Teaching in Baltimore
What does a typical day look like?
Typically, school days are about 7 hours long; however, class schedule and length of the school day and year may vary from school to school. Teachers also spend time outside the classroom preparing lessons and grading students' work. Residents will attend professional development sessions or faculty meetings after school hours, in addition to completing their certification coursework. A teacher's first year is incredibly intense, regardless of his or her background or preparation. Residents should be prepared to work long hours.
Once I am a full time teacher, will I teach over the summer?
Residents will participate in an intensive summer training program before entering their classrooms for the first time. Review the BCTR Summer Program section for more details. Once you are a full time teacher, you will not be required to teach over the summer. Many teachers elect to teach summer school, although the number of positions is limited.
What part of Baltimore will I be teaching in?
Baltimore City Teaching Residents will work in high-need schools, typically with records of low academic achievement. While the program staff considers a candidate's geographic and school preferences when possible, the needs of the school and the candidate's subject area eligibility are given priority during the district hiring process. Ultimately, we want to place teachers where they are needed most within the city, regardless of neighborhood.
How safe are the schools?
We believe our schools are safe. We encourage concerned candidates to visit the areas in which they may teach during a regular school day to determine their own level of comfort with the environment.
I am interested in teaching Special Education, but I'm nervous about that type of job. What does it really mean to teach special education?
Special education is designed around the concept of individualizing curriculum to provide greater support for certain students. One of the most exciting aspects of a position in special education is the opportunity to be both advocate and teacher. While Special Education teachers are primarily responsible for academic goals, they also work to develop a positive school environment for students with special needs. The best way to get a sense of what it means to teach in a special education class is to talk to a teacher or visit a classroom. More information about supporting students with special needs will be available during the summer training and through TNTP Academy.
How long is the commitment?
We hope that Residents will commit to a lifetime career in education. The goal of the Baltimore City Teaching Residency is to add to the existing network of dedicated teachers in City Schools who are passionate about educational equity and ready to work actively to achieve results in their classrooms on a daily basis. We also hope that outstanding individuals who enter the teaching profession through the Residency program will continue their career as educators in Baltimore, fulfilling our shared mission of closing the achievement gap for years to come. However, participants in our program who complete all requirements and submit the associated documentation in a timely manner can expect to be professionally certified in two years.
Why should I become part of the Baltimore City Teaching Residency?
Your knowledge and experience can help ensure that every child in Baltimore has access to a high quality education. We know that there is an achievement gap in this city and in our nation, and we know that high-quality teachers are the single most important factor in raising student achievement. As a Resident, you will join a network of like-minded professionals dedicated to closing the achievement gap and making a difference.
What does "alternative certification" mean?
As an alternate route program, the Residency program accelerates the process of bringing new teachers to the classrooms that need them the most. Rather than completing a traditional teacher education program prior to entering the classroom, Residents engage in a short but intensive summer training program and complete further coursework while they teach full time, earning a full time salary. Review the certification page of this website for more information.
Will I receive certification?
Candidates who successfully complete their summer training will be granted a Resident Teacher Certificate (RTC) by the Maryland State Department of Education. The RTC was created to allow outstanding individuals with no previous education coursework the opportunity to teach while taking BCTR certification coursework to achieve a Standard Professional Certificate. Resident Teachers will enroll in the TNTP Academy’sTeaching for Results Seminars and Big Ideas and Great Teaching in Literacy Seminars as part of the requirements for Standard Professional Certification. Final evaluation at the conclusion of a Resident's first year in the classroom will be required for the Resident to be eligible for professional certification. This evaluation takes into account student outcomes, principal evaluation, and completion of TNTP Academy requirements. Assuming a satisfactory outcome on the final evaluation and timely submission of supporting documentation, Residents can expect to receive a Standard Professional Certificate in two years, upon expiration of the Resident Teacher Certificate.
What exams will I need to take before Training?
All Residents must pass the Praxis I or produce MD satisfactory scores on the SAT, GRE, or ACT. In addition to this requirement, all Residents must also pass the content portion of Praxis II before they can begin teaching in their assigned content area. Although applicants do not have to take the tests prior to applying to BCTR, we strongly recommend registering for the tests through Educational Testing Services as soon as possible. For more information about this requirement, please visit our Testing Requirements page.
