Follow a new teacher doing it the right way

Earlier this year, I wrote a post that got some blogosphere action titled “The Best Teacher Education Model Nobody Talks About: Urban Teacher Residency.” Teacher recruitment and induction has been on my mind a lot lately— it’s time to start plugging the holes left by departing staff.

The Urban Teacher Residency model is brilliant and replicable. It’s like Teach For America in that it recruits smart, high-achieving corps members to teach in urban schools. It’s unlike Teach for America in that it provides a subsidized year of exceptional preparation, so that residents are set up to become strong career teachers.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is a believer, and this week announced plans for a major expansion of the Academy for Urban School Leadership, which uses the urban residency model.

This year, I’m looking forward to following the blog of a brand new resident in Denver: Ben Sullens. I don’t know Ben; I found the link to his site on the UTRU blog page, but his hopeful first posts about imagining how to set up his classroom recalled to mind the very beginning of my pre-service summer training for New York City Teaching Fellows, eight years ago. Ben comes across as earnest (“I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember.”) and a bit academic (“If I were to categorize my philosophy of education I would call myself a progressive-essentialist”). I’m rooting for him.

Ben’s path will provide much more structured support for entering the teaching profession than the trial-by-fire of the Teaching Fellows, and I look forward to tracking his adventures.

Follow with me. His blog is here:http://www.bensullens.info/blog/