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Unique Project Brings New & Experienced Teachers Together Under One Roof

Unique Project Brings New & Experienced Teachers Together Under One Roof

In response to the recent influx of criticism concerning the quality of teacher preparation programs in the nation, many experts have agreed on an increased need for mentorship and strong peer networks for first-year teachers to improve skills.

A first-of-its-kind house in Durham County, N.C. is doing just that by taking an innovative approach to providing new teachers with strong mentors and peer networks through the Duke TeachHouse.

"Duke TeachHouse represents a novel approach to a vexing national problem: How to keep talented beginning teachers in the classroom. Nationally, nearly half of all teachers leave the field within their first five years, said program director and co-founder Jan Riggsbee, who teaches in the Duke Program in Education," said Duke Today.

For two years, four new teachers, called "fellows," live in the house side-by-side with two experienced teachers to serve as mentors.

"At dinner time, there is talk around the table about how the day went but the thing that makes the conversation special is that everyone around the table can relate," according to

In addition to hopefully increasing retention rates for new teachers, the house sets out to facilitate problem-solving and innovation in the classroom by allowing for budding teachers to share residency with veteran ones.

“'I really feel that this is the direction teacher education needs to go...We can’t just push graduates out into challenging schools and expect them to stay. We need to give them support and the opportunity to grow,'" Riggsbee said to Duke Today.

Read more about Duke TeachHouse here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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