Giving Teachers the Tools to Make a Difference

Boston Teacher Residency (BTR) is a one year, full-time AmeriCorps program that recruits talented college graduates, career changers and community members of all ages and gives them the tools to make an immediate impact in the classrooms of the Boston Public Schools (BPS). Combining a yearlong classroom apprenticeship in BPE Teaching Academies with targeted master’s-level coursework, the program offers much more than just an affordable route into teaching. BTR provides every resident with the practical learning, hands-on experience and ongoing support essential to any successful career in teaching. Click here for more information.

The Residency Year

The residency begins with an intensive two-month summer institute, designed to prepare residents with the skills and knowledge needed to serve as part of a teacher team on day one of the school year. Residents then spend the entire academic year in a BPE Teaching Academy, learning to teach in a collaborative mentoring environment. Residents are assigned to an academic department and grade level team and work under the close guidance of experienced educators, four full days per week (Monday-Thursday). Residents devote one evening and all day Friday to BTR’s rigorous graduate coursework. This combination helps Residents link classroom experience to relevant theory and research, learn and rehearse new instructional practices, and ground their own learning in their students’ learning and school context.

Residents assume increasing responsibility in the classroom over the course of the year: working with individual students, in small groups, and in whole class settings.  The resident is an important part of a teacher team; these teams make instructional decisions based on the learning needs of students and the standards-based curricular goals and objectives. Teacher teams are supported by Directors of Instruction in each content area, who help guide instructional decisions for students and adult learning opportunities. By situating the resident as a part of a teaching team, the program is designed to ensure both increased learning for students and excellent preparation for the resident.

  • Yearlong classroom apprenticeship
  • Rigorous, aligned coursework
  • Focus on BPS/Boston context
  • Collaborative learning environment

The program’s unique blend of theory and practice, combined with an emphasis on collaborative learning and peer support, gives residents a field-tested foundation for success in the urban classroom. By the time BTR graduates become teachers of record in a BPS classroom, they already have a year of experience in their schools, an understanding of the challenges that lie ahead, and an ever-expanding support network of fellow educators.

Continuing Support: Induction

After graduation, BTR’s induction program supports recent graduates as they transition into their new schools, supporting them as they work toward a shared vision of educational equity for all students in Boston. Since early career teachers require a range of partners and experiences, BTR partners with teachers and their schools by tailoring its work with each graduate and his or her students, well beyond their novice stage of teaching.

BTR supports graduates to:
–Gain and refine instructional practices to support their early transition to be “Day 1 ready”
–Learn to use data and feedback, including from students, as tools to improve teacher practice
–Collaborate, across cohorts and schools, to share best practices, give feedback and plan with other graduates
–Publish student and teacher learning for the rest of the BTR graduate network
–Innovate in the classroom and partner with a team of coaches to refine and push new teacher learning

  • Induction program
  • Professional learning communities
  • Active alumni network

The BTR graduate network is committed to learning together to drive improved outcomes for all students. Together we aim to pursue a life-long joy of learning, for both students and teachers in the city.

An Affordable Route into Teaching

To help with living expenses during their yearlong preparation, BTR provides a $12,500 stipend and eligibility for health care benefits.  Residents can also apply for financial aid through UMass Boston to supplement their stipend income. For those eligible, an AmeriCorps Education Award can be used toward master’s degree costs.  In addition, by honoring the three-year teaching commitment,  BTR program costs are waived for graduates.

  • Low-cost master's degree from UMass Boston
  • $12,500 stipend for living expenses
  • Access to additional financial aid
  • Health benefits
  • AmeriCorps Education Award
    for those eligible

At the end of the year, graduates earn a Massachusetts Initial Teacher License, a master’s degree in education from UMass Boston and credit toward a dual license in either Special Education (Teachers of Students with Moderate Disabilities) or English as a Second Language (which they complete the following year). More importantly, their continued commitment to the Boston Public Schools waives BTR program costs — for each year they teach in a BPS classroom, the program forgives one-third of their initial $10,000 loan.  Typically, AmeriCorps funding covers a stipend (it was $12,500 in 2015-16), an individual health insurance plan, and the Segal Educational Award (currently $5,730 toward costs at a qualified institution of higher education).  Every three years, AmeriCorps Programs re-apply for funding. BTR will apply for funding for the 2016-17 program and hopes to secure the same package as in previous years.

More on the BTR Impact

The BTR Impact

The specialized knowledge and support that BTR provides for new teachers is more than just the foundation for a successful career — it's a difference that benefits students, schools and communities throughout Boston.

75% of BTR graduates
hired by BPS are still teaching in BPS.

more on impact

“We’ve got to do a better job recruiting and preparing new teachers... that means creating alternate pathways to teaching
for talented young people by expanding programs like the one used in Boston, where aspiring teachers work side-by-side with effective mentors in a
year-long residency.”

-President Barack Obama
Madison, Wisconsin
November 4, 2009

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