Area educators, students learn how they will benefit from Clemson’s new teacher residency program
Students aren’t the only ones benefitting from Clemson’s teacher residency program. The college designed the program so that master teachers come away from the experience with long-lasting benefits in addition to the immediate helping hand that comes from a second teacher in the classroom.
Over the summer, master teachers and residents convened in the upstate at a three-day development institute that detailed what teachers and students could expect as well as how both parties could get the most from the experience. Karen Miles, a master teacher in the program, said the program’s value truly set in for her during the institute.
“From the moment I heard about it, I wanted to be in a program like this that would develop into an integral part of training for future educators,” Miles said, “I realized at the institute that strengthening my mentoring skills, advancing my own teaching style and exploring new methods through co-teaching will benefit me as much as my teacher resident.”
Miles is paired with Ellie Jameson, a secondary education major that will join her in her fifth-grade class at LaFrance Elementary in Pendleton, South Carolina. Miles plans to use the experience as a way of renewing her own excitement for the teaching profession after more than 20 years as an educator.
Miles knows she can still improve and further develop her teaching style, and she sees the coming year as a master teacher as the prime opportunity to do so. In addition to the institute, Miles and other master teachers take two graduate-level courses that count toward recertification of their professional license.
Teachers also have the opportunity to take two more graduate courses for a state-level teacher leader endorsement to be added to their professional license. Others can combine these courses with eight more graduate courses to earn a Master of Education degree.
Miles sees this as an opportunity to do it all: she can develop further as an educator while showing Jameson how to effectively build relationships with students, parents and staff over the course of an entire academic year. She’s confident this extended teacher residency experience will see her and Jameson emerge from the experience with a bond that is unique to participants in the program.
“I look forward to guiding Ellie through successes and failures, but also hearing what she has learned over her time with Clemson faculty leading to the residency experience,” Miles said. “More than anything I am excited to build a relationship with Ellie that will last a lifetime.”
Clemson’s teacher residency program is housed in the College of Education’s Eugene T. Moore School of Education and is made possible by a gift from Darla Moore, whose father, the school’s namesake, had a distinguished career as a teacher, coach and principal in Lake City, South Carolina. The Moore family’s $10 million endowment will make the school’s pilot program possible in seven Upstate districts and the funds will continue to support and ensure the residency program’s success in the future.
The teacher residency program is a research-based method to increase teacher retention and preparedness as well as student achievement. At the heart of the residency program is the college’s combined degree option for undergraduate education students. This degree option replaces student teaching in a student’s final undergraduate semester with graduate education classes, and the following year is comprised of a year-round teacher residency. The residency program will see its graduates emerge after five years with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education as well as an extended, year-long student teaching experience.