WEA Hosted Event to Showcase the First Union-Operated Teacher Residency Program in the U.S.


February 6, 2024 –In January, NCTR’s Chief Growth Officer Jill Pitner attended The Washington Education Association (WEA) Teacher Residency/Teacher Apprenticeship Symposium hosted by WEA. This five-day event provided guests the opportunity to learn about the design, launch, and implementation of the first union-operated teacher residency program in the nation! Teacher residents, mentor teachers, school leaders, field supervisors, instructional coaches, faculty, and design team members described the teacher residency program and their own experience working with and in the WEA Teacher Residency.

According to Pitner, the event highlighted the confluence of circumstances and opportunities that made the timing just right for WEA’s design team to engage in NCTR’s Residency Design Academy (RDA) to work on the design and launch of the WEA Teacher Residency program in 2023. For example, teacher salaries in the state of Washington are approximately $10,000 higher than the national average; therefore, choosing to pursue a teaching career is much more attractive in Washington than other states. Also, many school districts across the state were reporting teacher shortages, specifically in the area of special education. A funding windfall presented itself when the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction shared that there were ESSER funds available. Finally, Washington’s Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) put forth clear professional teaching standards and requirements for teacher preparation pathways.