A Look At The Teacher Residency Program

February 8, 2023

As we continue to grapple with the uncertainties and recent tragedies in our communities, including the recent murder of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, our Fellows, teachers, and administrators remain steadfast in supporting students’ wellbeing and learning. Our Teacher Residency program has become a staple for many of our returning GO Fellows.The Residency is a pathway to teaching for those Fellows who excel in their year of service. Recently, the GO Foundation staff hosted a mid-year retreat for this year’s cohort of teacher residents. 

A core value that appears in the professional development of residents and Fellows is equity. Teacher Residents had the opportunity to hear from the esteemed Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz Ph.D, professor at Columbia University, Teachers College. With her background as an educator, Sealey-Ruiz dove into the importance of racial literacy and identity in classrooms. 

Throughout the retreat, residents were able to discuss various learning opportunities that they have had over the past school year. In a further discussion, we spoke to two current teacher residents about their paths and teaching aspirations. Emily Miske is currently a SpEd resident and Fellow lead at Great Oaks New York City and spoke to her experiences and passions. During her first year as a Fellow, Emily realized that she wanted to gain more tangible teaching experiences. As she transitioned into her second year as a Fellow she was drawn to the advantages presented within the Teacher Residency program. This included the opportunity to graduate with a Masters degree while also earning the degree without external pressures from administrators. In her teaching journey so far, Emily points to getting out of her comfort zone. As part of the Teacher Residency program, she gets to test her new skills along with the support of a lead teacher. 

Kofi Acquaisie, who serves as a second year Fellow and ELA Teacher Resident at  Great Oaks – Bridgeport, spoke of his passion for teaching particularly because he loves working with youth. His prior experience with youth pushed him to continue to work with kids. This ultimately led him to the GO Fellowship program. He was drawn to the Teacher Residency program because of its affordability to pursue a degree program and practical format of becoming a certified teacher. 

We are grateful for those who have served and continue to serve in our classrooms. “At this time of the year, Residents are taking on lead teaching in their classroom – it’s the most challenging part of their experience because they are acutely aware of where they need to learn and grow, but the pace of the day is so fast that it can be hard to find time to reflect and set goals. My goal for the day was to give them that time and space, away from their students and classrooms, and among others sharing their same experience. I think any time you invest in teachers as humans and learners, will ultimately yield benefits for the students!” – Kendra Giardiniere, National Director of Teacher Residency.

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