Master Teachers

TIR'S and Teacher Preparation: The What, When, Why and How!

written by David Buck-Moyer and Nancy Stauch

The need to recruit, train, and retain well-prepared science teachers has never been higher. This presentation explores how a Teacher in Residence (TIR) program can enhance and improve a teacher education program. TIR's are experienced local science teachers, brought on to a university campus to address teacher preparation. The presentation covers the roles TIRs can play in; methods courses, supervision of student teachers, liaison with the college of education and local schools, formation and guidance of a teacher advisory group, and the development of innovative courses to draw in new science teachers. Finally the presentation examines how a program like this can work at particular schools and how programs can be sustained at the university level.

What Can a Master Teacher/ Teacher-in-Residence Do for Your Program?

published by the Physics Teacher Education Coalition

The linchpin of most successful teacher preparation programs around the country is the Master Teachers (MT), or Teacher-in-Residence (TIR) – an agent of change who applies classroom wisdom to the tasks of identifying, training, and supporting teachers of physics. The role of a TIR includes recruiting new teachers, supervising field experiences, mentoring pre-service and beginning teachers, teaching methods and content classes, redesigning existing course curricula and developing new courses, redesigning and giving professional development workshops, and giving numerous workshops and presentations at local schools as well as at state, regional, and national meetings.

UTeach: Preparing Tomorrow's Secondary Mathematics and Science Teachers

written by Lynn Kirby and Mary Walker

This presentation outlines the role of master teachers in the University of Texas UTeach program. The selection, roles, and responsibilities of the master teachers are outlined. Master Teachers have lengthy experience and success mentoring novice teachers. Master Teachers can "speak the language" of local school district students, teachers and administrators. Master Teachers have, also,  taught in the public school environment, they have credibility with UTeach students.

PhysTEC TIR Handbook

published by the Physics Teacher Education Coalition

The importance of Master Teachers has been recognized nationally – for example, the 2000 report "Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology" calls for the presence of "master/mentor teachers in partner school districts [who] would have adjunct appointments with the schools of education or the departments of science, mathematics, or engineering [and who] would take on a significant role in the mentoring of future teachers during their practicum experiences." This site is an internet resource for Master Teachers and TIRs including background information on the PhysTEC project, contact information for other Master Teachers, and suggestions and guidelines for program development, induction and mentoring, and course reform.

A Quiet Revolution in Preparing Future Teachers of Physics

written by Julia Olsen and Drew Isola

We face a crisis in mathematics and science teacher preparation in the United States. This is especially true in regard to physics teachers. As the political uproar has increased, the pressure on institutions of higher learning and on physics departments in particular has become more intense, leaving many to wonder about possible solutions.  How can we, as physicists, take on such an overwhelming task in an area where we have little experience or training?

This article deals with one approach to addressing these issues. The use of exemplary K-12 teachers as agents of change in universities has been quietly making its way into teacher preparation programs around the country over the past decade.  While it is not unheard of for K-12 teachers to work on college campuses as an entry level or temporary instructor, it has rarely been the case that they are sought out specifically for their expertise in the K-12 classroom. However, more and more K-12 teachers are employed to directly apply their classroom wisdom to the many facets of identifying, recruiting and supporting K-12 teachers of physics. In this role, they are commonly called Teachers-in-Residence (TIRs) or Master Teachers (MTs).

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