Mississippi Department of Education offers teacher residency program

The Mississippi Teacher Residency is a selective student-teaching program that allows residents to student-teach for a full year while gaining their master’s degree.

The Mississippi Department of Education expanded an initiative to recruit, prepare, graduate, and retain an increasing number of academically talented and diverse teacher candidates.

The Mississippi Teacher Residency allows these candidates to enter and remain in the profession through a teacher residency program.

Erica Odom is a member of the MTR program through the University of Southern Mississippi and she is a student-teacher at Delisle Elementary. “This is a yearlong internship or like a yearlong interview, and not all student teachers get that experience, so I’m really grateful for that. I also get both sides of it so not only do I get to work with the great general-ed teacher, I also get to work with the special-ed teacher and see what she does, you know, how those two worlds merged, and it makes me feel more prepared to come into the classroom and actually do inclusion elementary which has an array of students.”

First grade teacher Melanie Flowers said, “Student teaching traditionally is only six weeks or twelve weeks long, so you don’t get to see the whole year, you just see a snippet, but with this program you see the first day of school all the way to the last day of school.”

Whether you are fresh out of college or you want to change your career completely, the MTR program makes sure that you’re more than qualified to live life in the classroom.

Odom began her college career majoring in psychology, but then ended up getting her degree in political science.

Now a single mom, she realized that she needed a career that she was passionate about and one that would also be stable and secure for her family. “I was in college a long time, and it’s never too late to switch gears. I think that it’s a great way to switch gears. You learn so much, so don’t feel discouraged. Going into education, they prep you so well through this program that it’s genuinely never too late. We have all ages in our program, and I think we’re all getting the same fruitful experience.”

Once Odom completes her residency, she will receive a master’s degree in elementary and special education.

The MTR application is officially live. If you are interested in applying visit mdek12.org/otl/mtr.

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