Program Summary and Timeline
The two year MTR/SGSE sequence includes a number of distinct phases:
- Phase 1: Intensive Coursework
- Phase 2: Interactive Coaching
- Phase 3: Student Teaching
- Phase 4: Full Time Teaching
During this phase, MTRs engage in a series of graduate classes taught by SGSE faculty, many of whom are adjuncts serving as principals of top-performing elementary, middle, and high schools. This includes classes on classroom management, building relationships with students and parents, instructional methods, subject-specific methods (i.e. How to Teach Math or How to Teach English), and working with data. Classes include concrete direction on these topics. You can read an excerpt from one of our handbooks here.
In addition, the state's teacher licensure exams (MTEL) are given. We expect all students to arrive with a strong command of the subject they'll teach. You can read more about the MTEL here.
Phase 2: Interactive Coaching
During November, December and early January, involves simulated classroom teaching. (Some graduate classes also continue during Phase 2.) A group of residents take turns teaching short lessons to one another, with a coach watching. As one resident teaches, the others act as students. They answer questions (sometimes correctly, sometimes not), try to pay attention (but sometimes fail), sometimes misbehave intentionally, and do other things that "real students" tend to do. The coach (and peers) then gives very specific feedback.
This phase of MTR culminates in a high-stakes assessment called the “Gateway,” which mirrors the classroom teaching simulations. Residents must demonstrate a basic level of competence with classroom management and instructional skills in order to move on to the next phase of the program: student teaching.
In the clip below, resident Veronica Gentile works with her coach on improving her ability to "scan" for student misbehaviors.
Phase 3: Student-Teaching
Students who have passed the Gateway are eligible for student teaching.
Spring student teaching occurs in January through May. This takes place at our high school, middle school and elementary school, and other charter schools in the area who partner with us. Each day, residents are observed by a coach and given feedback on their student teaching.
Beginning in March, MTRs begin to apply for jobs. Typically, they are courted heavily by leaders from the top-performing urban charter and turnaround schools. In every cohort to date, all MTRs have happily signed contracts by June.
April also features our annual Chili Cook-Off Challenge, in which MTR staff compete for bragging rights over who makes the best chili. The 2012 winner was Stacy O’Toole, Director of Training. Yup, she's from Texas.
In June, MTRs return to graduate classes, and focus on long-term and unit planning, particularly for July student teaching.
Finally, July involves summer school student teaching, running Monday-Friday. In this phase, residents teach larger classes of students at one of the Match Schools, either Match High School, Middle School, Match Community Day, or at a partner site. As in spring student teaching, residents are observed each day of teaching and given feedback on their performance.
Phase 4: Full-Time Teaching
Candidates for the MET degree* are in frequent contact with SGSE faculty, as they participate in a yearlong distance-learning course. The course is designed around frequent assignments that challenge degree candidates to collect data about their teaching, and craft and implement action plans for improvement in response to those data.
Additionally, MTR staff regularly observe and coach every teacher who takes a position in a Boston area school.
(*Note: some MTRs might choose not to pursue the MET degree and thus end their formal participation in the program after Phase 3.)