Teacher in Residency Program
The Teacher in Residency (TIR) program is a partnership with the Appleton Area School District (AASD) that offers a true immersion experience in public school teaching. Highly qualified student teachers are placed at elementary, middle and high schools during the fall semester. The program promotes intensive practice teaching experience (full semester placements) while incorporating frequent opportunities for reflective dialogue with teachers, administrators and peers regarding best practices.
How the TIR program works
Unlike the College’s traditional student teaching program, which is similar to almost all of the other such programs in the state, the students spends an entire semester at the one school.
Student teachers begin their 18-week placements before the official first day of school, and engage in all activities and instruction assigned to their supervising teacher, which is a key to the program. In addition, they have opportunities for compensated school duties, such as recess and lunch supervision, and opportunities to teach in other classrooms to get a grasp teaching other content areas.
The student teachers are mentored not only by a cooperating teacher, but by department chairs and school administrators, including experiencing evaluations similar to a first year teacher. The program also includes additional coaching / mentoring provided by a coordinator whose role is to observe, critique and advise each student throughout the semester.
In gathering feedback from both the student teachers and the cooperating teachers in the TIR program, Scheuerman said that all feel the program is well worth the extra time and effort and prepares the candidates to step into the role of new teacher with confidence.
“The TIR program presents teacher candidates with a rich, in-depth classroom experience and an opportunity to become an integral part of the professional staff in the school,” Petesch said. “This unique program is a wonderful opportunity for student teachers to become quickly and firmly entrenched in the art and science of classroom teaching and to become personally and professionally invested in the school building community.”
“Our hope is that students gain a better understanding of all the demands of the profession, and thus are better prepared when they have a classroom of their own,” said Greg Hartjes, principal at Appleton West High School, who had a hand in developing the TIR program.
“The job of a teacher is much more than just presenting material to students in the classroom setting. Teachers spend time developing curriculum, supervising the commons or other area of school, tutoring students, contacting parents, etc.,” he said.