A Unique Teacher Residency Transforms Both Teaching and Learning

The Center for Inspired Teaching’s innovative model boosts both teacher retention and student performance.

On a sunny July morning at Washington, D.C.’s Capital City Public Charter School, 30 aspiring teachers sit cross-legged in small clusters on the floor of a brightly decorated classroom. Music plays softly from classroom speakers.

This is not your traditional teacher preparation program. Instead of textbooks and quizzes, teaching fellows will step into a classroom as “residents” working with experienced teachers.

Today is day three in an intensive, three-week long teacher training seminar. Moderator Monisha Karnani has asked the groups to share their best experiences as students and to write on Post-It notes what made their teachers memorable.

The Post-Its pile up quickly: “Engaging.” “Cares about students.” “Helps overcome obstacles.” “He made history fun,” one woman tells her group. “I was having a hard time in class, and he helped me through it.”

The 30 members of this group are fellows with Center for Inspired Teaching, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit founded in 1995 that’s long been on the leading edge of transforming how both teachers and students are taught.

This is not your traditional teacher preparation program.

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About Anne Kim