Our residency year is an intensive 14-month preparation process for all tracks. Residents should expect to devote 60 plus hours each week to the combined roles of classroom teacher and full-time graduate student. On a good day, the schedule can be demanding. On a challenging day, you’ll find yourself juggling priorities – like exam prep and a lesson plan to design. During the residency year, you should expect that there will be little free time outside the demands of the program.
The Residency Year:
- Graduate coursework: Monday – Friday (at least 18 credit hours)
- The RTR Forum, offering in-depth orientation, structure and support for residents’ upcoming year as co-teachers, residents, and cohort colleagues. Topics range from constructing a district specific lesson plan to presenting a professional image to communicating with parents to building trust between cohort members. This series continues throughout the year on a monthly basis.
- Co-teaching alongside a Clinical Resident Coach.
- Graduate coursework: At least 2 late afternoon classes a week and Fridays (9-12 credit hours)
- Solo or co-teaching
- Graduate seminars: At least 1 late-afternoon class and Fridays (9-12 credit hours)
The Nuances of the RTR Year
The RTR program allows residents to be steeped in theory and to experience teaching from various vantage points during the year. Here is a brief snapshot of some of these nuances:
Summer – This is a period of intense preparation as residents are immersed in the theory behind teaching and urban education.
End of summer – The focus shifts from theory to the classroom as the resident and Clinical Resident Coach (CRC) plan for the return of students.
Fall – From the first day in the school district, residents take an active and supportive role in the classroom, from taking attendance, to assisting students, to developing lesson plans, to co-teaching, and finally to solo teaching – all while the resident is continuing to delve deeper into the theory underlying high- needs schools and content-area teaching.
Winter – Incrementally, the resident is assuming greater classroom responsibility to prepare for solo teaching. In late winter, residents shifts into solo teaching for at least a month without the CRC in the classroom. At the same time, residents are completing final degree requirements for VCU.
Spring to end of school year – Residents return to co-teaching with the CRC to prepare students for the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) tests and to bring closure to the school year. In May, residents graduate from VCU. In June, residents wrap-up the year-long co-teaching experience following the end of the year teacher work days.