"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, April 09, 2015

A Victim of the Memphis Teacher Residency (MTR) Writes

The Memphis Teacher Residency is the creepy Christan version of Relay's secularly-creepy one year teacher preparation indoctrination camp, whereby naive aspirants are exploited for their year's labor while paying for their exploitation at the same time.

Following a story published in the Christian Science Monitor, I posted this in 2013 in response.  Please have a look before reading on.

Today I received the following comment, which was submitted at "A Former KIPP Teacher Shares Her Story," which has now almost 50,000 visits.  It says all you need to know if you are thinking about entering teaching through the MTR portal to hell:
Thank you so much for writing about this and revealing the unrealistic expectations placed on urban educators. I had a VERY similar experience with Memphis Teacher Residency. I ended up leaving after only 6 months because I was suffering from depression and anxiety from the process. The school I worked in was simultaneously militant and chaotic. I hated who I had to be in order to be a "good teacher." I woke up every day thinking, "I want to do ANYTHING but this."And that is no way to live. But the brainwash (similar to the cultural indoctrination you speak of with KIPP) was powerful. A speaker at our MTR class one day literally said that if we quit it was because we were only doing the program for selfish reasons and we were not truly there for God. 

The worst part about MTR is that you are trapped financially. If you choose to end your residency year, you must repay the monthly living and housing stipend they provide. Even though you go through an intensive selection process to be chosen for the program and work nonstop while you're there, somehow you still owe them. I am now in debt at 23 years old. This financial burden doesn't seem to fit their Christian grace ideology too well.

Take caution when looking at these programs. Im glad to see a dialogue about these issues. Thank you for the platform to share.


  1. residency application help Said:
    I have learned a lot things from strangers about various topics! As a student, I got a lot of reading through this discussion. I hope students will get some help through this post. Thanks and keep posting things like this.

  2. Anonymous9:11 AM

    It is indeed a program from hell. Coaches not doing their jobs, laughing about the struggles of the residents, mentors who choose to belittle their students...this is anything but Christian.

  3. Anonymous10:23 AM

    Shop around. Just because MTR claims to be Christian based, there are mentors and coaches showing their true colors, and they are not the color of God. Beware that this could be the worst year you spend. In my opinion, it steers away many potential and effective teachers.