Teacher preparation has traditionally been the work of universities, while induction into the profession and mentor teacher training have been the work of the school divisions that hire new teachers.
Now, Curry faculty, staff and alumni are innovating and partnering to bridge the gap between teacher preparation and teacher induction. We are excited to introduce our new Teaching Fellowship.
Curry is partnering with Frederick County Public Schools, Goochland County Public Schools and Virginia Beach City Public Schools to pilot a new way of preparing and retaining high quality teachers. Each school division will select from among Curry teacher candidates in its areas of critical need (such as STEM, special education, and elementary education), as well as seeking candidates who represent the student populations they will serve. The school divisions will hire these “fellows” for a year-long residency that incorporates both the traditional fall student-teaching semester and the following spring semester as well.
During this year, they will work in instructional support roles and as co-teachers under the guidance of mentor teachers carefully identified by school division leadership and trained by Curry School faculty members.
Our fellows will further develop contextual knowledge of school division policies and practices through Curry seminars held near their school to support their transition from teacher candidate to teacher. They will also receive two full years of MyTeachingPartner-Preservice Supervision, a targeted, individualized feedback model developed at Curry. In exchange for this substantively stronger and longer support from both the division and Curry, fellows will commit to accepting employment and remaining in the school division for at least the first three years of their teaching careers.
This fellowship model is a game-changer for teacher education and the clinical experience. Connecting teacher preparation and induction is a goal for many colleges and universities, but only the Curry School has been able to develop and pilot this model with the help of our outstanding partners. Because these Teaching Fellows will meet their student teaching requirements through a paid fellowship, promising future teachers who might not otherwise have the financial resources to complete a graduate program in education will be able to do so and to give back to public school communities.
We are thrilled to support our students and the hundreds of students they will serve in their careers.
This project was funded in part by The Jefferson Trust, an initiative of the UVA Alumni Association.