During the first week of March 2017, six senior education majors ventured into a new pilot study to determine if a spring/fall/winter teacher residency could work. Many lessons were learned over this past year. Last spring, it was somewhat challenging for the mentors to welcome a new co-teacher into a classroom that already had a clear management system. It was as if they joined the 16-17 team of 35 full-year clinical residents on their 20th mile of a marathon without the many experiences others had already gathered along the race. It was nearing statewide testing, and upper grade classrooms provided fewer opportunities to co-teach. Other residents joined classrooms where the scope and sequence was in the middle of a teaching unit so they missed the opportunity to experience the entire teaching module. Several residents also moved into different classrooms in August with different mentors and/or grade levels with new students so the ability to measure student growth over nine months would be impossible, but residents did acknowledge the rich opportunities for diverse classroom experiences and student populations. The residents' commitment to their current 2017-2018 mentor and students was very evident in their desire to remain in the classroom this upcoming spring to support them through the school year. To some, it feels like they are not finishing the race they began this fall.
Much has been learned from this pilot to continue to strengthen the TEAM Model, and as always we honor those we call "trailblazers" that teach us much from their clinical experiences. Most importantly, these clinical residents are confident and prepared to meet the daily challenges of teaching. There is a strong reason for placing residents across the state in teacher preparation programs into an August-May full academic year.
L-R: Paige Brooks, Hannah Morrison, Yasmeen Lebbad, and Hannah Moore with Dr. Julie Holmes. Not shown: Alisha Martin and Catherine Shouse.
We thank these TEAM Model Clinical Residency Fellows for their contribution to Louisiana Tech University's College of Education teacher preparation program. Your feedback continues to provide our best practices in preparing Louisiana's future educators. Best wishes to each of you as you begin a new season in life and please stay in touch loyal bulldogs! You have definitely made your mark in Woodard Hall! #BeATeacherLA
College of Education Faculty/Staff celebrating our newest graduates of the TEAM Model Clinical Residency Program