At Calhoun, we believe experiential learning is the best teacher because it provides the right perspective for every challenge. As an institution, we also strive to embrace new challenges with the same thinking, and hope to grow through experience.
In its inaugural year, the CAAP program is embracing challenges, growth and all the adjustments that come with it. The Calhoun Associate Apprenticeship Program was created to train new teachers and bring in new perspectives. In this program, we sought after candidates with diverse thinking and experiences. We believe that these candidates can learn from and contribute to the teaching philosophies of Calhoun and ultimately become head teachers, either at Calhoun or elsewhere. Our administrators spent years structuring this program, but also left room for flexibility due to its novelty.
“It’s going well, the CAAP associates are learning and growing. Big changes like this always take time–and a lot of work. Our associates are happily finding their place in our community and are learning so much in the process,” says Isabel Oyola, 4’s teacher and mentor to the CAAP cohort.
Though not required, these CAAP associates all bring prior teaching knowledge and perspectives to their classroom. They are working to build on their skills while learning under a trained head teacher. While they encourage our Little Calhouners to learn by doing, the associates understand that experience will also be their greatest ally in their own journeys at Calhoun.
“Associate teacher programs are a great vehicle for training adults and setting them up for success. They are getting real exposure, learning new frames of thinking and really diving into experiential learning, much like our students,” says Eric Osorio, Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning.
The CAAP associates have inherited Calhoun’s strong sense of community. The first cohort’s closeness allows them to collaborate in their work at Calhoun. They find a lot of support in each other, and use their weekly mentor meetings with Isabel to voice their feelings and share supportive strategies that will help them grow.
“This program has been an excellent opportunity to work as a collaborative collective of educators. I have been learning under an experienced teacher and look forward to continuing to refine my teaching practice,” says Alexa Alifonso, a CAAP associate teacher.
Though still in its infancy, we hope that the CAAP program will continue to attract brilliant educators. We want to keep improving the program so it provides an experience that will help CAAP associates develop into successful, supportive leaders. We’re excited to have our CAAP associates and can’t wait to see their contributions.