Training & Certification
The first year is hard for any new teacher, and you will work in communities where systemic inequities and individual prejudices have denied too many children access to a great education. To prepare you for that challenge, you will receive intensive pre-service training and coaching through RootsLA.
In the summer before your senior year, you’ll begin a rigorous, six-week summer training program centered on field experience. You will study proven teaching techniques and begin to develop the in-depth content knowledge 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.
Outstanding local teachers will prepare you to manage a classroom, to deliver the content your students must learn, and to support students in meeting high expectations by building bridges between challenging academic content and students’ unique values and experiences. You must demonstrate proficiency in these fundamental skills by the end of pre-service training to earn teaching eligibility after you graduate.
Summer training is extremely demanding. You will teach summer school and attend sessions five days per week from approximately 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, with potential evening workshops and events. Attendance is mandatory every day.
As a RootsLA Fellow:
- In Week 1, you will be shadowing expert teachers, offering 1:1 differentiated instruction for individual students, learning about curriculum, and engaging in coursework about the fundamentals of teachings
- By Week 6, you will be teaching up to three whole-group lessons each day, examining student data and adjusting instruction accordingly, and engaging in coursework about advanced instructional skills
During your summer training, RootsLA mentor teachers are your primary line of support. All mentor teachers are experienced teachers with proven results in challenging classrooms. They will train you like a pro athlete, with ample opportunity to practice, reflect, and improve, until essential teaching techniques and mindsets become second nature.
Mentor teachers will observe your classroom regularly and give you real-time guidance to improve your teaching through in-person and virtual coaching. After class, you will debrief and discuss concrete strategies to apply in future lessons. Mentor teachers will also pull you into small skill-building sessions to address your biggest development needs.
We hold the highest standards of any program in the country, using 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.
At the end the summer, you must pass ACE to successfully complete training. Meeting this high bar shows you are able to get real results for students—and lets principals know you have a proven track record in the classroom.
Note: Fellows who meet RootsLA’s high standards in the summer training can begin teaching after graduation, before earning their California teaching credentials. Fellows can choose to begin coursework to earn their California teaching credentials during their senior year.