Intensive Coursework and Classroom Experience

At Urban Teachers, we believe that to erase racial and economic disparities in the classroom, underserved schools should be staffed by highly-effective, career teachers committed to students and community. That’s why we select the most talented individuals from a diverse pool of candidates and prepare them with intensive coursework and classroom experience. Once they become a teacher of record, we guide them with support and feedback through the crucial first years of teaching.

Ensuring Effectiveness

Rigorous Standards

The students we serve deserve excellent teachers who empower them through learning. That’s why we hold our residents and fellows to rigorous standards. We invite about 30 percent of applicants to join the Urban Teachers program. They must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in their graduate coursework. Throughout years one through three of the program, we closely monitor their work in the classroom, evaluating teaching practice, student gains, growth mindset and professionalism. Teachers must meet separate benchmarks to receive their master’s degree and teaching certifications.


“I joined Urban Teachers for its holistic approach to teacher preparation and development. Though rigorous, the residency year humbled my mind for learning, challenged my comfort zone for growing, and affirmed my passion for serving.”

Sinh N., UCLA, Montréal, Québec, Cohort 2016

Our Impact

At Urban Teachers, we seek to empower students through excellent teaching. We’re not working to build a political coalition or expand to every state. Our goal is to transform urban school systems by building a culture of accountability and continual improvement in specific high-need cities. We go deep, not broad. Today, we focus on schools in three areas — Baltimore, Washington, DC and Dallas / Fort Worth — creating a pipeline of highly effective teachers who are committed to their students, schools, and communities.


Our Results

We know that one of the most plaguing problems in urban schools is high teacher turnover. Teacher attrition destabilizes schools and prevents students from learning. That’s why we equip our graduates with comprehensive training, four years of classroom experience and three years of coaching and guidance. Our teachers have the skills and support to weather challenges. More than 78 percent of our first-year teachers are still teaching three years later.


Our Data

Urban Teachers accepts about 30 percent of applicants. We send only the best teachers into urban classrooms.

Eighty-six percent of participants agree or strongly agree that Urban Teachers provides them with the tools and skills to use student achievement data to improve student learning.

Fifty-two percent of our residents in Cohort 2017 are people of color. We are committed to increasing the percentage of teachers of color in our program. Studies show that having just one teacher of color can positively impact the academic performance of students of color for decades.

Nearly one-third of our residents in Cohort 2017 are the first person in their family to go to college. They know what it’s like to be trailblazers–and they’re prepared to help their students do the same.

A whopping 90 percent of our program participants say that Urban Teachers gave them the knowledge and skills to be effective in the classroom.

And 93 percent of host teachers believe their Urban Teachers resident is on track to be a highly effective teacher in the coming year.