The mission of the Seattle Teacher Residency is to accelerate student achievement through the preparation, support, and retention of exceptional teachers who reflect the rich diversity in Seattle Public Schools.


Vision: Why Teachers Matter

Income, language, and race too often predict academic achievement in Seattle. Schools can and must be an important means to change this inequity and improve educational outcomes for students. While Seattle educators have long been committed to this work, the persistence of inequity requires us to act with increased urgency. The Seattle Teacher Residency deepens this commitment by recruiting, preparing, and supporting teachers equipped to make sure that each student excels and feels connected to the school community, regardless of circumstance.


Core Values of Effective Teaching

Each student deserves an exceptional teacher who…
• Knows and cares deeply about his/her students and believes in the capacity of all students to exceed at the highest level.
• Finds joy in learning with students and colleagues, and engages in practice with both integrity and humility.
• Creates an equitable learning environment.
• Knows and draws upon the assets of the communities in which his/her students live.
• Has deep subject matter knowledge.
• Thrives on opportunities to learn and collaborate with his/her colleagues, community and profession.
• Demonstrates leadership and perseveres through challenging circumstances in the classroom and beyond.
• Seeks work/life balance to nurture one’s own health and wellness.


Core Practices of Equitable Teaching

The following 8 Core Practices stem from the Values of our program and describe what the work of teaching looks like. The Core Practices are what we DO as teachers, the actions we take, that make the vision and values real and tangible. To that end, the STR Instructional Team uses these Core Practices to plan coursework and makes these practices transparent within their own instruction. In addition, the Core Practices are grounded in the coaching model. Residents are expected to identify core practices in planning for their own instruction and will be evaluated throughout the year with a framework that incorporates these elements.

Core Practice: Establish a Community of Learners
• Classroom norms and expectations are established and maintained.
• Teacher/student and student/student relationships are built and nurtured.
• Expectations for participation are clear.
• Classroom discussion is common with norms that support students building on and responding to each other’s ideas.

Core Practice: Teach Towards Instructional Goals
• Learning goals are set that are developmentally appropriate and fit along a trajectory that is standards-based
• Thoroughly planned lessons are intentionally created that set students up to meet the learning goal(s), reflect instruction, and are fully aligned to standards and assessments.
• Modifications are made during instruction to support students in meeting the learning goals.

Core Practice: Position Students as Competent Sense Makers
• Instruction includes academically rigorous tasks and content.
• Access to strategies, tools & resources are provided to students to support meeting learning goals.
• Tools to express ideas/arguments and ask questions are provided so that students have ownership of ideas.
• Student thinking is the center of academic work where teachers and students validate each other’s thinking.

Core Practice: Teach with Each Student in Mind
• Students’ ideas, lived experiences, cultures, languages, and diverse beliefs and understandings are integrated into planning and instruction.
• Planning includes differentiation for all students, addressing potential biases in curriculum.
• A flexible and responsive learning environment is established, attending to students’ needs in the moment.
• Student responses and misconceptions are anticipated and planned for.

Core Practice: Orient Students to the Content
• Support is provided for students to articulate their understandings of what they are learning and why.
• Student thinking is represented to facilitate connections to/with the content.
• Big ideas – what’s important to learn and why – are highlighted.
• Students are supported to make sense of and use academic language to discuss content.

Core Practice: Assess Student Understanding to Guide Instruction
• Formative and summative assessment data are analyzed and used to plan for data-driven instruction.
• A variety of formal and informal assessments are utilized to monitor student progress.
• Students are viewed as active participants in a continuous feedback loop using both formative and summative assessment.
• Students engage in self- and peer assessment.

Core Practice: Invest in the School Community to Support Student Learning.
• Authentic partnerships are built with families and communities through ongoing communication to support student learning both in and out of the classroom.
• Participation in professional learning opportunities is sought after and ongoing.
• Active engagement and participatory roles are taken on (by teachers) in different levels of community (classroom, professional, broader community).

Core Practice: Reflect on Teaching Practice
• Reflection on teaching practice is continuous (lessons taught, conversations with students, transitions, etc) through video and/or written reflection to identify strengths, successful strategies, and areas for growth.
• Feedback from peers, mentors and others is invited to improve teaching practice.
• Self-assessment is part of the assessment/instruction cycle.
• New methods and strategies are sought to improve teaching practice based on feedback and self-assessment.
• Improvement in teaching practice is observable based on feedback provided.