Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is one of three districts in the state to receive approval for a Teacher Residency program.

The program will allow people with bachelor’s degrees to teach in WS/FCS classrooms while earning a salary, and a teaching license. 

It starts with a five-week summer intensive program, where participants will train and prepare for the start of the school year. After that, they can begin teaching full-time, completing licensure-specific coursework, and meeting once a week with their cohort. 

The participants will have the support of beginning teacher coaches and district staff throughout the program, which Karen Morris, the district's director of teacher pipeline programs, said is critical. 

“We lose a lot of teachers in their first five years," she said. "Sometimes it's because they don't feel like they're getting the support they need, or they get overwhelmed, and they don't know who to ask. And it is a hard job.”

Morris said it can be especially difficult for those who are coming to the district without a degree in education, which applies to about 60% of beginning teachers. They might be experts in their coursework, but not yet experts in running a classroom, or engaging with parents, or grading students. Morris said the residency program will help with that.

“We think we will give that support to those teachers, and we'll be able to help them get better faster and learn the skills and competencies to be able to give them the results that they want, and that our students deserve," she said. 

Applications for the program are open through the end of May. 

Amy Diaz covers education for WFDD in partnership with Report For America. You can follow her on Twitter at @amydiaze.

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