ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. — A program by UNC-Greensboro is helping college graduates become teachers within a year.
What You Need To Know
- The Piedmont Teacher Residency Partnership is a 14-18 month program where college graduates can earn their master's degree in teaching while student-teaching
- The program partners with schools in Rockingham and Surry county school districts where teachers are more difficult to recruit and retain
- Residents receive a stipend of $35,000 in the program
The Piedmont Teacher Residency Partnership is a 14-month program designed to prepare teachers for rural area schools in Rockingham and Surry counties. Each resident will earn their masters of arts in teaching while student-teaching in a school in either district.
Amid the nationwide teacher shortage, this program aims to assist rural area schools where recruiting and retaining teachers can be more difficult.
Gabrielle Samuels is part of this year’s cohort. She is student-teaching at Reidsville Middle School while continuing her education at UNCG. She always knew she wanted to be a teacher, but never knew the path she would take.
“It makes me feel like I’m making a difference when people can come to me,” Samuels said.
Samuels started studying Spanish in her undergraduate studies, in hopes of becoming a Spanish teacher. Throughout her time at UNCG, she changed her major to African American studies, but still had her heart on teaching. In her senior year, she heard about the Piedmont Teacher Residency Partnership and signed up.
“I can have people, these people around me and behind me the whole time where I can ask questions, I can figure myself out and do things together,” Samuels said.
Each resident receives a $35,000 stipend, which is designed to mimic the salary of a first year teacher, according to Assistant Dean of Educator Preparation, Dr. Christine O’Connor.
Samuels started the program in May, just days after graduating with her bachelor's degree.
“I knew it was going to be fun and I knew I was going to love it, but I didn’t understand how much I was going to love it 'til I was in it,” Samuels said.
While student-teaching at Reidsville Middle School, Samuels is getting in-class experience with her students teaching social studies. Upon finishing PTRP, she will work at a school in Rockingham or Surry county for three years. After that, she’s looking forward to diversifying her experience.
“I hope to teach for a little bit, maybe middle school, maybe some high school and maybe even become a professor. Who knows,” Samuels said.
For more information on the Piedmont Teacher Residency Partnership, please email Summer Foster at firstname.lastname@example.org. UNCG holds information sessions monthly. The next one will be November 1 at 6:00 p.m.