The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has selected Duke TeachHouse for inclusion in its Promising Practices Clearinghouse, a resource for the state’s teachers, administrators, district personnel and other education advocates.
Launched in 2015 and part of the Program in Education within the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Duke TeachHouse is a first-of-its-kind peer living and learning community for early career teachers, all graduates of Duke’s teacher preparation programs. TeachHouse cultivates and supports teacher peer networks; leadership skills; equity-based, culturally affirming, high impact practices; school innovation; and teacher health and well-being.
In 2021, TeachHouse expanded to two houses on 9th Street located across the street from a Durham Public Schools elementary school. At the same time, TeachHouse expanded its virtual professional learning community through the annual TeachHouse UnConference, a new virtual model that amplifies teachers’ power, autonomy and voice by allowing teachers to determine discussion topics, facilitate conversations and document actions to solve problems.
Jan Riggsbee, professor of the practice in education, is the cofounder and director of TeachHouse. “Universities have a responsibility not only to graduate highly qualified teachers,” she said, “but to then also continue to support them in their early career years, and as importantly, support the communities they serve. TeachHouse is an innovative model that is positioned to take a lead in efforts to transform the landscape and practices to recruit, cultivate and retain early career teacher-leaders in NC and beyond.”
“As a first-year teacher, you can kind of feel like you’re on your own a little bit. There are not many places where teachers can go and be themselves and have a place of growth … It’s been a great experience.” –Michele Saunders
“We’ve had the community dinners where we’re interacting with different leaders [and] we got to interact with all levels of the school system. It was truly incredible.” –Brianna Tuscani
“TeachHouse has done an incredible job of providing resources in different ways so that I can grow and use them in whatever ways I deem fit for my classroom.” –Savannah Windham
“I’ve grown in my own self advocacy, I’ve grown in my own self awareness as a professional, I’ve grown in ways of being intentional about my work. It has helped me to learn to relax and have fun in teaching.” –Corey Bray
This school year, two first-year teachers and first-year TeachHouse fellows were named 2022 Beginning Teacher of the Year for their home schools: Alejandra Gomez at Brogden Middle School, and Brianna Rochelle at Club Boulevard Humanities Magnet Elementary School, both in the Durham Public Schools system.
The TeachHouse model is rooted in purpose and place. New teachers live, learn and engage in the communities they serve, and in so doing, become grounded in the history, stories, assets and culture that shape the lives of their students. Read the Promising Practices Clearinghouse brief and visit the the Duke TeachHouse website.