Jeanna Perry is a Director at the California Teacher Residency Lab which is a part of the non-profit Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation and supports teacher residency programs across the State of California. She previously had a long and successful career at Fresno Unified School District. We are grateful to have her share her knowledge and experience on our blog.
Written by Jeanna Perry
There is widespread and growing agreement that teacher residencies– powerful, research-based pathways for teacher preparation implemented collaboratively by Institutes of Higher Education (IHEs), Local Education Agencies (LEAs), and local partners–are among the most effective ways to improve and stabilize a highly-effective and representative teacher workforce. The California Teacher Residency Lab is poised to support the development of a powerful system of California Teacher Residency programs in the state that becomes a model for state-specific residency work at scale.
The Lab has developed into a robust learning community in which residency leaders and partners learn from one another and experts, actively engage in formal and informal cycles of networking and continuous improvement and hold one another accountable to common standards for success. The Lab is unique in its ability to cultivate this kind of community, coherence, and to host a support ecosystem specifically attuned to the California context.
With the infusion of $350 million one-time Proposition 98 General Fund to support teacher residencies in California, an intentional, strategic approach to supporting residencies to develop, scale, and be sustained is both timely and critical. The funding allowed the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing to create three competitive grants for LEA and IHE partnerships to apply and acquire Teacher Residency funding. Capacity grants were the initial funds released in order to support partners in planning to implement a residency program. The capacity grant allowed programs to take a year to establish the foundations needed for a strong residency program partnership.
The California Teacher Residency Lab has supported multiple residency partners who have acquired Capacity Grants. Through this work, the lab was able to identify four key factors that are essential when building a strong foundation for a teacher residency program.
Establish a strong partnership Between Local Education Agency (LEA) and Institution of Higher Education (IHE) by:
Ensuring that both the LEA and IHE have shared ownership of the work.
Developing norms for collaboration at the onset of partnership.
Collaborating on partnership expectations in residency programming.
Developing a vision, mission, and goals that are aligned to grant commitments.
Deciding on how decisions on programming will be made at each organization.
Create layers of communication at both organizations to ensure shared ownership
Create an organization chart of those who will need to be a part of the residency program.
Identify how communication about the residency will be communicated in each institution to various stakeholders.
Determine who will communicate information at the various levels of the organization.
Decide what types of residency information needs to be communicated and to which audiences.
Designate staff at both LEA and IHE to facilitate residency programming.
Calendar regular meetings with key stakeholders at LEA and IHE.
Onboard new staff and faculty to residency and supports so all partners are clear on program roles and responsibilities.
Identify and align outcomes to create coherence across two organizations.
Determine what the teacher shortage areas are for the LEA.
Identify times to engage in instructional learning walks at the LEA using a common rubric/framework.
Collect and analyze data for continuous improvement at both organizations.
Design professional learning, coursework, and clinical practice experiences that are aligned to residency partnership vision, mission, and goals.
Create a recruitment, training, and retention plan and timeline in collaboration.
This is not an exhaustive list but a quick guide to support programs who are launching new partnerships and want to build a strong foundation.
To learn more about Jeanna Perry's work, please visit cdefoundation.org or connect on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook.