Pre-service Training is one of the most exciting – and challenging – elements of the Fort Worth Teaching Fellows experience. Pre-service training begins with enrollment and continues until the start of school in the fall. Candidates accepted into the program begin their commitment by completing a concentrated period of independent study prior to participating in an intensive, six-week summer training using a curriculum focused on improving outcomes in schools where students lag several grade levels behind. This period is followed by additional independent study to further prepare for teaching in the fall. The rigorous, classroom-centered training provides Fellows with opportunities to learn and practice fundamental teaching skills so they can hit the ground running from their first day in the classroom.
Pre-service Training prepares people without formal education backgrounds to be immediately effective in challenging school environments, building on the deep content knowledge they already possess by preparing them to teach it. Professional development activities focus on the foundations of effective instructional delivery and classroom management – and participants are able to apply those skills right away by first practicing with other Fellows in training sessions and then by leading actual summer school classes, where they will work with experienced teachers to get real-world field experience. In 2011, 94% of Fort Worth Teaching Fellows surveyed agreed that our summer training program prepared them to be successful in their first year of teaching.
Pre-service Training consolidates a large amount of training into just a few weeks, making the program extremely demanding. During the six-week summer program, Fellows will participate in training activities five days a week from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily. Pre-service Training is scheduled to align with district summer school dates and typically begins in early June and ends mid-July. Due to the critical role that Pre-service Training plays in the success of Fort Worth Teaching Fellows, participants cannot miss any of the six-week training program. Attendance is mandatory every day. Once you begin Pre-service Training, you should anticipate remaining in Fort Worth and being actively engaged in additional program preparation through the first day of school, which may include securing a teaching position, developing teaching skills, and planning for classes.
Throughout training, participants will be formally evaluated to assess their readiness for the classroom, receiving regular feedback to ensure that they are on the right track for success as a new teacher. Evaluations of teaching effectiveness are based on observations of classroom teaching, demonstrated mastery of specific core teaching skills, and fulfillment of program expectations. At the conclusion of Pre-service Training, only those Fellows who have met these criteria will be recommended for their Probationary Teaching certificate and be eligible to enroll in TNTP Academy and teach Fort Worth students in the fall.