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Training and Resources

Training and Resources

Your commitment to your new career as a Teaching Fellow begins with an intensive summer training institute designed specifically for this accelerated route to teaching program. Summer training is one of the most exciting – and demanding – aspects of this selective program. Candidates accepted into the Denver Teaching Fellows program begin their commitment with a six week Training Institute that will include:

  • A practice teaching assignment in a Denver Public Schools summer school classroom, with an opportunity to observe, lesson plan, and gradually lead classroom instruction with on-site guidance from experienced teachers
  • Framework sessions with experienced educators, designed to delve into a curriculum focused on student standards, foundations of teaching, classroom management, and other skills necessary to become an effective teacher in a high-need school
  • Discussions and activities about the challenges and benefits of teaching in a diverse, high-need, urban educational setting
  • An opportunity for networking with other Fellows who have made the same commitment to improve the quality of education for Denver’s school children

The Training Institute consolidates a great deal of training time into only a few weeks; thus, training is extremely demanding. Fellows must attend training five days a week from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. All dates are subject to change, but the Training Institute is expected to begin in early-June and to end in mid-July 2010, shortly before the start of the DPS school year. Due to the critical role that training plays in preparing Teaching Fellows for success in the classroom, Fellows cannot miss any portion of the DTF Institute. Fellows will not start receiving their teaching salary until the start of the school year, so all Fellows should prepare themselves financially for this transition. However, while Fellows will be responsible for covering licensure-related costs, the Institute has no tuition costs, and all Fellows will receive stipend of $2,000 pre-tax upon successful completion of training, to help defer the cost of living.

For more information on Fellows’ accelerated route to licensure, click here.

Teaching Fellows join a cohort of dedicated new teachers, forming a network for sharing resources and best practices for years to come. A new teacher’s first year is particularly challenging, and Teaching Fellows should anticipate long hours and intense effort, especially during the first semester. As Fellows work in high-need schools, often with limited resources, candidates are chosen for their ability to solve problems creatively and independently—an important factor in their success.

As new teachers, Fellows have access to resources at their school site and in the district. Many teachers find their colleagues at their school sites to be a primary source of ongoing knowledge and best practices. In addition, one important source of ongoing connection and professional growth for Fellows is the network of other Fellows in their cohort. Fellows will form close relationships through the training institute; summer training events will facilitate connections among Fellows who will be teaching the same subject areas. New Teaching Fellows can draw on these connections as a resource for planning, reflection, and shared encouragement as they strive for excellence in their individual classrooms during their first year in the classroom, as well as for the years ahead.

Upon entering the program and the classroom, the Teaching Fellows office assists with logistical support, such as helping Fellows to manage the process of becoming full district employees and enrolling in the licensure program, and keeping Fellows informed through periodic program emails and newsletters. Fellows may also have the opportunity to attend special events and social gatherings throughout the year. However, the Fellows program office is not intended to provide comprehensive ongoing classroom support. Although every situation is different, Fellows may collaborate with co-teachers at their school, district instructional specialists, assistant principals, principals or a grade- or subject-level team. Although districts and schools work hard to offer a range of support services to all new teachers, they sometimes face resource limitations that may hinder these services. As a result, Fellows often find that the most important avenue of ongoing support comes from both within their school community and from other new Fellows who are experiencing similar successes and struggles. The most successful new educators proactively reach out to maximize these resources – collaborating, observing excellent teachers, and constantly refining their practice.

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