Reimagining Mentor Professional Learning for Teacher Residency Programs


Released February 16, 2024 — With support from a Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED) grant awarded in 2022, the National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR) partnered with the Teacher Development Network LLC (TDN) to answer the question:

What does high-quality professional learning for mentor teachers look, sound, and feel like in the context of a teacher residency program committed to disrupting historical educational inequities? 

The ultimate goal of this multi-year project is to develop, pilot, and codify a mentor professional learning program that aligns with NCTR’s Levers for Equitable Teacher Residencies and can be used by all teacher residency programs within NCTR’s Network. NCTR and TDN collectively envision students of color and students from low-income backgrounds having equitable access to a diverse array of effective and culturally responsive educators as a long-term outcome of this work. This project will also provide important and long-overdue learning on the importance of preparing mentor teachers for their central role as field-based teacher educators and ensuring mentor teachers are supported in ways that help them develop affirming, collaborative, and generative relationships with their teacher residents.

To answer the project question, NCTR and TDN drew from NCTR’s Network of teacher residencies across the country to conduct an in-depth study. The initial stage of the work, conducted during the 2022-23 school year, was designed to better understand what is currently happening related to mentor professional learning in NCTR-affiliated teacher residency programs and to explore potential promising practices.