The DC Montessori Teacher Residency, currently in its second year, serves two public Montessori schools in Washington, DC.
The foundational premise of the Montessori Teacher Residency is that providing a fully implemented Montessori program
in high-need communities requires a three-pronged approach to ensuring excellence.
These elements are:
TRAINING SURROUND CULTURE
high-quality Montessori training
a surround of additional learning experiences focused on the specific demands of the public sector
a robust school-wide professional culture of continuous reflection and improvement
While pedagogical excellence begins during training, the demands of the public sector are such that the transformation often associated with Montessori professional formation requires an extended period of apprenticeship supported by a professional community that is equipped to induct novices through modeling, collaborative child and lesson study, and ongoing reflection, coaching, and targeted professional development.
Because professional community plays such a pivotal role, the key focus of the DC Montessori Teacher Residency is the school rather than individual teachers. Schools accepted into the program automatically become part of the Public Montessori Residency Consortium, a national network of public Montessori schools aiming to cultivate a sustainable pipeline of Montessori teachers prepared to serve high-need public Montessori schools. Residents are novice teachers who have recently completed training, and/or teacher assistants who will take training the following year.
Residency activities are always framed within the school context. School-based coaches work closely with residents to understand how Surround course content applies to their students, families, and community. The Culture component of the residency aims to elevate the level of growth and professional practice across the school, engaging residents and non-residents alike, including support staff and administrators. In this way, the Residency impacts both resident teachers and the communities of practice in which they work.