A Chalkboard Project initiative, the grant partners with districts, colleges and universities, such as Keizer Public Schools, Corban University and Western Oregon University.
“TeachOregon pairs teacher-credentialing universities with their community college and school district partners so that they can together address real-world needs and shortages,” their website reads.
Corban Associate Professor of Education Roy Bunch said the new model allows education majors to begin teaching alongside the teacher as soon as they step foot inside a classroom. “The two of them are functioning as team teachers continually,” he said. “The classroom teacher is still the master and the student teacher is a rookie, but it is exciting to see them communicate, plan, lead students and give each other support.”
Currently, 21 Corban students are teaching in classrooms across the mid-Willamette Valley. The students’ university supervisors are also with them at the school, which allows those faculty members to become a part of the school climate, providing communication and support.
Bunch said the program model had a two-fold goal. “The first goal is the fluid transition of a pre-service teacher into the role of an in-service teacher so that his or her first year is more successful and fruitful,” he said. “The second goal is for higher achievement of the K-12 students in the classroom with these teachers.”
The Chalkboard Project said the program model has the potential to provide significant positive results for Oregon’s education system.
“Our program is demand-driven, community-directed, and strives to proactively address the needs of school districts and the students they serve,” their website reads. “The resulting collaboration is a great step toward universal high-quality teacher education.”