Memphis Teacher Residency (MTR) believes reform starts with the teacher. A teacher is the key to a child’s future for they can have the most positive impact on a child’s life, other than a parent. They also believe teachers are professionals that should be trained as such.
A commitment to recruiting, training, and retaining future urban educators has made MTR the number one program in the entire state of Tennessee in Teacher Preparation Effectiveness. As a member of the Urban Teacher Residency United network, MTR is a program that offers a Masters in Urban Education and is based on the residency model adapted from the medical profession. This model focuses on preparing a new kind of teacher from inside the classroom.
In a city like Memphis where more than half of all children live in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty and change schools at least once a year, both attributes to under-performance, MTR sees its calling to change the lives of these children by providing them with teachers who have been given practical, hands-on experience and a support network to be effective right away.
Roughly 50 percent of all urban public school teachers leave within the first three years. Conversely, Urban Teacher Residency grads have a retention rate of 85 percent beyond those first three critical years. With fourth graders growing up in low-income communities testing three grade levels behind peers in high-income areas, increasing teacher retention through a solid urban education foundation can save districts millions of dollars and greatly improve Memphis urban school children’s opportunities in the future.
The transformation doesn’t stop there. MTR believes change occurs from within communities and not simply schools. They merge the best of urban education reform with the best of Christian Community Development by identifying and partnering with specific neighborhoods to promote a community-wide and child-based strategy for change.
Learn more about Memphis Teacher Residency at the 2013 National Conference in NOLA!
MTR staff Leslie Garotte and a MTR teacher will be sharing their organization’s commitment and experiences at this year’s National Conference in their workshop titled “A Gospel-Centered Response to Urban Education Reform.” They will showcase practical ways that Christians around the country are using CCD methods to work both within and beside urban public school systems and their communities. This is one of a series of ministry stories we will be sharing to highlight workshops at this year’s National Conference. View workshop descriptions and schedule on our website.