Modeled after the medical residency, the Boston Teacher Residency (BTR) aims to meet Boston Public Schools’s goals of recruiting, educating, and retaining teachers of color and teachers of math, science, and special education. Though the residency is less than a decade old, already ten percent of math and science teachers in Boston Public Schools are graduates of BTR.
Placement and education
Aspiring teachers in BTR co-teach with a mentor teacher four days a week for one year in Boston Public Schools, and take part in intensive, tailored pre-service and post-service training.
Wednesday evenings and Fridays during the residency year, the 75 participants take cohort-based education courses taught by professors from University of Massachusetts Boston. The coursework leads to a Master’s degree by the end of the program. Throughout the year, residents observe in classrooms at their own schools and others, paying attention to different practices each month.
Because the program is part of AmeriCorps, eligible participants can defer their existing student loans and earn the Eli Segal AmeriCorps Education Award which can be used to pay the enirety of the $4,000 UMass Boston tuition.
Placement and support
Graduates of the 13-month program who stay in Boston Public Schools to teach are offered ongoing professional support and access to in-school coaches. If a graduate stays in Boston Public Schools for three years, they are also forgiven the $10,000 tuition for BTR licensure program. If a graduate leaves BPS early, they are responsible for paying back pro-rated sums of the tuition to the residency program.
Sarah Kelly of the BTR says that over 87 percent of graduates have stayed on for the full three years, and 76 percent have exceeded three years in the school district after graduating. Among Boston Public Schools as a whole, the three-year retention rate is only 53 percent.
Eligibility and Application
Successful applicants to the program have a solid background in math and science, a commitment to Boston, and a solid commitment to the field of education. 50 percent of residents are people of color, and about 40 percent enter the program right out of college.