About the Richmond Teacher Residency

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Richmond Teacher Residency (RTR) was created to meet the challenges distinct to urban school systems. Through a partnership between Richmond Public Schools (RPS) and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), RTR seeks to level the playing field for Richmond students by preparing teachers to meet the unique demands of the urban classroom.

"Schools isolated by poverty and race are associated with lower graduation rates, high rates of teacher turnover, inadequate facilities and resources, and significantly lower academic achievement." --Civil Rights Project out of the University of California-Los Angeles

RTR seeks to lift up the students of Richmond Public Schools, by teaching for change. It is more than a saying. It is our credo. And our practice.

Why RTR?

The idea is simple

Attract the top content-area experts in the nation and equip them with the knowledge, skills and experience to be effective in an urban classroom.

RTR is different

RTR is an intensive, school-based teacher preparation program that integrates a research-supported approach to effective urban teaching with real-world classroom placement under the mentorship of an exemplary Richmond Public School (RPS) teacher.

We start with candidates of all ages who are graduates of leading colleges and universities and who a hold a bachelor’s degree (or higher) and a 3.0 GPA (or higher).  More than academic expertise, however, successful candidates also bring a true passion for social justice—for making a difference through education, one student at a time.

Residents make a four-year commitment that includes the residency year plus three additional years of service teaching in an RPS classroom.

During the demanding residency year, our cohorts learn together, completing a concentrated program of graduate study to earn a Master of Teaching (MT) degree or a Master of Education (M.Ed) degree through the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education, while also spending 4 to 5 days each week co-teaching in an RPS classroom–all under the guidance of our RTR team, RPS mentor teachers, and university faculty.

We provide a generous stipend for the residency year and successful residents are given priority hiring status by Richmond Public Schools for full-time teaching positions. To date, RTR has a 100% placement rate with RPS.

We don’t write off students

Because we value Richmond Public School students, RTR is an intensive preparation process for an intensive career. There is no getting around it.  The hours are long. The work is unrelenting.  The reward must be earned. But, if you’re serious about equity education — about changing lives, about changing communities, about changing the outcome for every student — then Richmond Teacher Residency is where you want to be.

And neither does our community

Our Donors include:

  • Altria Foundation
  • Mr. Jim Ukrop
  • Robins Foundation
  • Virginia Department of Education
  • US Department of Education

Our Community Partners include:

  • Main Street Realty
  • The Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce
  • The Greater Richmond Chamber Foundation
  • Venture Richmond