U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced the award of $99.8 million for 12 new five-year Teacher Quality Partnership grants that aim to raise student achievement by improving instruction in our nation’s schools. The grants, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will be used to reform traditional university teacher preparation programs as well as create teacher residency programs for professionals from other fields entering the teaching profession. http://www2.ed.gov/news/pressreleases/2010/03/03302010.html -- One of the winners, the Boston Teacher Residency Partnership, is a masters' program that operates much like a medical residency. Students in this year-long program get real-world classroom experience in the Boston Public Schools, working with a mentor teacher for 4 days/week. Throughout the year, they can also work with other teachers within the district as well. This of course helps them be more prepared for the real world challenges of their own classrooms. More here: http://www.edutopia.org/schools-of-education-boston Have you done anything like a residency, or ever had a mentor teacher? Would be interested in hearing how that experience helped (or didn't help) prepare you for the classroom.