pursue the teacher residency program for the work-life balance it provides to her and her family and to make a difference in children’s lives: “I want them to know they can do anything that they put their minds to. I love being the person to make them smile each day. I leave work with a full heart and wake up the next day excited to do it all again!” (Image courtesy of the Mississippi Teacher Residency Program.)

Kenya Hopson, also of the Mississippi Teacher Residency Program, says she sought out the residency program because it would allow her the opportunity to become a teacher of record, while being mentored. “I’m able to use the information I’m learning in real time. My conviction to become a teacher has grown, which has a large part to do with my mentor always being there and not giving up on me… Being teachers, we are influencers, nourishers, developers, impacting the world on different levels.”

Hopson graduates in May and is excited to becoming a “well-grounded, knowledgeable, and disciplined teacher.” (Image courtesy of the Mississippi Teacher Residency Program.)

DarLisa Himrod’s, now a graduate of the CREATE 65 Teacher Residency Program in Evanston/Skokie, Illinois, journey and contributions as a teacher resident is both inspiring and eye-opening to the struggles aspiring Black educators face toward becoming a full-time teacher of record to eventually teaching their own classroom of students. (Image courtesy of Education Week; Photographed by Taylor Glascock.)

Teacher residents contribute to the classroom and their own communities by being the change that students, especially those from historically marginalized backgrounds and low-income areas, deserve to see. Their diverse stories of tenacity, quest for change, and passion for the profession and students fuels NCTR’s mission and vision, as we further advance our work with our teacher residency partners across the country to recruit, prepare, and retain quality, diverse, culturally affirming educators. Teacher residents should be commended and celebrated for accepting the call to teach our youth and continuing the legacy of a profession that deserves more praise and actionable support overall.