Paid Educator Residencies, Within Budget: How New School Models Can Radically Improve Teacher and Principal Preparation
Adequately preparing new teachers and principals to lead students and schools well poses a two-fold challenge: First, despite paying considerable tuition for most preparation programs, aspiring teachers and principals do not get the extended, intensive coaching by top professionals in K–12 settings that they need to excel rapidly at work. Second, schools are stuck with a pipeline of new teachers and principals ill-prepared for their jobs, and student teaching does not provide a strong basis for screening job candidates. No one is well-served—not aspiring professionals, schools, or students. Schools have been unable to address these challenges at scale in today’s one-teacher-one-classroom mode, despite a proliferation of innovative efforts
A new opportunity is presented by the growing number of districts and charter operators that are using new school models to extend the reach of excellent teachers by letting them lead teams as “multi-classroom leaders.” In these “Opportunity Culture” models, MultiClassroom Leadership creates the potential for aspiring teachers to experience paid, full-time residencies led by excellent teachers who lead instructional teams. Similarly, Multi School Leadership that allows excellent principals to lead two or more schools provides similar potential for paid, full-time residencies for aspiring principals—particularly ones who have already led instructional teams as multiclassroom leaders. New school models allow both teacher and principal residents to be paid for a year within existing school budgets.