University of Pennsylvania Independent School Teaching Residency Program (ISTR)
at Thayer Academy

Middle School Arts Faculty Destiny Palmer with students

Thayer Academy is a member of a small consortium of day schools in the University of Pennsylvania’s Independent School Teaching Residency Program (ISTR). This program provides an innovative curriculum taught by a combination of Penn’s Graduate School of Education faculty and senior administrators from cohort schools and is designed to attract and train some of the most promising aspiring teachers.

Program Information

Thayer Academy hires ISTR fellows for a two-year position in a range of academic disciplines in our Middle and Upper School. At Thayer, ISTR fellows: 

  • Enjoy the professional support of both academic and administrative mentors. Mentors offer periodic observation, regular meetings, and professional development opportunities in a collaborative setting.
  • Teach a modified teaching schedule (typically teaching two sections in year 1 and three sections in year 2).
  • Engage in many aspects of campus life, including coaching, advising and supporting student activities, clubs or organizations.
  • Join other new faculty in regular programming and training for all new faculty and staff on campus as well.  
  • Participate in the graduate education component of the program (please visit the Penn site for more information) which includes: (1) online work with the cohort of Penn ISTR fellows; (2) one week of an on-site program at Penn each summer; and (3) three weekends of programming throughout the academic year at one of the consortium schools with faculty from Penn and partner schools.  
  • Receive a salary, rent-free campus (or near-campus) housing, majority tuition contribution by Thayer. 

Degree Offered

Thayer Academy ISTR teaching fellows pursue a two-year Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.) at Penn during their tenure.  

Hiring Process

Fellows for the 2023-24 academic year have been selected. Applications for the 2024-25 academic year will open in Winter 2024.

For questions about the ISTR fellow program at Thayer, please contact Peter Brooks, Assistant Head of School for Academics, at