Elementary Accelerated Teacher Certification
At Rhode Island School for Progressive Education (RISPE), we understand that becoming an effective educator requires a blend of practical experience and theoretical knowledge.
Our Accelerated Elementary Teacher Certification Program, a 13-month journey, is crafted with the mission of transforming passionate individuals with Bachelor’s degrees and at least two years of experience working with school-age youth into certified, full-time teachers.
Your Educational Journey with Us
This non-degree program marries rigorous coursework with immersive classroom practice and continuous instructional coaching. As a candidate, you will be the teacher of record in your own classrooms within our partner districts. Concurrently, you’ll work diligently to satisfy requirements for full teacher certification through the Rhode Island Department of Education during your first teaching year.
Supporting You Every Step of the Way
We ensure that every candidate is supported throughout their journey with us. Clinical support is provided by dedicated mentor teachers, instructional coaches, and clinical supervisors. With tailored goals in mind, you will primarily work closely with your instructional coaches who will provide guidance on a weekly basis throughout the academic year.
A Year in the Life at RISPE
Your training starts in June with an immersive summer school experience. Guided by mentor teachers, you’ll begin developing your instructional skills while diving into your coursework. As the academic year progresses, you’ll receive continual feedback and support from instructional coaches and clinical supervisors, and persist with your academic journey.
Seminar supports candidates as they grow into powerful, progressive educators. It puts tools in place to build community and solidarity with their colleagues to grow their professional stances, and allows regular routines for residents to independently and collaboratively reflect on their goals and instruction. Seminar always ends with teachers synthesizing all their work from all their courses and practicum into a final portfolio – the chance to demonstrate, and reflect on, their growth across the semester. In this moment, and across the seminar, they’ll answer the question, “Who am I as a teacher now?” In particular, during the summer seminar, candidates will focus on childhood development. They’ll learn to study how children develop cognitively, socially, and culturally, and how to apply that thinking to their instruction. This will form the basis for their work as empathetic, thoughtful teachers.
This seminar course allows space for candidates to grow their progressive values and beliefs as educators. They’ll study the vital concepts of dialogical education and the idea of love as a critical stance by carefully reading and analyzing Paulo Friere’s work, Pedagogy of the Oppressed. They will then apply these tenets to working with families, and to interpreting the world through the lenses of race, gender, and social class. Candidates will also use the critical stances of dialogue and love to study their own instruction and the instruction of their fellow candidates, as well as how to study students through classroom and behavioral assessment and how to respond with intent and justice.
In this course, candidates will deepen their own mathematical knowledge while learning to design a math classroom that promotes conceptual understanding, numeracy, and problem-solving. Candidates will explore their attitudes and beliefs about math, understand Common Core State Standards, and learn core practices for building a constructivist math community.
Candidates will be introduced to the principles of science education along with appropriate methodology/skills and pedagogy/theory needed to begin teaching science in the elementary classroom. They will discover the rewards of creating environments in which they and their students work together as active learners through hands-on learning, inquiry teaching methods, and teaching/ learning through reflection. Throughout the course, candidates will be participating in discussions, lectures, readings, hands-on activities, demonstrations, group activities, lab assignments and assessments. The course is specifically designed to help candidates develop an understanding and appreciation of science teaching that will help children acquire knowledge, attitudes, and skills essential to science literacy.
This course will give candidates an introduction to special education and the practice of differentiation and examine the ways you can effectively use differentiating instruction, assessment and develop intervention techniques to address the challenges of meeting the diverse learning needs of all students. Candidates will learn and apply strategies for working with families and collaborating with other school professionals.
This course is designed to develop teacher candidates’ proficiency in knowledge and practices of reading instruction grounded in the Science of Reading. Candidates will study elements of Structured Literacy and principles guiding how these elements are taught. Emphasis in this course will be placed on phonology, phonics, and vocabulary instruction. Coursework will engage participants in professional learning experiences that focus on how students learn to read, screening and diagnostic assessment tools, and evidenced based approaches for reading and writing that are effective for all learners, and essential for multi-language learners and students with dyslexia and other language-based learning disabilities. Candidates will develop proficiency through collaborative study, strategic planning, implementing diagnostic-prescriptive instruction, and through feedback and self-reflection.
This course extends the study of the Science of Reading and Structured Literacy from The Science of Reading and Structured Literacy in Foundational Skills and Language Development Course and is designed to establish teacher candidates’ proficiency in their knowledge of a comprehensive approach to literacy instruction for all learners. Candidates will study effective teaching practices and researched-based interventions for teaching fluency, comprehension, and oral and written language development. Coursework will focus on extending candidates’ understanding of theoretical models of reading and how language comprehension, alongside word recognition, is a fundamental element for reading comprehension. Coursework will also deepen participants’ knowledge of assessments to inform teaching and the interrelationship between the reader, the text, instruction, and sociocultural factors on learning. Candidates will establish proficiency through designing, implementing and assessing student learning within a sequence of standards-aligned lessons that are engaging, culturally-responsive, and promote the development of 21st century skills.
This course examines the role of the Social Studies teacher in a classroom environment where content serves as a catalyst for developing a student’s social consciousness. Specific attention is focused on the use of project-based instruction within the framework of an inquiry pedagogical model. The role of the teacher within this structure is to work with students to construct models for informed student action. Residents will finish this class with a clear understanding of how social consciousness develops in adolescent youth; how to plan units to promote the growth of social consciousness; and how to construct a learning environment that supports social consciousness development. All residents will be required to teach one unit of social studies and observe social studies lessons in two elementary and two middle school settings. Teaching and observation requirements can be combined with other elements of this course with prior approval from the instructor.
Investment in Your Future
The program cost per candidate is $5,000, a sum that represents an investment in your future as a transformative educator. The remaining costs are graciously covered by RISPE’s fundraising efforts and the partnerships we maintain with participating districts. Our mission is to make your journey towards certification as smooth and accessible as possible.