At the heart of great schools is great teaching.
The core of the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) at Hillbrook is the Resident Teacher Program, a two-year, hands-on teaching and professional development experience that incorporates both theoretical and practical aspects of teaching. Modeled after medical residency training provided for doctors, Resident Teachers are beginning and early-career teachers, often with teaching credentials or masters degrees, who immerse themselves in the intellectually rich and reflective culture of teaching and learning at Hillbrook in partnership with our grade-level and departmental teaching teams.

The Resident Teacher Program has three goals.
 
1. Increase individual attention and differentiated instruction in the classroom for Hillbrook students. Two teachers in a classroom makes our already small classes even smaller, and creates opportunities for increased understanding and support of each student.
 
2. Create mentoring and co-teaching opportunities for Hillbrook faculty that allow for more opportunities for deep reflection on best practices. Invigorated, engaged teachers are committed to making sure they are providing the best possible program for each student.
 
3. Train and nurture beginning and early career teachers so they are extraordinarily well-prepared candidates for top public and private schools around the country, including Hillbrook.



Learn to teach by teaching.
The Resident Teacher Program is a paid, 1-2 year, intensive, hands-on teaching and professional development experience. Beginning and early-career teachers engage in teaching and school-wide responsibilities with guidance and support from our grade-level and departmental teaching teams.

Modeled after medical residency training provided for doctors, Residents gain increased responsibility during their tenure on campus, coming in time to teach shoulder-to-shoulder with master teachers. Grade-level and departmental teaching teams provide residents with appropriate curriculum resources, critiques of lesson plans, and positive, constructive feedback on observations. The administration is supportive and proactive in helping residents with their future teaching career opportunities or continuing graduate school studies. Professional development is provided, along with regular support and coaching. Our emphasis on collaboration and co-teaching allows the Resident and teaching teams to make deep inquiries into learning.

Residents improve the school’s already low teacher-student ratio. A Resident extends the instructional reach of our teachers, bringing another pair of hands into our classrooms so that students can benefit from more small group work and individualized attention, along with another set of trained eyes, offering teachers more information to better assess the social, emotional and academic growth of each student. Residents bring new ideas and educational theories to school discussions, enriching not only their own experience but the experience of the entire school community. Residents also have leadership opportunities at Hillbrook-sponsored conferences and events.

Our experienced teachers initially guide the Residents in basic educational practices; in time, Residents come to work alongside their grade-level and departmental teaching teams as co-collaborators. Hillbrook teachers raise their level of teaching excellence as they are challenged to reflect deeply on best practices in education.

Our program provides a multi-layered support network. Residents meet regularly with their grade-level or departmental teaching team, and with each other. The Director of Teaching and Learning coordinates a monthly professional development seminar that provides opportunities for residents to collaborate, explore and exchange ideas on cutting-edge practices impacting teaching and educational excellence. In addition, the professional development opportunities available to Hillbrook faculty both on-site and off-site are available to residents. Residents receive training in Responsive Classroom and Development Designs, and participate in all Hillbrook in-service days and faculty meetings.

Residents leave Hillbrook as trained educators.

Program components include:
  • Mentoring and modeling of best practices in education from experienced teachers
  • Regular resident seminars as a forum for support and encouragement from peers, as well as collaborating, exploring and exchanging cutting-edge ideas on teaching and learning
  • Leadership opportunities at Hillbrook-sponsored conferences and events
  • Professional development workshops
  • Individualized coaching

Skills developed include:
  • Selection of curricular materials
  • Planning, preparation and presentation of units, projects and lessons
  • Classroom management, including training in the Responsive Classroom and Developmental Designs
  • Methods of assessment
  • Effective use of technology, including a 1:1 iPad program and iLab
  • Report writing and parent conferencing
  • Job searching and portfolio/resume development


An independent Junior Kindergarten -8th grade school in Los Gatos since 1935

300 Marchmont Drive
Los Gatos, CA 95032
 
 
(408) 356-6116 | info@hillbrook.org