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TNTP Teaching Fellows

Training & Certification

The first year is hard for any new teacher, and you will work in a high-need school where students may lag several grades behind. To prepare you for that challenge, you will receive intensive pre-service training and coaching through Indianapolis Teaching Fellows and complete master’s level certification coursework through Marian University.

Pre-service Training

Pre-service Training - Indianapolis Teaching Fellows

In late spring, you’ll begin your commitment with a rigorous pre-service training program that is centered on field experience. You will study proven teaching techniques that great teachers use every day to advance student learning and can expect to practice these techniques intensively, both with peers and with real students in summer school classrooms.

Rather than overwhelming you with training that is a mile wide but an inch deep, we focus first on mastery of four foundational teaching skills before shifting to more advanced practices. Outstanding local teachers will prepare you to manage a classroom, to deliver the content your students must learn, and to keep students focused on meeting high academic expectations. You must demonstrate proficiency in these fundamental skills by the end of pre-service training to earn teaching eligibility for the fall.

Pre-service training is extremely demanding, and you must attend sessions five days per week from approximately 7:00 am to 6:00pm, with potential evening and weekend workshops and events. Pre-service training typically begins in early June and ends in mid-July. Marian University typically offers dormitory housing at a reduced rate throughout the course of pre-service training for Fellows who are in the process of relocating to the area. Due to the critical importance of pre-service training, you cannot miss any portion. Attendance is mandatory every day.

Expert Coaching

"As a Teaching Fellow, I can reach out to my professors at Marian and my instructors from the summer at any time.

My coach went through the Teaching Fellows program herself and is a real role model. She taught me how to be a teacher. 

There is such an incredible net of support during your first two years."


Emily Willis, 2011 Fellow

Beginning in pre-service training and continuing at least through your first year, your Indianapolis Teaching Fellows coach will be your most critical line of support as you apply lessons from training sessions with students in your classroom. All coaches are experienced, local teachers with a track record of raising achievement in challenging classrooms. They will train you like a pro athlete, with ample opportunity to practice, reflect and improve, until essential teaching techniques become second nature.

Our coaches will observe you regularly in your classroom, providing real-time guidance to improve your teaching. After each observation, you will meet to debrief and discuss concrete strategies you can apply in future lessons. Coaches will also pull you into small skill-building sessions to address your high-priority development needs. In some cases, virtual coaching may be used to coach fellows during their first year of teaching.  Virtual coaching is determined on a case by case basis for each fellow based on performance factors and fellow needs.

You can’t improve if you don’t know what you are doing wrong. Whether you are struggling with lesson planning or striving to improve your classroom management skills, your coach will focus their expertise on helping you quickly get up to speed in that area. This rich feedback and personalized support will help you grow quickly into an amazing teacher.

Certification Coursework

During your first two years as a full-time teacher, you will also complete certification coursework through our partnership with Marian University, where you will earn a Master of Arts in Teaching degree through the Transition to Teaching (T2T) program. The T2T program is specifically designed to meet the needs of alternate route teachers; in fact, Indianapolis Teaching Fellows and Teach For America corps members are the only participants.

In addition to meeting for classes 1-2 evenings per week and/or one Saturday per month, Fellows will be paired with a supervisor from the Marian University faculty, who will partner with your Indianapolis Teaching Fellows coach to monitor your performance and customize training to address your individual development needs. If you successfully complete all program requirements, pass all content exams, and meet our high performance standards, you will be eligible to apply for a professional teaching license in Indiana at the end of your second year in the classroom.

A typical teaching day lasts about eight hours, with classes starting around 8:00 am. In addition, all teachers spend time preparing lessons, reviewing student work, attending meetings, or supervising extracurricular activities. Balancing these priorities with certification coursework is demanding, but your classroom-centered training and our support will help you rise to the challenge.

Earning Certification

TNTP’s Teaching Fellows programs hold the highest standards for certification of any teacher preparation provider in the country, and our teachers are widely recognized for their ability to help high-need students make dramatic learning gains.

We use the Assessment of Classroom Effectiveness (ACE) to ensure that you remain on track to become a great teacher. ACE incorporates a wide variety of evidence from your classroom to create the fullest possible picture of your performance. ACE will incorporate observation scores, principal feedback, and student survey data into a final score for performance.  ACE is also designed to help you grow – providing regular feedback about your strengths and weaknesses and enabling us to customize coaching and coursework to address your high-priority development needs.

At the end of your first  year, you must meet ACE performance standards to earn certification. By setting a high bar and helping you exceed it, we ensure that you are capable of getting real results for students. And as a graduate of our program, principals and district officials will know that you are not simply a certified teacher, but one with a proven track record in the classroom.