Can I receive a waiver or exemption from the subject area exam, based on undergraduate coursework or professional experience?
No, all Residents must take and pass the Praxis II Content Knowledge exam before the start of their training.
How much will my certification courses cost?
Please see the Program Costs section of the website for more detailed information, but the anticipated TNTP Academy cost for the 2012-2013 school year is $6100. Special Educators will pay an additional $1500 for their coursework during the 2013-2014 school year.
What type of person is a good candidate for the Baltimore City Teaching Residency?
There is no one profile for an ideal BCTR candidate; Residents come from a wide range of backgrounds and bring to the program a diverse set of talents and skills. Strong candidates are those who are committed to having a positive effect on student achievement, who display excellence in their previous endeavors, and who are dedicated to reaching and influencing students-especially those in under-resourced areas-on a daily basis.
How do I know if I am eligible for the Baltimore City Teaching Residency?
Applicants to the Residency program should review the requirements laid out on the Eligibility page of this website.
Am I eligible if I have no prior teaching experience or prior coursework in education?
Yes. Individuals without prior teaching experience or coursework in education are eligible for the program and encouraged to apply. The Residency program is specifically designed to attract high-quality applicants from diverse backgrounds into the teaching profession.
Are individuals who have substituted in Baltimore eligible for the program?
Anyone who has worked as a full-time, licensed teacher is not eligible for this program. However, individuals who hold or have worked under substitute licenses are eligible to apply. For more details, visit the eligibility section of this website.
Why aren't licensed teachers eligible to apply, and what should they do to start teaching in Baltimore?The Baltimore City Teaching Residency program is specifically designed to provide training and alternative certification to individuals who have had limited or no education coursework or experience. There are other paths to employment for licensed teachers and individuals who have completed teacher education programs. For more information on employment for licensed teachers, please click here to visit the district's application website.
Why am I not eligible to apply if I have more than 21 credits in education related coursework?
As an alternative certification program, the Baltimore City Teaching Residency is designed for those with limited coursework in education. Those with more than 21 credits in Education coursework have already completed the equivalent of a minor in education, giving them significant experience in the field. An individual with this number of credits may be able to complete their certification at an institution of higher education in a manner that holds lower financial implication and a more expedited pathway. These individuals should contact the state or district where they would like to teach and speak with a certification specialist regarding what would be required to obtain certification.
What if I don't have a 2.75 GPA?
Individuals must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher in their undergraduate coursework from an accredited college or university. This GPA requirement is dictated by the Maryland State Department of Education and is non-negotiable. Please review the Eligibility section for more information on our eligibility requirements before applying.
Do I need to be a resident of Baltimore to apply?
No. You do not need to be a resident of Baltimore to apply. This program is open to all qualified, determined candidates with the skills and ambitions to make a difference in the lives of students who live in Baltimore. Visit the Living in Baltimore section of this website for more information on the area.
How do I apply to become a Resident?
An application consists of a complete online application form, a current resume, responses to application questions, and proof of payment for the application fee. After reading through this website thoroughly to learn more about the program requirements and benefits, visit the Apply Now section of the website for details and to apply today.
Can I include letters of recommendation with my application?
No. Because of the sheer number of applications we receive, we are unable to consider documents or materials other than those required for a complete application (application form, resume, and application questions). Materials that are not required will be discarded. However, we do ask for references on the application, which we may contact to receive further insight on our applicants.
Do I need to send transcripts with my application?
Please do NOT send your transcripts to the BCTR office. Candidates invited to interview will be asked to bring unofficial or official copies of transcripts to the interview. You should also note that official transcripts are not required with the initial application for the Baltimore City Teaching Residency. However, acceptance into the Residency program for those candidates extended offers is contingent upon our receipt of 2 official transcripts from each institution attended. Residents cannot begin training until these transcripts have been received.
What happens after I submit my application?
Every application is reviewed for completeness, eligibility, and potential for success as a Resident. You will receive an email notification of your application status within three weeks of our receipt of your complete application.
What happens during an interview event?
