“I know great things can happen when we ignite the spirit of a child,” said Newark Mayor Cory Booker speaking at an event showcasing the achievements of the Newark-Montclair Urban Teacher Residency (NMUTR) program on Wednesday, January 25, at the Marion A. Bolden Student Center in Newark. The afternoon gathering included school administrators, educators, funders, and other community members who not only believe that the children of Newark deserve an excellent education, but are working to make it a reality.
NMUTR is an innovative, apprenticeship-based teacher preparation program for carefully selected individuals with a deep commitment to teaching in Newark. Working in partnership, Montclair State University and the Newark Public Schools recruit and prepare outstanding new teachers in a program modeled after medical residencies. Candidates are placed full time with master teacher mentors while earning a master’s degree on-site in the schools. Once they become teachers, the program provides extensive induction support for three years to mentor and retain the graduates in Newark Public Schools. The NMUTR program is supported by a $6.3 million grant from the federal government to Montclair State University.
In addition to the mayor, other speakers included Ada Beth Cutler, dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Montclair State, who described the residency program as the gold standard in teacher preparation. “We clearly see the impact the program has already had on student achievement in residency schools and on the mentor teachers as well.”
Marisol Diaz, principal of Benjamin Franklin Elementary School in Newark, described the transformation of residents, “from novice practitioners to confident teachers who are invested in their students and committed to making Newark’s future very bright.”
The event also included two rooms of gallery display stations that showcased some of the residents’ innovative teaching strategies, successful classroom projects, and research findings from the program. More than 40 current residents and graduates were in attendance.
Both Cutler and Cami Anderson, superintendent of the Newark Public Schools, praised the residents, and their faculty and mentors who have created a culture of learning, reflection, and support in all of the participating schools. It is their strong desire that the program continue to grow and expand and they asked all those in attendance from government leaders to community funders to, “Walk with us in this journey to become the vanguard of excellence to rebuild the Newark Public Schools.”
View NJ Today coverage of the Newark-Montclair Urban Teacher Residency program.