Chicago Teacher Residency hosts Partnership School Visit at The Chicago Academy Elementary School

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Publish date: April 17, 2024
Categories: News from the Network
Post author: Sal Navarro

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On February 13th, 2024, the Chicago Teacher Residency (CTR) hosted “Impact in Action: CTR Partnership School Visit,” which allowed attendees the opportunity to visit classrooms, hear from a panel of Mentor Teachers, and Residents, and witness the impact of the CTR firsthand!

The event was graciously hosted by talented and passionate educators at The Chicago Academy (TCA). TCA is a perfect school to experience the impact of the CTR program because of its longstanding history with the program. TCA has been a CTR training site for 20 years. Over that time, 155 Residents have trained on-site and 11 current TCA teachers are former CTR Residents.

TCA is a PK-8 school on Chicago’s Northwest side that serves over 500 students. Across TCA students, 59.3% are Low Income Students, 17.9% are Diverse Learners, and 34.9% are Limited English Learners. The TCA community is made up of passionate and highly-effective educators that care about their students’ individual needs.

Attendees had the opportunity to hear from a panel of five Mentors and Residents, sharing what a “day in the life” looks like for them, and what is they appreciate about their experience in their mentor/mentee relationship.

The panelists for the session were:

  • Viv Caniglia, CTR Resident (Art Cohort)
  • Mason Cook, CTR Resident (Art Cohort)
  • Alix Powel, CTR Mentor (Diverse Learning High School Social Studies)
  • Heather Walters, CTR Mentor (Elementary Art, K-8th)
  • Tony Young, CTR Resident (Diverse Learner Cohort)

Hear from all of the panelists by watching the panel discussion recording here!

During the panel, Viv Caniglia (CTR Resident), shared that they wanted to be a teacher, but weren’t sure how to start. The CTR program gave them the path they were looking for.

Viv shared, “I knew I wanted to go on the path towards teaching, but I had no idea what that could look like… I think this was the best route possible because, simultaneously, while I learning how to teach, I’m in the classroom, I’m applying methods, I’m putting teacher moves on, and I have a wealth of knowledge available [to me].”

Viv’s Mentor Teacher, Heather Walters (CTR Mentor), used the panel as an opportunity to talk about what she thinks sets the CTR program apart as a teacher training program.

She shared, “Coming from a traditional program… I only had a few weeks in elementary school and then high school and I was on my way. I think the CTR program is really amazing and impactful because Residents get to see the very first day of school through the end of the year… and I think that my two Residents, that I was very fortunate to have, are going to do an amazing job right off the bat – they’ve had a full year of experience!”

TCA Principal Joyce Pae, shared context for what classrooms attendees would visit and also about TCA’s history with the CTR program. Principal Pae shared, “TCA is the first Resident training site of all the AUSL [partnership schools]. We’re really excited to carry on that legacy and you’re going to see that in the classrooms you visit today!”

Attendees were then offered the opportunity to visit TCA classrooms to see this work in action! Visiting classrooms provided the opportunity for attendees to look for evidence of Resident training in the classroom. Classrooms offered an opportunity to see multiple types of instruction including whole group instruction, small group instruction, and individual instruction.

After the classroom visits, participants reconvened to debrief their observations and share what they learned from the opportunity. This allowed participants to discuss the ways that Residents applied their training from their coursework directly in the classroom with the support and guidance of their mentor teachers – a model that truly sets the program and its Residents apart.

Thank you to Principal Pae, the TCA Elementary team, and TCA High School panel participants for making it possible for us all to see the CTR’s “impact in action!”

To learn more about the Chicago Teacher Residency program or to apply, visit

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