Become a Teacher, With Us
Focus: elementary literacy, mathematics, and special education. Supplemental coursework in science and social studies.
Focus: middle and high school mathematics and special education. Supplemental coursework in literacy in a math context.
Focus: middle and high school English Language Arts and special education. Emphasis on addressing common reading challenges.
Have questions about our program before you join? Here’s the place to get your answers, and other resources to help you along. Below are facts about our graduate program, cities we serve, and what it’s like to teach. Check back often, because we are growing rapidly, and there is always something new to learn.
1. What are a teacher’s responsibilities?
Teaching is a worthy profession, and involves complex work.
The most effective teachers:
- Give all students equal access to quality education.
- Provide life lessons as part of each day.
- Mold students into passionate lifelong learners.
- Prepare young scholars for a bright future ahead.
2. What qualities does an effective teacher have?
There are certain characteristics great teachers share that transform the classroom into a world full of curiosity and learning. Among these, we’ve found patience, passion, a sense of humor and resourcefulness to be the traits most often displayed by the best, most qualified teachers. But before you can teach, you must learn.
3. What makes a good fit for our program?
It takes both fit and grit. This means:
- You must be committed to teaching students in underserved communities.
- You must demonstrate leadership ability, perseverance and resilience.
- And, you must be at team-player, open to feedback and able to improve your practice.
4. Why get a Master’s in Education?
It’s all about elevating your work in the teaching profession.
- Urban Teachers’ one-of-a-kind curriculum, delivered by our higher education partner, prepares highly effective teachers who improve student outcomes in high-need schools.
- A Master’s Degree in Education enables a person to teach in the subject area of their choice, become a principal or administrator, work as a school counselor, or become a specialist in an area such as Special Education.
- A master’s degree in a general subject area leads to more opportunities for career advancement, and a higher pay scale overall.
5. Why is a rigorous program necessary?
Our program is rigorous, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! Why? because students deserve only the most prepared and effective teachers.
- Our four-year program places aspiring teachers in urban schools for a 14-month residency (that begins with a Summer Institute in June) prior to becoming a lead teacher.
- Your first year with us, you’ll co-teach with a host teacher during the day while attending graduate coursework in the evening, earning your Master of Science in Education degree from our higher education partner in two years.
- By the second year of our program, we’ll place you in a school as a full-time teacher with full-time pay, but you still have access to coaching and support through year three to assist you in developing an outstanding teaching practice.
6. Can I afford to become a teacher?
This program may be more affordable than you think.
- We provide a minimum $21,500 stipend during the first year of the program, in addition to covering the cost of American University’s healthcare, books and materials for the master’s program, plus, room and board for Summer Institute.
- Participants who enroll in our AmeriCorps program during their second and third years with Urban Teachers may be endorsed to receive the Segal Education Award, currently valued at $6,345, upon successful completion of each service year. These financial benefits are dependent on Congressional appropriations and Urban Teachers’ partnership with AmeriCorps. As such, the benefits are not guaranteed from year to year.
- Tuition is $45,000, paid over two years.
- You may be eligible to put prior student loans into deferment during the first two years of our program while you are in graduate school.
7. Will I make enough money once I graduate? What is my earning potential?
Teaching isn’t just about salary for those that enjoy the profession, but it’s good to know how you will make a living.
- Urban Teachers works with many school districts and charter management organizations that have some of the highest starting teacher pay in the nation, including pay for performance. This means that an effective teacher moves quickly move up the salary ladder.
- In the cities we serve, the average first year teacher makes about $50,000 a year (not including benefits) and those entering the profession with a Master’s in Education see an immediate boost in salary. Our teachers have six-figure earning potential!
8. What content areas can I teach in?
Urban Teachers currently offers three in-demand content-area specialties. Each program of study is two years, a total of 48 credits, and leads to two certifications (in your subject area and special education). Our Dallas-Fort Worth cohort receives additional coursework and a third certification in English as a Second Language (ESL).
- Elementary Education – elementary literacy, mathematics, and special education. Supplemental coursework in science and social studies.
- Secondary English – middle and high school English language arts and special education. Emphasis on common reading challenges.
- Secondary Math – middle and high school mathematics and special education. Supplemental coursework in literacy in a math context.
9. What if I don’t see a content area I am interested in?
All subject areas rely on a teacher knowing how to teach students how to read and write.
You get that at Urban Teachers. After getting certified in the third year of the program, you can add certifications in additional content areas by taking additional content tests. (ex. History, Biology). The Urban Teachers program sets you up for a great career in education.
10. Where will I work? Will you help me find a job?
Urban Teachers provides effective new teachers to four high-need cities: Baltimore, Dallas/Fort Worth, Philadelphia and Washington, DC.
- In each city, Urban Teachers works with many school districts and charter management organizations that have some of the highest teacher pay in the nation, including pay for performance. Participants can make a great living as an effective classroom teacher. Because of how our program is built into school models, we are able to offer school placement.
- Your second year in our program, you’ll have a job in one of our partner districts, where effective, experienced teachers can earn up to $100,000 per year.
11. Does Urban Teachers strive for education equity?
Our program recruits and prepares highly qualified teachers for the purpose of combating racial and socioeconomic inequality. We train highly effective teachers who are committed to teaching students in the districts that need them most and empowering every child through learning.
Each day, your classroom will fill with students who have different personalities, passions, senses of humor, and strengths. Teachers can shape the lives of children and young adults of varying ages and in a variety of learning stages. Urban Teachers believes every child deserves equal access to quality education, and we need motivated and highly skilled teachers to make our goal a reality.