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ERIC Number: EJ849820
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1052-8938
Investing in Teachers for Student Success: The Teaching Fellows Program
Wendel, Amy; Mantil, Ann
Horace, v24 n1 Spr 2008
Capital City Public Charter School was founded in 2000 with a vision of an academic program built on progressive principles and research on educational best practices. An Expeditionary Learning school and CES affiliate, Capital City was not standard fare for graduates of the average teacher training program. From the beginning, it was clear that a critical challenge would be the recruitment and retention of teachers who were committed to experiential education and skilled in active pedagogies. In this article, the authors describe the Teaching Fellows program which the Capital City founders created in response to this challenge. The Teaching Fellows program has evolved over eight years but remains a core element of the school's approach to professional development and teacher recruitment. Each classroom in the school, which includes 240 pre-kindergarteners through eighth graders, is staffed by two full-time teaching professionals: (1) a highly qualified lead teacher, who typically has at least two years of teaching experience prior to assuming this role; and (2) a Teaching Fellow, who is usually a classroom novice. These two individuals embark upon a one- or two-year journey together during which they collaborate to plan engaging and standards-based "learning expeditions," meet the academic and social needs of the 25 students in their class, and challenge themselves to develop as educators and leaders. While the Teaching Fellows model requires a significant financial commitment, investing heavily in the teachers is critical for student success. Having two dedicated and talented educators in each classroom means a greatly reduced student/teacher ratio and more capacity for providing differentiated instruction. Moreover, the Teaching Fellows program gives Capital City a pipeline of highly trained lead teachers with experience using active pedagogies and fluency in their understanding of child development. These new lead teachers, in turn, become mentors of a successive cohort of Teaching Fellows--a cycle of professional growth that provides continuity in the classrooms and steady improvement in the quality of instruction the students receive.
Coalition of Essential Schools. 1330 Broadway Suite 600, Oakland, CA 94612. Tel: 510-433-1451; Fax: 510-433-1455; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia