Teacher Residency FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

General Program Questions

What are the goals of the Teacher Residency Program?

The Teacher Residency Program seeks to attract enthusiastic and talented individuals who want to teach and inspire students in The School District of Philadelphia. Specifically, we are focused on recruiting diverse candidates with a desire to teach in-demand content areas in middle and high school.

Who is the ideal candidate for the Teacher Residency Program?

There is no ideal candidate—the Teacher Residency Program is designed to support individuals who are passionate about becoming teachers in Philadelphia public schools and are committed to their growth as educators. Prior teaching experience is not necessary.

What is the time commitment for the teacher residency program?

In total, the resident-to-teacher experience is four years.

  • Year 1: Serve as a Teacher Resident with the support of a mentor teacher and aligned graduate-level coursework through residency partner. Teacher residents begin taking coursework with their residency partner in the summer. When the school year begins in the Fall, residents are placed in a District host school to work alongside a mentor teacher for the entire academic year while continuing their certification coursework. Teacher residents conclude both their residency placement and coursework the following June.
  • Years 2-4: Serve as a certified Teacher of Record (must successfully complete the residency year). All teacher residents commit to teaching in the District for three full academic years after completing their residency year.

Will I earn a Master’s Degree?

Residents may earn a Master’s Degree during their residency year depending on the residency partner they choose for their coursework. Residents should consult with their partner to learn more about Master’s programs and other possible add-on certification areas. Any costs associated with a Master’s Degree and/or additional certification areas are the responsibility of the resident.

Does the Teacher Residency Program prepare residents to teach all grade levels and content areas?

The Teacher Residency Program  is designed to meet the District’s most pressing teacher shortage areas in terms of both grade level and content area. The residency program prepares candidates for certification and to teach Math, Science, English Language Arts, Spanish and Special Education in grades 4-12. This means that we cannot accept candidates that are interested in teaching elementary grades, Social Studies, Art, Music, or Physical Education.

Can I choose the school where I’m placed as a resident?

No. Residents will be placed in a District host school based on the content area and grade level of their passing Praxis exam and the requirements of their certification program coursework. Upon completing the residency year, graduates are able to apply to teaching positions in their content area at any non-charter, non-special admissions School District of Philadelphia school. We currently have nearly 200 schools in the District that meet this criteria.

Application Questions

What are the minimum qualifications to apply?

  • Bachelor’s degree (conferred by July 2021)
  • Residency partner qualifications (varies by partner)
  • Desire to positively impact students

What is the admissions process?

Our admissions process is rolling and will be open until the 2021-22 cohort is filled, or until June 2021.

  • Select and apply to a residency partner
  • Prepare for and take Praxis content exam
  • Participate in partner selection process (varies)
  • Once admitted to partner program, complete SDP application and interview

Am I eligible to participate in the Teacher Residency Program if I am already teaching in SDP schools on an emergency certification or as a contracted teacher?

No. This program is designed to help first-time teachers become acclimated to the rigors of teachings. We cannot accept candidates who currently have or have held teacher certifications in other states, other content areas (Art, Music, Physical Education or Elementary) or on emergency certification.

Financial Questions

Is the teacher resident salary negotiable?

No. The teacher resident salary of $38, 611 is non-negotiable. Residents that successfully complete the program and move into a full-time teacher position after their residency year will see an increase in their salary that is commensurate with their education as listed here in our Teacher Salary Schedule. Teacher residents are full-time District employees and eligible for full benefits as outlined for PFT-represented employees here.

How is the $7,500 tuition stipend applied?

The tuition stipend is contingent on the successful participation and completion of the Teacher Residency Program. Residents will not receive a $7,500 check from the School District of Philadelphia, but will instead see their stipend applied on their tuition invoice from their residency partner.

What is the payroll schedule for teacher residents?

All salaried SDP employees receive a bi-weekly paycheck. To learn more about SDP payroll schedule, click here to visit the Office of Payroll’s website.

Testing Questions

Which Praxis exam do I need to take?

All teacher resident candidates must pass the Praxis content exam that corresponds with the grade level and subject area they hope to train in. Check out our Praxis Guide to see the specific exam you will need to successfully take. This requirement ensures that residents are on the pathway towards their Pennsylvania teaching certification.

Do I have to take my Praxis exam before I apply to the program?

No, but we highly suggest that prospective candidates take their Praxis content exam as soon as they determine their interest. The longer a candidate waits to take their exam, the more likely their chances decrease of securing a spot in the cohort. SDP cannot give any resident candidate an offer letter of employment without a passing Praxis content exam score.

I took the Praxis over 10 years ago. Are my old scores still valid?

In most cases no, but please check ETS Praxis website FAQs or contact them directly. Generally, SDP accepts scores that are within nine (9) years old and in the same content area.

Does the Teacher Residency Program cover the cost of the Praxis or other exams?

No. Outside of the $7,500 tuition stipend, residents are responsible for Praxis costs or any other required exams for certification.

Where can I find test preparation resources?

Test preparation guides and additional information about accessibility, registration and Praxis resources can be found at www.ets.org.

When and where is the Praxis exam offered?

Please visit www.ets.org to find Praxis test locations, online testing options, exam dates and times.

Didn’t see the the answer to your question? Reach out to us at teacherresidency@philasd.org.