What does it take to make a great teacher?
In the words of Dean of Relay Newark Jamey Verrilli, quoted in The Economist, “Teaching is not an innate gift, nor a refuge for those who, as the old saw has it, ‘can’t do,’ but an ‘incredibly intricate, complex and beautiful craft.’”
Relay was prominently featured in a cover story this month called “Teaching the teachers.” Relay’s programs were highlighted along with U.S.-based peer the Sposato Graduate School of Education (in Boston) and the leading, nationally-run teacher training programs in Finland and Singapore.
Whereas teaching aptitude was long believed to be an inborn trait, many researchers now realize that teaching is a skill that can be taught and learned—just as doctors must learn to practice medicine and architects must learn to design buildings. And that belief underpins everything that we do at Relay.
Relay’s approach, described in the article, is intentionally designed to isolate specific teaching skills and train educators to develop proficiency through focused practice, collaboration, and feedback. The teaching residency model, in particular, enables teachers to gain hundreds of opportunities for practice, gradually developing their skills in low-stakes environments before becoming full-time teachers. Graduate students must prove that they have mastered the skills by submitting videos of their classroom teaching in action and by completing a master’s defense.
Read the full article to learn more about Relay and other leading-edge teacher training programs around the world. You can support Relay’s efforts by following Relay on Twitter and by referring current and prospective teachers and school leaders for Relay programs—we’re now operating in 12 U.S. cities!