story by Claire Miller
The first time Cross Keys High School Assistant Principal Roberta Gibson set foot on her school’s campus, she wasn’t interviewing for her current job – she was participating in the Network for Enhancing Teacher Quality (NET-Q) project, the College of Education & Human Development’s former federally-funded teacher residency program.
“When I finished my bachelor’s degree in business administration, I realized I didn’t want to go into business,” Gibson said. “I looked into the NET-Q program and never looked back. I think that was the best decision I made.”
The teacher residency program allowed her to spend a full academic year in the classroom, where she could establish classroom management policies and adjust her lesson plans depending on how well her students grasped the material.
“As a teacher, there’s so much pressure to get things right the first time. But the residency allowed me to try different instructional strategies and see if they worked,” she explained.
Gibson and her fellow teacher residents also met regularly to discuss their classroom experiences and see what they could improve on moving forward – a practice she continued when she was hired as a full-time teacher and coach at Cross Keys and when she became assistant principal five years later.
“It was a time for us to debrief and talk about what was going on in our schools. What can we do better? What can we try?” she said. “I’m always bringing my students and faculty into meetings like that today to make things better.”
To learn more about the college’s current teacher residency program, click here.