The interview represents one of the most important elements of the application process, offering candidates a chance to demonstrate their strengths and commitment to making a difference in Baltimore's neediest schools. Candidates will be placed in groups of up to ten, along with one to two interviewers. An interview event consists of both a group session and an individual interview. Each candidate will be asked to teach a five-minute lesson to the larger group, participate in a group discussion, write about a specific educational scenario, and engage in a one-on-one interview with an interviewer. At the event, candidates have the chance to meet other potential Residents and to gain a deeper perspective on the program. More information about the interview event will be provided upon invitation.
When and where do interviews take place?
All interviews are conducted in person in Baltimore. Interview events are held on weekends, and each candidate will be given the opportunity to sign up for an interview event that is most convenient for him/her. We encourage candidates to apply early, as this may allow more opportunities to select a convenient interview event date.
Do I have to interview in Baltimore?
Yes. We understand that it can be an investment of time and money for our out-of-town candidates to travel here to Baltimore to interview; however, candidates invited to interview must attend one of our interview events in order to continue the application process. Interview events are comprehensive and designed to enable you to demonstrate your commitment to closing the achievement gap and your potential to become an excellent teacher through a variety of methods. They are also your chance to meet other potential Residents. Therefore, this is not something that we can re-create by telephone or by other means.
How can I get more information?
To hear former Residents talk about their work and experience closing the achievement gap, please watch the video on this page.
Admission and Enrollment
I applied to BCTR but wasn't accepted. Can I appeal the decision on my application?
No. Unfortunately we do not have the capacity to grant appeals. However, we encourage applicants to re-apply to the next available cohort.
Can I defer acceptance into the program?
No. Once accepted, you may not defer acceptance into the Residency as the needs of the district vary year to year.
Can I re-apply to the program next year if I am not accepted?
Yes, but in order to be considered, you must be able to demonstrate improvements in your candidacy since your previous application. The process for applicants who are re-applying is no different than that for applicants applying for the first time. Because the needs of the school system change from year to year, even those applicants who were admitted to the program in a previous year and declined our offer of admission or withdrew from the program must re-apply to begin teaching the following year.
I meet all of the BCTR eligibility requirements. Why wasn't I accepted?
The BCTR program is highly selective, with many more eligible applicants than we have positions available in the program. Our eligibility requirements are only the minimum qualifications necessary to be considered for the program, and meeting them in no way guarantees an applicant acceptance. Neither is an achievement or experience, including prior teaching experience, sufficient to guarantee acceptance.
When does the program actually begin?
Summer Institute typically begins in late June and goes through July. Upon successful completion of training, Residents will enter the classroom at the start of the school year.
Your Teaching Position
What will I be teaching?
Candidates to the Residency program are accepted to teach specific subjects. The subject that you are accepted to teach is based on the staffing needs of the schools, your eligibility, and, where possible, your subject area preferences. Your eligibility is determined according to strict district and state regulations. Residents are needed to teach in subjects where Baltimore students are currently most in need of strong teachers.
How do I know what subject I am qualified to teach?
What you are qualified to teach largely depends on your academic history and your successful passing of the appropriate content exam. Generally speaking, to be qualified to teach a subject, you must have a strong academic background in the field, and you must pass the corresponding Praxis II Content Knowledge test. Please visit the Eligibility section for more detailed information. Candidates will receive more specific direction on what tests they are required to take with their invitation to interview.
Where will I be teaching?
Residents will teach in high-need schools-often with less resources and greater need for strong teachers. While Residents themselves drive the district hiring process, it is the mission of the Baltimore City Teaching Residency program to staff schools in high-need areas. All candidates should be prepared to teach wherever they are most needed and can have the greatest impact on student achievement.
How does the process of securing a position work?
District hiring is coordinated through our program office; our program staff work closely with district staff in the Office of Human Capital and principals on identifying schools that need teachers. Candidates will have the opportunity to express their subject area and geographical preferences, but the district hiring process is driven primarily by district and school needs. Residents must be extremely flexible about their teaching positions.
Can I choose where I will teach?
The Baltimore City Teaching Residency program facilitates parts of the Residents' hiring process, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the Resident to present him/herself as a compelling candidate for hire and the decision of the school and district to hire a Resident to teach at a particular school.
When will I know where I will be teaching?
