Strategic, sustainable residencies can help solve the teacher shortage

Public schools in California are facing historic staffing challenges: rising rates of dissatisfaction and burnout within the current workforce and unprecedented shortages of future teachers, as increased housing and education costs deter potential teachers from entering the field.

But university teacher preparation programs and school districts can create more effective partnerships to meet these demands.

Historically, the partnerships between teacher preparation programs and school districts have been transactional: teacher preparation programs place student teachers in districts for short periods of time without considering district needs. To change this dynamic, teacher preparation schools launched residency programs to ensure new teachers better understood the communities they were serving. Residencies are similar to student teaching models, but differ in that they are for a full year. Within a residency, aspiring teachers take on increasingly more responsibility in the classroom alongside a mentor teacher for the entire year, gain familiarity with the ebbs and flows of the school year, and assume full teaching responsibilities by the end of the year.

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