Whether you are considering a career change or you just graduated college, your unique experience and skills can be tremendous assets in the classroom.

The Aspire Teacher Prep program provides innovative preparation aligned to the skills that teachers need to be successful in their first year of teaching and throughout their career in the classroom. Learn how you can be a teacher and make a meaningful impact throughout your career.

Program Overview

The Aspire Teacher Prep program works in partnership with school districts across North Carolina. Each school district has a distinct story and opportunity for impact. This 15-month program provides teachers with an accelerated alternative teacher licensure program that uniquely blends knowledge acquisition with hands-on application for a context-specific experience. The program includes three core components 1) relevant coursework; 2) dedicated coaches trained to support new educators; and 3) a network of beginning teachers that serves as a resource to collaboratively design solutions for common problems of practice.

Relevant Coursework

The Aspire Teacher Prep program enriches teacher preparation through a clinical practice that is interwoven with coursework. This approach creates opportunities for teachers to connect what they learn through the coursework with the challenge of using it directly in their classroom. Teachers learn by doing as they blend practitioner and academic knowledge.

Dedicated Coaches

Specific formative instructional coaching is tailored to meet the needs of beginning teachers as they transition into the teaching profession. The program includes services that deliver virtual coaching to enhance skills developed through the program of study.

Beginning Teacher Network

A peer network is incorporated into the program to provide teachers with opportunities to share promising practices and troubleshoot challenges with peers across the state who understand the unique complexity of the challenges they confront.

Program Coursework

The Aspire Teacher Prep program is a 15-month program and accepts a new cohort of teachers each fall and spring During the program, teachers will participate in 4 courses: Designing Safe and Intentional Classrooms; Designing for Equity and Rigor; (Re)Designing, Revising, and Refining; and Designing with Advanced Techniques. Courses will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous virtual modules. While each course provides new learning and emphasizes its own content, the information presented in each course spirals throughout the program so that what is learned in the first course is enhanced and refined throughout the teacher’s tenure in the program.

Designing Safe and Intentional Classrooms

In the initial course, newly admitted teachers will engage in asynchronous, introductory lessons that will help them build a safe and student-centered classroom culture. With emphasis on standards-based lesson design and high-impact strategies, teachers will learn to intentionally build academic lessons while also supporting students’ social and emotional needs in the classroom. Finally, to prepare them for the demands of the classroom and the demands of a rigorous lateral entry program, coursework will also include building teacher resilience, growth mindset, and other coping strategies that will set them up for success.

Designing for Equity and Rigor

This course focuses on planning for the success of all students using formative and summative assessments for data-based instruction. Additionally, teachers’ ongoing work with their coach will emphasize designing instruction for all learners, reflecting on and learning from both successes and challenges, and using enhanced instructional strategies.

(Re)Designing, Revising, and Refining

With an emphasis on learning theory and child/adolescent development, this course dives deeper into what works for students and why. Participants will engage in reflection and lesson analysis to better understand intentional planning for the classroom and will engage in professional collaboration as they redesign, revise, and refine their work in preparation for EdTPA submission.

Designing with Advanced Techniques

With an understanding of the relationship between theory and practice, participants will be ready in Course III to apply more nuanced approaches to teaching and learning including culturally responsive pedagogy, inquiry-based learning, and differentiated instruction. In addition, teachers will learn how to scaffold learning for increased student voice in the classroom and ownership of learning.

Who Should Participate?

Aspire Teacher Prep participants come from all different backgrounds and a variety of college majors. What connects each teacher is their commitment to making a difference in a child’s life by raising academic achievement in high needs schools. Each Aspire Teacher Prep participant believes in the potential of the ability of all kids to work effectively with people from a variety of backgrounds.

All teachers must have a bachelor’s degree. The program serves teachers seeking licensure in all middle and high school core subject areas including Career Technical Education as well as general licensure in Special Education.

Learn More

By joining the Aspire Teacher Prep program, participants will join a network of teachers who share their convictions and determination to collectively work toward all kids having access to an excellent education. To join this powerful network, please fill out our online application form or contact Fredrica Nash at fnash@rti.org.

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