Mortar and diploma

Raising Expectations

Newark-Montclair Urban Teacher Residency Helps Recruit, Prepare and Support City’s Teachers

The Newark-Montclair Urban Teacher Residency is among the partnerships Montclair State University has forged to recruit and prepare teachers of color, and provide crucial support in the early years of teaching.

Now in its final grant year, “the partnership has really changed the culture of the instructional level, the pedagogy that is happening in the classroom,” says East Side High School Vice Principal Michael West.

Modeled after medical residencies, the program matches college graduates and career-changers with a school-based Master Mentor Teacher and intensive induction support, mentoring and professional development through their first three years of teaching.

The program is based on research about successful teacher preparation programs, and provides a graduate-level experience as Residents pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching with teacher certification in either Early Childhood (P-3)/Special Education or Secondary Education (K-12) Mathematics or Science from Montclair State University.

“The results of the students, the level of skill of the students that come through this program that ultimately become teachers has been second to none,” West says.

A key component has been the ways Montclair State has been able to guide teaching experiences rooted within authentic community issues, says Mayida Zaal, an associate professor in the University’s Teaching and Learning Department.

“We’re trying to provide a clearer, crisper narrative about the strength of the community, the contributions that people have made historically, and also the contributions that people are making currently,” Zaal says. “The ultimate goal is for teachers to then carry that forward into their teaching.”

Video by Christodoulos Apostolou

Story by Marilyn Lehren