Kentucky Teacher Internship Program is a requirement for all teachers in the state of Kentucky. A teacher is meant to complete the program their first year teaching. According to the website for Kentucky's Education Professional Standards Board, the program is meant to help first year teachers be successful. When talking to the principal of the high school where I graduated from (not the one I teach at), she said "Oh, no. I never make our first year teachers do the program. We do it their second year. They have enough work without adding that on top of being a first year teacher!". As you can guess, "help" may not have been what the EPSB website meant. Perhaps "bury you in paperwork, run you ragged and make you have several minor anxiety attacks in your first year" would have been more accurate.
The program takes almost the entire school year. A teacher must complete three cycles and each cycle increases in intensity. I believe I started my first cycle in October. I finished the third cycle (and passed!) in the middle of the following March. The cycles consist of six observed lessons by three different people. Each of your superiors, a helping teacher from your school, an administrator from your school and a supervisor from EPSB, observes your class twice. A seventh lesson is recorded for all three people to view at their leisure. The fun part is the way you must prepare these lessons.
Now, every lesson should be planned. However, these lessons have to be super awesome planned at least a couple days in advance. Why is this difficult? Because sometimes you plan a lesson for Wednesday, but Tuesday doesn't go according to plan because students are unpredictable human beings who have their own specific needs. So when that happens, you usually have to change your following lesson. Not so with KTIP. You must find a way to shoehorn that lesson in anyway. You also need to provide in depth information for your observer regarding the demographics and needs of your class. Then you have to provide them with a self reflection on how you think the lesson went and what you could have done differently. Then you sit down with the person and discuss why you're awesome or why you need to work harder.
Now, none of these things are horrible. Planning ahead and reflecting are good things for a teacher to do. The issue is that large amount of paperwork and meetings attached to these good habits.
In addition to these lessons, the teacher must also show how they are a leader in their school by creating and maintaining a leadership opportunity throughout the school year. That's right, you're a first year teacher and you have to implement some kind of change in your school, like sponsoring a new club (it has to be new, not something that has ever been in the building before) or creating some type of professional development for your coworkers to go through. Yes, you can teach the veteran teachers in your school how they can improve their teaching.
You also have to identify one student who has special needs and identify how to help them specifically. Only, it has to be something new, not a student who has an IEP and with you noting how to use their IEP.
You also have to record several hours worth of interaction between you and your in school supervising teacher. These hours have to be recorded in school and outside of school.
You also have to create an original unit and include all of the lesson plans for the entire unit. A unit can take up to six weeks. That's as many as 30 lesson plans. You also need to provide lots of student work samples from any observed lessons and the unit.
After completing all of that work, you have to organize it, label it and hole punch it to put in your binder. The problem was that "binder" turned into "binders" for me. Each cycle took an entire binder. I had to stop using page protectors in my third cycle binder because I literally ran out of room. I was so proud of myself when I finished my binders, I took a picture.
After all of this is said and done, you sit in a meeting with your glorious binders. This meeting was where I realized only two people in the room had even opened the binders, and I was one of them. The other was my in school administrator who was awesome and very helpful through the whole process. Supervisors are all different. Some go through the binders with a fine tooth comb. Some open it, flip the pages a bit and then say "Congratulations! You passed!" You never know which supervisor you're going to get, but you need to be prepared for both.