This March, the School District of Philadelphia (SDP) awarded Relay Graduate School of Education (Relay) with a contract which will enable up to 20 aspiring district teachers to receive high-quality preparation for the classroom through Relay’s innovative, practice-based approach. Relay was selected through a public process among several teacher preparation providers for a residency partnership based on the strength of its program, its focus on practice and feedback, and the program’s affordability.
The partnership aims to incorporate a residency model into the district’s teacher preparation offerings, with goals of attracting and preparing individuals for careers as district teachers, and helping to boost new teacher retention and diversity.
Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, program participants will embark on a two-year track designed to give them the tools they need to succeed in the classroom. Residents work as apprentice teachers in the first year, gradually taking on increasing responsibilities, and then assume the role of lead teacher in the second year. Throughout the program, participants learn the theory and key concepts essential for effective teaching, and then practice applying these learnings with faculty and peers to continuously improve their teaching. Participants receive an Instructional I certification following successful completion of the program, and commit to teaching in an SDP school for three years.
“Relay has shown that it is committed to building an effective, diverse teacher workforce in our city,” said SDP Superintendent Dr. William R. Hite. “The District is excited to bring in Relay’s residency program as an important asset to Philadelphia’s students, teachers, and community, as aspiring educators will be given the training and experience to become highly qualified teachers.”
Relay first launched teacher preparation and residency programs in Philadelphia and nearby Camden, New Jersey, during the 2015-16 school year. It currently serves teachers at district, charter, and parochial schools in the area, with 16 partners. In addition, Relay has trained over 25 SDP principals through its widely regarded National Principal Academy Fellowship program, as well as provided support to SDP’s New Teacher Orientation in 2015.
“Relay is looking forward to expanding our partnership with the School District of Philadelphia,” said Shemanne Davis, Dean of Relay Philadelphia & Camden. “We share a mutual goal: to give all students access to a high-quality education and ensure that our teachers are well-prepared and representative of the diversity of the city of Philadelphia.”
To learn more, visit the School District of Philadelphia's teacher resident job posting.