Non-Traditional Teacher Training Most Effective In Tennessee

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(Memphis) You may want to take a second look at where your child’s teacher went to school because it could have a big impact on them.

It looks like new teacher training programs seem to be working here in Tennessee while more traditional schools like the University of Memphis are falling behind.

Holly McGlowin wants to be a second grade teacher, and she’s training for that through the Memphis Teacher Residency Program.

“I feel like I’m becoming equipped. It’s not a fast process,” said McGlowin.

McGlowin is getting her master’s degree through the program and will spend a year as a teacher’s intern Monday through Thursday and have graduate classes Friday and Saturday.

“I think it’s successful because you’re immediately implementing what you’re learning,” said McGlowin.

After a year in the program teachers commit to staying in Memphis and teaching at high need schools for three more years.

According to a new teacher performance report by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission teachers from innovative programs like MTR and Teach for America are doing a better job in the classroom than teachers from more traditional programs like the University of Memphis and Christian Brothers University, who scored lower.

Last year the University of Memphis’ College of Education received good marks for its student’s ability to plan and perform in student teacher scenarios, but that didn’t take into account actual student performance in the classroom.

The report also shows new teachers are doing a better job than veteran teachers.

Memphis Teacher Residency Director Robin Scott says nontraditional programs like hers are better for students because teachers spend more time preparing with classroom experience.

“They’re getting an actual entire year of apprenticeship and internship before they’re ever actually asked to teach on their own, so we feel that makes the difference,” said Scott.

Scott says the traditional model is just 16 weeks.

The dean of Education from the University of Memphis tells me the report is disappointing.

“In terms of those who are described as having more statistically significant results tend to be very small in nature,” said Dean Donald Wagner.

He says they are making changes to the U of M program to add more in-classroom experience.

1 Comment

  • John Smith

    What about the sustainability of these “non-traditional” educators- like that many leave the profession within 5 years when the going gets tough? As a CBU graduate, with five years of training, I was adequately prepared for the multitude of challenges and experiences teachers encounter daily- something these MTR and TFA teachers know little about.

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