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Introducing the WEA Teacher Residency Program

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Teacher Reading to Students - Elementary

Together in WEA, educators are building a brighter future for our students and our schools. 

Educator shortages and continuing declines in traditional educator preparation program enrollment are creating a new sense of crisis in schools and districts and among policymakers. Washington, like every other state in the nation, is facing an acute teacher shortage that will define the next 5-10 years. Without bold solutions, the shortage will have an ongoing, and likely acute, impact on student learning.   

To help change this trajectory, WEA stepped forward to help find new solutions and to ensure every Washington student has access to diverse, well-prepared, and fully certificated teachers.  

On March 16, WEA received final approval by the Professional Educator Standards Board to offer a new teacher preparation program in Washington state. WEA is the first educator union in the United States to become an approved educator preparation program. In its founding year (2023-24), the WEA Teacher Residency is partnering with the Federal Way School District/Federal Way Education Association, Mukilteo School District/Mukilteo Education Association, and the Walla Walla School District/Walla Walla Valley Education Association to establish residency cohorts.  

“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,” related Gami Diaz, a Highline EA member. “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."  

Learn more about the WEA Residency program here. The application can be found here.  
Questions? Reach out to

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