Putting Down Roots: How Memphis Teacher Residency Made Me Want To Stay

**Guest Post by Shelby Poindexter**

Ohio. California. Alabama. Portugal. Hawaii. Virginia. Pennsylvania. Tennessee.

I have had the privilege to see so many places and experience so many different kinds of schools over the course of my upbringing. Being the daughter of an Officer in the Air Force afforded me the chance to see all of these places before I even turned 25. Throughout the myriad of schools I have attended, I developed a love for learning that blossomed into a love for teaching. From playing teacher with my sisters in kindergarten, to tutoring elementary students in high school, teaching has been a major life goal—and by concentrating on education during my senior year in high school, receiving a BSEd in Secondary Education during undergrad, and finally majoring in Urban Education in grad school through the renowned Memphis Teacher Residency (MTR), I’ve reached more milestones with each step that I’ve taken. 

My decision to come to Memphis was one wrought with fear and anxiety. Before now, I never had much say in where I lived, and finishing undergrad was the first time I found myself in control of my future. With so many options in a market desperate for teachers, I was left with many questions about what was next. Everything clicked into place the moment I learned about MTR. I had always felt drawn to venture out on my own and to the pursuit of equitable education throughout my undergraduate experience, so MTR was the perfect fit.

Once I decided, things moved rapidly. I applied the same night I learned about MTR, heard back within the week, and went through the interview process at what felt like breakneck speed. It felt as if I’d blinked and I had moved to Memphis where I made new friends, met my awesome boyfriend, and began learning how to better serve my future students with teaching strategies that I had never implemented before. Throughout that process, I felt continually reaffirmed in my decision with every staff member, professor, and graduate student that I met. Each interaction felt like a hug, and sometimes ended in one! 

I graduated from Union University through MTR in May of 2019. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to develop not only as a person and teacher, but as a part of a growing community. Moving every two years doesn’t lend well to fostering strong relationships, but MTR has given me that opportunity for, perhaps, the first time in my life. My love for MTR continues to be sustained and fostered through the strong village of educators they have created. As a new Memphian, MTR gave me a community that nurtures its people in and beyond the classroom.

If reading this has impassioned you to consider teaching as a career, MTR is hosting a one-hour virtual event for you to learn about them and the work they do.

  • What: MTR Virtual Preview Day
  • When: Friday, January 15 @ 2:15PM
  • Register here by Wednesday, January 13

If you can’t attend the virtual session, use MTR’s official website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to see what they are all about.

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