Residents will be actively engaged in the hiring process from spring through the beginning of the school year. Identifying and finalizing a specific teaching job is a challenging process, as there are many variables involved in predicting job openings at the school level. You will receive more information about this process if you are accepted into the Residency program.
Can I change my teaching position after I have started teaching?
Tenure rules dictate that new teachers remain at the school where they were originally hired and commit to positive change in your school for a minimum of three years.
Will there be other Resident teachers at my school?
The Residency program works with schools to cluster teachers in the same school or neighborhood where possible. However, district hiring is due in large part to district need and the location of un-staffed positions; for this reason, we ask Residents to be extremely flexible about their teaching assignment.
Training and Resources
Once I become a Resident, how will I be prepared for the classroom?
Residents will complete an intensive summer training program that includes observation and practice teaching in a Baltimore summer school classroom, daily sessions led by experienced teachers focused on the practical aspects of teaching and issues faced by teachers in high-need schools, literacy classes, and additional coursework related to the foundation of strong teaching practices. (Attendance at all components of Summer Institute is mandatory.) Training continues during the school year, as Residents participate in professional development seminars and literacy coursework.
How intensive is the Pre-service training?
The BCTR Pre-Service training concentrates a great deal of training into only a few weeks; thus, training is extremely demanding. Due to the critical part that this portion of training plays in preparing Residents to be successful in the classroom, Residents cannot miss any portion of the Pre-service training.
How long is Pre-Service Training?
The Summer Pre-Service Training for Residents is a full-time, six week commitment.
Will I be paid for the summer training?
Residents will not be paid for training. We encourage Residents to take appropriate measures to ensure their financial well-being during this time. Participants go on the district payroll when they begin teaching. Please review the Teaching in Baltimore City section of this website for more information.
How will I be evaluated during training?
The practice of receiving and responding to regular feedback is critical to growing as a professional educator; the BCTR values a culture of feedback to ensure that our teachers are as prepared as possible to raise student achievement in Baltimore. Just as you will hold your students to high standards, you will be held to high standards during pre-service training, and you will be expected to be a reflective practitioner in order to demonstrate your growth as a teacher. During summer training, Residents are formally evaluated to assess their readiness for the classroom. These evaluations are based on observations of a Resident's practice teaching, demonstrated mastery of the curriculum and its principles, and fulfillment of program expectations. Residents must successfully complete summer training in order to be hired by Baltimore City Public Schools.
How are Residents evaluated once they are in the classroom?
Residents have access to several resources once they enter the classroom and are evaluated frequently to ensure that they are effectively teaching their students. Like all teachers, Residents will be formally and informally evaluated by their principals or assistant principals. In their first year, each Resident is assigned a mentor from his/her school who can model and coach pedagogical methods. Residents meet regularly with their mentors to receive and discuss feedback on their performance in the classroom. Final evaluation at the conclusion of a Resident's first year in the classroom will be required in order for the Resident to be eligible for certification. This evaluation takes into account student outcomes, principal evaluation, and completion of TNTP Academy program requirements.
What kind of ongoing resources and connections are available to Residents?
Residents often look to develop their most basic, ongoing support network at their schools and from their cohort of Residents. Although every situation is different, Residents should collaborate with and access resources from other teachers at their school, district instructional specialists, assistant principals, principals, or a grade- or subject-level team. Moreover, training events facilitate connections among Residents who often teach the same subjects areas. Residents may take advantage of district and school-sponsored professional development programs. The BCTR office also makes Residents aware of professional development and networking opportunities throughout the year and publishes a regular newsletter. New Residents can draw on their connections with other Residents and district teachers as a resource for planning, reflection, and shared encouragement as they strive for excellence in their individual classrooms.
Compensation and Benefits
What is the starting salary for Residents?
Residents become salaried employees of City Schools on the first day that all teachers report back to their school. The starting salary for Residents is the same as that for all other beginning teachers in Baltimore City Public Schools. For the 2011-2012 school year, the starting salary for first-year teachers was $46,744 for 10 months.
What employment benefits do Residents receive?
Residents are eligible for the same benefits as all other district teachers, including health insurance and a pension plan. For more information about benefits, please visit the Teaching in Baltimore page of this website.