STARs in the Classroom
Last fall, four Texas A&M University students participated in the inaugural year of the Urban Student Teachers Advanced Residency (U-STAR) program in the College of Education and Human Development.
U-STAR is a three-year partnership with Spring Independent School District, specifically Thompson Elementary School in Houston, and Texas A&M. The yearlong clinical residency program provides future Aggie teachers with the cultural and classroom expertise necessary to thrive in urban educational environments.
“U-STAR focuses on long-term, hands-on instruction,” said Dr. Marlon James, associate director for the Center of Urban School Partnerships in the college. “Students are not just student teachers, but full-time employees of Spring ISD, and candidates who successfully complete the program are offered full-time teaching positions in the district.”
They also receive professional development support from Texas A&M faculty for two years after graduation. Participating students are part of the school’s life in every sense: They complete lesson plans, develop assignments, tutor, meet with parents, and cover morning and afternoon duty.
“This is a high-impact learning experience,” James said. “U-STAR accelerates our students’ mastery of content delivery, classroom management and parent-teacher interaction to bring out the best in pupils they teach.”