Nearly 200 Teachers Join Chicago Public Schools After Completing Rigorous Teacher Residency Program

Nearly 200 Teachers Join Chicago Public Schools After Completing Rigorous Teacher Residency Program

Largest New Teacher Cohort Since the Program’s Launch

CHICAGO – Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Pedro Martinez, Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates and community members Monday night honored 193 new resident teachers who will lead classrooms next fall through an innovative CPS program that helps current employees or career changers, earn the educational degrees, credentials, and on-the-job experience needed to become CPS teachers. The 2024 inductees represent the program’s largest cohort to date.

“Congratulations to our newest resident teachers and welcome to the CPS family where faculty and staff consistently work to connect with and support our students,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “It makes a difference for our students' social, emotional, mental and academic development to connect with the adults they see everyday. I’m proud to recognize this diverse group of new teachers today and look forward to seeing their positive impact on our students, schools, and communities.”

The CPS Teacher Residency, launched in 2017, is a full-time, paid, teacher training program that offers a pathway to teaching for professionals who wish to pursue a new career in education as well as paraprofessionals who work in classroom support roles and want to become full-time teachers leading a classroom.

Virgen Yesenia Francois had worked within CPS in different capacities, starting as a parent volunteer, refugee tutor, special education classroom assistant, substitute teacher, and, in 2018, as a CPS resident teacher. She is now a first-grade dual language teacher at Nixon Elementary.

“The CPS Teacher Residency Program challenged me to be the best version of myself as an educator. There is no better way to continue growing within this profession than to collaborate professionally with another educator,” said Francois. “Some of my fondest memories are with my mentor and my cohort. I always understood and appreciated the fact that if I was in need of any assistance, I had someone to guide and support me and the cohort.”

The 2023-24 cohort of 193 resident teachers who completed the Teacher Residency program represent the largest cohort since its launch in 2017. This year, 52 residents are Black and 67 residents are Latinx. This program focuses on recruiting and training candidates who can fill high-need teaching positions, with 67 percent of this year’s residents eligible to teach special education, 27 percent eligible to teach early childhood education and 25 percent eligible to teach bilingual education. The District anticipates the Teacher Residency program will grow to more than 200 candidates next year.

Camila Barrientos, 23, earned a bachelor's degree from DePaul and was recognized today for pursuing her master's degree through the Teacher Residency Program. Barrientos comes from a hardworking family who migrated to the United States from Argentina in pursuit of better opportunities. Barrientos is the first in her family to pursue a higher education and become a graduate degree holder.

“My journey is a testament to the transformative value of education for myself, my family and my students. It takes a strong work ethic to see this program through. I could not have done it without my cohort and it helped shape me into the teacher I am today,” said the Bilingual Special Education Teacher at Saucedo. “There is nothing like looking into the face of a parent and student when you speak to them in their native tongue and they realize you understand them and are there to advocate for them. There were times I wondered if all of this work was worth it, but connecting with my students and their families makes it all worthwhile.”

How the Residency Program Works

Residents begin the higher education coursework in the summer before their first year in the classroom.

The residents are paired in the classroom with mentor teachers during their first year, for hands-on experience and training. As CPS employees, they earn salaries and health benefits during this residency.

After demonstrating effectiveness during their training, residents receive support in finding a full-time position for their second year, during which they lead their own classrooms, at a significant increase in pay.

Following program completion and a commitment to work at CPS for at least two additional years, residents are hired as full-time CPS teachers and receive another pay increase.

A Growing Network of Diverse, Talented Teachers

Chicago Public Schools renewed its commitment to recruiting and retaining excellent educators in the Three-Year Blueprint, which are supported by CPS’ Teach Chicago program, a comprehensive initiative to recruit, support and retain highly-qualified, diverse teachers specifically for high-need subject areas such as special education and bilingual teacher and hard-to-staff schools, promoting equity across the District. The CPS Teacher Residency is an example of one Teach Chicago program helping the District address staffing challenges and develop a diverse teacher pipeline.

The CPS Teacher Residency has grown steadily since 2017, when it began with a pilot cohort of 12 teachers-in-training. The growth showcased in this year’s cohort is expected to persist as the District continues its focus on recruitment of educators in high-needs subject areas. The program currently allows participants to focus on several subject areas, including early childhood education, special education, bilingual education, math, science, dance and theater

Key supporters of the CPS Teacher Residency are the Joyce Foundation, the Crown Family Philanthropies, and the National Center for Teacher Residencies. Teach Chicago is also supported by the Crown Family Philanthropies and the Joyce Foundation, with additional support provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

To learn more about the Teacher Residency program, visit the Teach Chicago website.

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