Many school systems struggle with a teacher shortage—specifically, a lack of effective educators for the highest-need schools and subjects. High turnover among new teachers is often part of the problem. While school and district leaders want to grow and retain effective educators, most feel constrained by limited budgets. But it is possible to provide new teacher support with the resources school systems have today. In strategic schools, new teachers’ roles are fundamentally different from those of their experienced peers.
Strategic school systems enable schools to create roles with "shelter" (i.e., reduced workload) and "development" (i.e., opportunities to grow skills and practice) built in. These may be "teacher residencies," or simply innovative school designs (involving changes to scheduling, staffing, class sizes, and more) that support new teachers. The Growing Great Teachers Toolkit is based on ERS' experience working with several school systems to reorganize resources for new teacher residencies or new teacher support.
This report explores how school systems can best leverage their investment in new teachers - with a particular focus on teacher residency models. We share data on relative student impacts, impact on teacher retention, and cost, and provide innovative models for supporting rookie teachers sustainably.
How can school systems create the conditions for schools to provide "shelter" and "development" for their new, rookie teachers? This overview sets the stage.
Does your school system have the enabling conditions to grow great teachers?
Schools Start Here: Professional Learning & Collaboration
Based on feedback from district leaders about which strategies they think are "big bets" for COVID recovery, our Schools Start Here series of guides offers a blueprint for how districts and schools can organize their resources right now, and in the coming years. The Professional Learning & Collaboration guide highlights relevant research, makes recommendations for how to spend federal stimulus funds, and provides concrete examples of scheduling and staffing models.
Make-it-Work Planning Tool
School leaders can use this tool to reorganize resources to support new teachers - including budget planning, teacher assignments, class sizes, and other resource shifts - in a cost-neutral way. District leaders should review it to understand what flexibility and support school leaders will need.
Make a Cost-Neutral Plan: Excel Tool
As a final step, school leaders must plan for how to make new teacher support or residency models impactful - including selection criteria for mentor or guiding teachers, and protocols for collaborative time.
Learn about upcoming events and conferences where you can learn more about teacher residencies.
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We welcome the opportunity to partner with your district to better align resources and generate a significant impact for your students, your schools, and your communities.
New teacher support and residencies should be designed as part of a holistic strategy for system-wide change. This means connecting it to other elements like:
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