I have always had the goal of wanting to become an educator. Before joining TTR, I was a part of the Learning Support department at a charter school in Philadelphia.
Teacher residency programs are the ideal situations for aspiring educators to learn how to put theory and techniques to practice. The student teaching experience usually completed during undergraduate programs only take place over the course of a single semester, which is 3-4 months long. However, our grade school students have class and school over the course of 10 months. It isn’t possible to learn how to effectively become a teacher without the full experience of educational responsibilities being presented to you. Residency programs allow aspiring educators to learn and develop in the job and they are exactly how our young teachers should learn.
TTR provided me with the opportunity to learn from a working educator, as a mentor, while teaching in a classroom of my own. I already had experience teaching in schools before I became a part of TTR, but I never had the chance to teach mathematics for an entire year in a general education setting. TTR is the ideal program for any educator that is looking to transition to STEM teaching or any new educator interested in STEM.
The amount of feedback that I receive from my mentor and coach is astounding and helpful in every way. The feedback is never negative and it is always given in an effort to assist me in improving as a teacher. My mentor was the absolute greatest part of my TTR experience.
The teachers that I looked up to and learned from in my youth were instrumental in my success as an adult. They constantly pushed me to do more and I didn’t appreciate that effort until I began to benefit from the skills they imparted on me. I seek to do the same for every student that I come across in our school systems.
Why Middle School
This age group is a challenging one and that is exactly why I chose to work with them. Many of these young scholars are mindful, thoughtful, intelligent, and creative in their own unique ways. In many cases, these students have more obstacles and challenges than their parents had before them. They simply need a system by which they can be given a chance at success.
The middle-grades are when they begin to develop their friend groups, discover their likes and dislikes, and gain interest in the things around them. This age group requires constant care and supervision because of the stage of development they are entering, as well. This is also the age group where inspirations and aspirations are created. Helping a student develop a feel for what they want in their lives begins in the middle-grades and that is why there is no other age group that I would like to work with more.
Life in Philly
The vast amount of educational activities that are available in the Philadelphia area are amazing. They range from museums, to old city history, to vast amount of colleges/universities in the area. However, many students are unaware of these activities and many teachers may know about these educational activities, but are not aware that they are free and can be planned early in the school year, if necessary. I grew up in Philadelphia and I believe that I have a unique perspective on the challenges that some of my students encounter. I want to use this shared experience as a connection to show students that they aren’t alone in many of these challenges. I strive to show them that I can be the primary example of someone who defied the odds and overcame the challenges they are currently facing.
Best Experience This Year
There have been many, but my most valuable memory and experience during this residency was when I encountered an 8th grade student that had an IEP. After many months teaching him, I related to his case manager that he may not require some of the accommodations stated in his IEP and some of the gaps in knowledge in his IEP from the previous year may not apply for his new IEP. After he was re-evaluated, it was found that this student no longer needed some of the accommodations because his mathematics level increased by almost 2 full years! It was a great feeling to know that I was part of the reason he was able to progress so far.
TTR in Three
Teachers teach teachers. Teachers impact students. Students impact everything.
The potential impact that TTR can have on the students and teachers in the Philadelphia area is, not only amazing, but imperative. As a person who grew up in the Philadelphia area, I can see the huge impact that Temple’s residency program can have on the mindset and outlook of a young professional. I encourage anyone interested in serving the community as an educator to support and invest in TTR as a paradigm for teacher development. It is the perfect example of an investment in the future that will grow exponentially.
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