Our Residency Model
Teacher residencies are the most comprehensive model of teacher preparation in the country.
Teacher residencies raise the bar for quality while reducing historical and enduring barriers to entry for teachers of color and other underrepresented groups.
Areas of Focus
Community-based clinical preparation with a dedicated, trained, and supported mentor makes NCTR’s residency model the most effective pathway to the teaching profession.
Recruitment and Selection of Residents and Teaching Mentors
Through a highly selective recruitment process, residencies attract a diverse group of talent college graduates.
Residencies engage a diverse cohort of experienced teachers to serve as mentors for residents for the duration of the school year. Mentors are selected based on demonstrated cultural competency. Ongoing support is provided through a community of practice to build their teacher leadership and effectiveness as coaches.
The Residency Model
Teacher residency programs offer a unique synthesis of theory and practice, combining a yearlong classroom apprenticeship with a carefully aligned sequence of master’s-level coursework. Residents receive a stipend for living expenses throughout their training year, and a subsidized master’s degree upon completion of the program.
Residents train as part of a cohort — a peer group that provides ongoing support and collaborative learning throughout the residency year and beyond. At the beginning of the school year, groups of residents are placed in high-need, high-functioning, urban public schools for their apprenticeship experience. Residents also complete their coursework as a cohort.
Before the school year begins, residents are matched with an experienced teacher who specializes in mentoring residents based on their content area and grade level. Residents start the school year in the classroom with their mentoring teacher before students arrive, then co-teach four days per week throughout the year taking on increasing levels of responsibility. Performance-based assessments are conducted throughout the year, and residents receive formal and informal feedback from their mentor teachers, residency program staff, principals, and other support staff.
In addition to their hands-on work in the classroom, residents engage in master’s-level education coursework designed to inform and enrich the apprenticeship experience. This deep blend of theory and practice makes the residency model a unique route into teaching, helping participants draw meaningful connections between their daily classroom work and the latest in education theory and research.
Residents complete this coursework and participate in seminar, typically one evening and one full day per week. In the spring, residents begin interviewing for full-time positions in a high-need school in the district. Residents graduate from the program after the end of the school year and go on to become the teacher of record at a hiring school. Throughout the first year of teaching, residents receive ongoing induction support from content and instructional coaches.
Residency graduates commit to serving their school district for at least three years after the completion of their residency. Residency programs boast an active alumni teacher support network. Many residents go on to become teacher mentors, principals and senior administrators in their schools.