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.

Learn Why the Model is Important

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.

  • 1
    Culturally responsive recruitment and equitable selection

  • 2
    Rigorous selection and support of mentor teachers

  • 3
    Intensive pre-service preparation focused on the specific needs of teachers in high-need schools

  • 4
    Aligned induction support

  • 5
    Strategic hiring of graduates

Josie Grooms is a teacher resident at Memphis Teacher Residency. This picture was taken at Berclair Elementary School.

Recruitment and Selection of Teacher Residents and Training of Mentor Teachers

Teacher Residents

Through a highly selective recruitment process, residencies attract a diverse group of talented college graduates.

Mentor Teachers

Residencies engage a diverse cohort of experienced teachers to serve as mentors for teacher residents for the duration of the school year. Mentor teachers 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. Teacher residents receive a stipend for living expenses throughout their training year, and a subsidized master’s degree upon completion of the program.

Training in Cohorts

Teacher 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 teacher residents are placed in high-need, high-functioning, urban public schools for their apprenticeship experience. Teacher residents also complete their coursework as a cohort.

A Yearlong Class Apprenticeship

Before the school year begins, teacher residents are matched with an experienced mentor teacher who specializes in mentoring teacher residents based on their content area and grade level. Teacher residents start the school year in the classroom with their mentor 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 teacher residents receive formal and informal feedback from their mentor teachers, residency program staff, principals, and other support staff.

Linking Theory to Practice

In addition to their hands-on work in the classroom, teacher 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 teacher 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.

Teacher residents complete this coursework and participate in seminar, typically one evening and one full day per week. In the spring, teacher residents begin interviewing for full-time positions in a high-need school in the district. Teacher residents graduate from the program after the end of the school year and go on to become a teacher of record at a hiring school. Throughout the first year of teaching, teacher residents receive ongoing induction support from content and instructional coaches.

Post Residency

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 teacher residents go on to become mentor teachers, principals, and senior administrators in their schools.

Kaili Sandico is a teacher resident at Memphis Teacher Residency. This picture was taken at Hanley Elementary School.