24 - 2023 - TResident helping students

About the WEA Teacher Residency

“From theory to practice, residency programs increase preparation to be a certified teacher and provide authentic opportunities for candidates to reflect and grow their practice as a pre-service teacher. It made me better prepared for my first day as a teacher and allowed me to grow even more in my practice because of the ample opportunities I had to learn."

- Highline EA member Gami Diaz 

Teacher residencies are the most comprehensive model of teacher preparation in the country. Residencies raise the bar for quality while reducing historical and enduring barriers to entry for teachers of color and other underrepresented groups. The teacher residency model of preparation prioritizes in-classroom experience working with students in partnership with a strong mentor teacher and academic coursework that is closely aligned with classroom experience. 

Teacher Residencies:  

  • Create a vehicle to recruit teachers for high-needs fields and locations  
  • Offer teacher residents strong content and clinical preparation specifically for the kinds of schools in which they will teach  
  • Connect new teachers to early career mentoring that increases the likelihood they will stay in the profession  
  • Provide financial incentives to keep teachers in the districts that invested in them 

WEA’s Teacher Residency provides an alternative pathway to teacher certification through a robust clinical training experience. Residents start the school year in the classroom and learn how to teach by working an entire year alongside highly trained, supported mentor teachers in the school district where they will eventually work. Each resident experiences four unique special education classroom settings over the academic year, while taking coursework that closely aligns with each experience, ultimately leading to a teaching credential and special education endorsement. Residents receive a living wage and benefits as they learn to teach. In exchange, residents commit to teaching in the same district for three years beyond the residency. 

Before the school year begins, WEA's residents will participate in a summer institute with a cohort of other residents and be matched with an experienced teacher. Throughout the year, residents receive formal and informal feedback from their mentor teachers, coaches, principals, and other support staff. Residents will complete a second summer institute with their cohort to complete the certification process.

Return to the Teacher Residency Homepage.