Philadelphia Teacher Residency (PTR) Back-to-School Kickoff was held on Wednesday, August 28th, 2013, at Mad Mex in University City. The purpose of the event was to provide members of the PTR Network with an opportunity to reconnect and to affirm their commitment to teaching in high needs Philadelphia Public Schools. The event was a rousing success with over 50 people attending including program participants, called Residents, program graduates who are novice teachers, classroom mentors, University Supervisors, our university partners and members of the Philadelphia Education Fund staff. Thanks to the generosity of our community partner, GlaxoSmithKline, all PTR Teachers and Residents received a gift bag filled with supplies that they can use to get the school year off to a good start.
On February 7, 2013, approximately thirty educators gathered for the Philadelphia Teacher Residency Critical Friends evening in Conversation Hall at City Hall in Philadelphia. Included in the group were all six pre-service Residents and their mentors teachers as well as Resident teachers from previous program years. They were joined by teacher education leaders from University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, talent recruitment representative from schools seeking to hire teachers in the fall, and leaders of teacher networks around Philadelphia.
The purpose of the evening was to provide opportunities for the Residents to engage others in conversations about their inquiry portfolio, to talk with PTR alumni and teachers about their schools and teaching experiences and to network with potential employers. The Philadelphia Teacher Residency recognizes the importance of providing opportunities such as Critical Friends Evening for our Residents and teachers as a component of our ongoing support of them as Philadelphia public school teachers.
On January 21, 2013, Martin Luther King Day of Service, 6 PTR residents, 10 PTR teachers and 13 community members revitalized the chemistry and physics labs at Simon Gratz Mastery Charter School. Caitlin Matayas and Antonio Vance, PTR teachers at Gratz High School, organized the day’s work at the school. Volunteers cleaned and organized the equipment in both labs, developed equipment inventory, and supplied art projects to help create a positive learning environment for students. The Philadelphia Teacher Residency program is looking forward to continuing its legacy of developing and supporting STEM teachers who are committed to serving in Philadelphia’s high needs schools.
Join the Philadelphia Teacher Residency for a day of service at Master Charter School: Simon Gratz Campus!
You are invited!
Science Wing Revitalization Project for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
Mastery Charter School: Simon Gratz Campus
1798 W. Hunting Park Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19140
Monday, January 21, 10:00 am- 1:00 pm
• Create a positive learning environment for students.
• Serve alongside young Philly teachers.
• Learn more about Philadelphia Teacher Residency
To RSVP or learn more, contact Jamie Wilcoxson at Jwilcoxson@philaedfund.org.
In June 2012, the last of three PTR Selection Days was held to choose the 4th cohort of the Philadelphia Teacher Residency. Selection Day is a process by which PTR staff, high school students, former PTR participants and Philadelphia teachers meet the candidates and ascertain their preparedness for the Residency year of teaching in Philadelphia.
Selection Day is also an invaluable opportunity for candidates to determine if PTR is the right fit for them and to carefully consider the benefits and responsibilities of entering in to a learning community.
All of this is achieved by selection activities which include an interview, lunch and discussion with PTR constituents, and a demonstration lesson in front of high schools preceded and followed by an instructional coaching session.
The 2012/13 school year selection days to choose the 5th cohort of Residents are set for the following dates:
Fall Selection Day: December 1, 2012
Winter Selection Day: March 2, 2013
Spring Selection Day: May 4, 2013
Summer Selection Day: June 1, 2013
On May 18, 2012, 18 PTR teachers gathered for good food, networking and fellowship at the 2nd annual PTR Teacher Retreat. In addition to getting together and taking some photos, the retreat was an opportunity for PTR teachers to look back at their year of learning and set goals for future professional learning.
This year's retreat activities began with a discussion facilitated by psychologist Dr. Diane Schaffer entitled “Sustaining the Urban Teacher." Discussion ensued around ways and means by which teachers cope as “first responders” to Philadelphia communities and the importance of self care.
Staff members led various discussions on topics ranging from Philadelphia-area networking opportunities for teachers and advice for new residents, to new ideas for the post-residency support program. The 3rd annual retreat will be held on May 19, 2013.
Congratulations to PTR Teacher Acotirene Abrena Jungwirth and PTR Mentor Teacher Michelle Thornton, honorees of the 2012 Lindback Award for Distinguished High School Educators!
The prestigious Lindback award is sponsored by the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation. The Lindbacks, deeply interested in education, established the Lindback Award for Distinguished High School Educators to honor one teacher from every Philadelphia public high school who demonstrates excellence in promoting learning at the highest levels. The award recipients are chosen based on their activities that improve the intellectual and character development of students. Click here for full criteria.
PTR is proud of Acotirene Abrena, a member of the inaugural cohort of PTR! Acotirene served students and learned the foundations of teaching mathematics during her Residency year at Roxborough High School. She taught for two years at Vaux High school and is returning this fall to Roxborough High School where she will begin her third year of teaching mathematics and add German instruction to her repertoire.
PTR also congratulates science teacher Michelle Thornton of Furness High School. Michelle served as a PTR Mentor Teacher at Furness High school in the 2010-11 school year. Michelle will join the staff at Central High School this fall and will participate in the PTR Mentor professional learning community in preparation for taking Residents under her belt in future years.
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 16, 2012, twelve Residents joined 1,000 other volunteers at Germantown High school to adorn the vast walls of the school with inspirational quotes, the school mascot’s paw prints, and various other artistic and academic images – like the elements on the periodic chart. City Year organized the event and reported the largest volunteer turn out they've ever seen. Philadelphia Teacher Residency was proud to have taken part!
The Residents, as AmeriCorps members, served with great honor by painting a wall in a life skills classroom (see photo below). It was a half day of service but also of fellowship. As one Resident reflected, "I didn’t know what to expect, I really didn’t want to get out of my bed on my day off, but I actually had fun today."
In preparation for earning their teaching certification and a master’s degree, PTR Residents presented their master’s degree portfolio inquiry topics to the PTR community at the 2nd Annual Critical Friends event on January 10, 2012.
During the Residency year of training, Residents learn alongside a mentor teacher in one school throughout the year. However, Residents are a part of a broader community of educators diverse in perspective, expertise and experience. Critical Friends is an opportunity for Residents to benefit from the entire PTR community.
The Critical Friends event is a practical and symbolic reflection of inquiry, a core value of the Residency program: sharing, reflecting, testing and improving practice. The event suggests the importance of both being able to share ideas as well as benefiting network ready and able to enrich those ideas.
The 2013 Critical Friends event is scheduled for January 10, 2013.
On October 11, 2011, 11 Residents participated in the 2010 AmeriCorps Launch at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. They joined about 200 other AmeriCorps members for a day of celebration for the thousands of hours they will spend in service to Pennsylvania citizens.
PTR is proud to be an AmeriCorps program since 2010. AmeriCorps, a program of the Corporation of National Community Service, is a network of over 75,000 Americans providing a variety of services to communities with compelling needs. PTR joins the ranks of more than 15 AmeriCorps programs in Pennsylvania, five of which are located here in the Philadelphia: City Year and Communities in Schools are just two examples.
As AmeriCorps members in Philadelphia, Residents enhance math and science instruction in high need public schools by co-teaching alongside an experienced teacher. They will serve in schools and classrooms for more than 1000 hours and prepare to do so through their university coursework and PTR professional activities.