When teacher shortages hit, people push for teacher residencies as the best alternative teacher preparation. The programs pair a new teacher to work along side a veteran for the full year. The new teachers complete coursework at the same time they are learning and being mentored by the veteran teacher.
It would seem to be a much preferred method of getting new teachers the experience they need to improve performance. But is it practical and do they work?
We are always asked for data about our alternative teacher certification so I went to the National Center for Teacher Residencies and only found survey data and it looks almost exactly like ours. 87% of our principals say our teachers are prepared and 89% of teacher residency principals say they are more prepared (they beat this there on wording). They have 38% teachers of color, we have 46%. They only have 37% of their teachers changing careers, we have almost all of ours and they have 500 total teachers trained and we have over 36,000.
And that is the difference. NCES reports that the US has about 3.55 million teachers of 15% move or leave the profession with 8% completely leaving. That’s 284,000 new teachers needed at a minimum. If you have to pay each $36,000 plus benefits that is $12.3 Billion per year just to fill the 8%. Since they are not teaching their own classroom, you still have to hire teachers to fill the empty classrooms. So that is a true cost and there is no money to provide for that kind of solution. And that doesn’t take into account the costs of running the program – that is just to pay the new teacher for a year.
The point here is that there is no one solution for a problem of this size. You have to have all programs working together to find and train the best talent to ensure our students have the best possible teacher in the classroom.