Training Better Teachers Faster, with Focus, Practice and Feedback
March 25, 2014
Almost everyone agrees that teacher prep is broken. But how can we fix it?
Fast Start shares what we learned from rebuilding our own pre-service teacher training from the ground up, with one goal in mind: give new teachers the skills they need to be successful from day one.
Our new training approach differs from conventional teacher training in three major ways:
Focus: Fast Start focuses on four critical skills most closely linked to first-year success: delivering lessons clearly, maintaining high academic and behavioral standards, and maximizing instructional time.
Practice: Like athletes or musicians, teachers need to learn by doing—but most programs spend too much time on theories about teaching. In Fast Start, teachers spend 26 hours in intensive, hands-on practice.
- Feedback: Every Fast Start participant benefits from 32 hours of one-on-one and group coaching to help them constantly fine-tune their use of essential instructional techniques.
Early results are promising: after two years, we’ve found that teachers who performed better during Fast Start training earned higher ratings from their principals and did better on their district’s performance evaluation system.