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Career Partner: Boston Teacher Resident Caitlin Hollister

Caitlin Hollister '95 Boston Teacher Residency '05
Caitlin with her dog Mocha

"Far too many teaching programs make class room time minimal; BTR really puts it in the forefront… City Year
gave me the confidence to ask what I needed from
this experience and what my students need.”

Caitlin knew she wanted to take a year off between High School and college, and growing up in Boston she had seen the red jackets everywhere.  So Caitlin joined the inaugural team for City Year Chicago, during the 1994-1995 school year. Little did she know that City Year would be continuing to help guide her career a decade after her corps year. In 2004, Caitlin joined the Boston Teacher Residency (BTR), a Leadership After City Year (LACY) partner.

After her time at City Year Chicago, Caitlin was not initially inclined to pursue a career in the education field. Upon receiving her bachelor’s degree in History, however, she found herself at the Blue Hill Boys and Girls Club as Education Director for four years. She loved the experience but decided she wanted to transition to full-time teaching in order to work with a smaller number of children over the course of each school year. She was soon introduced to BTR which was just starting and seemed like it was the perfect fit for her.

Boston Teacher Residency is a City Year Career Partner to enable alumni in the education field to continue to make a difference in the classroom. BTR is a year-long program with a strong sense of teamwork between the cohort of teaching residents, according to Caitlin.  Her residency was very similar in some ways to her time at City Year.  The weeks were jam packed with four days of in-classroom student teaching and then coursework for her MA in Education on Fridays as well as in the evenings after school.  She used skills gained while at City Year, including taking initiative on projects, learning to work with different people effectively and approaching tasks as a team.

Both BTR and City Year taught Caitlin that in order to make things happen you have to go more than halfway and that you cannot give up if your goal is not met the first time. She learned lessons in the strength of perseverance and found that her type of work always needs to involve a dose of humility. She developed a commitment to working closely with colleagues and student families when making important decisions about how to meet students’ needs.

After her residency at BTR, Caitlin felt strongly prepared to lead a classroom. She suggests future applicants to BTR spend some time looking at a range of schools, because they are all so different. Today, Caitlin is teaching third grade at the Murphy School in Dorchester, the same school where she spent her residency. She is thankful to both City Year and BTR for helping to prepare her for a career in teaching.

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