MPUSD eNewsletter: September Stories » MPUSD's New Teacher Residency Program

MPUSD's New Teacher Residency Program

According to the Sacramento Bee, "The teacher shortages that have swept the nation have hit California especially hard over the last three years." In fact, A Learning Policy Institute survey found that 80 percent of California districts reported shortages last fall.

Acknowledging this shortage and growing challenge, the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District upped its game earlier this year by partnering with the Alder Graduate School of Education to launch an MPUSD Teacher Residency Program to grow its teacher force. This partnership does not detract from the current recruitment and retention efforts the district is already in engaging in with other community partners, but rather enhances them.

Additionally, the district created an in-house director of teacher residency position to oversee and execute the program. Specifically, the role includes faculty member duties such as teaching courses online and in person every week to teacher candidates, teacher mentors, collaborating on curriculum development with other directors, as well as individual coaching to support and create excellent teachers.

"We realize there will always be a need for more teachers," said new Director of Teacher Residency and Retention, Christie Kieffer. "Our existing pipeline is not enough, there are not enough people in our current teacher preparation pipeline. The goal of this program is to increase interest in the teaching profession because we know that the current interest is not enough to fill the current positions we have, let alone five years from now given the rate of teacher retirements."

One of Kieffer's novel and exciting ideas is to build teachers up from our current high school student base. Partnering with the national Educators Rising organization (formerly Future Teachers of America), she has coordinated Educators Rising clubs at all three of MPUSD's comprehensive high schools - Marina High, Monterey High and Seaside High. Students in grades 9 - 12 are welcome to join the club, and during the meetings students work on lesson plans and will be incorporated into MPUSD's Saturday Academy's where they meet at an elementary school, observe teaching lessons and even write lessons for the district's littlest students. The clubs will also offer students the opportunity to visit colleges to explore pathways to a teaching degree.

"The goal of the program is to break down the barriers for those interested in the teaching profession," emphasized Kieffer. "We want to find out who is out there and interested, and provide extra support to help them navigate the teaching profession residency program."

MPUSD just opened the window for interested candidates to apply for its residency program. Click here for more information on MPUSD's program or here to apply through the district's Alder Teacher Residency.