Apply Now Application Deadline October 21st, 2020

Recruiting And Training A Different Kind Of Teacher.

What We Are & What We Believe

What is Project Inspire Teacher Residency?

Project Inspire Teacher Residency is a 14-month clinical teacher prep program that trains non-education majors to become impactful teachers for the highest-need schools in Hamilton County.

Students deserve highly-effective and compelling teachers.

Project Inspire graduates view failure as a step toward success,  make their students feel understood and cared for, and bring energy and joy to the classroom. 

Students deserve teachers who are able to do their best work. 

You will work with your mentor teacher to deliver lessons that excite you and engage your students. With your attention focused on students, the professors at Lee University and the Project Inspire staff will guide you down the path to your graduate degree and licensure. 

Students deserve teachers who want to make a difference.

Graduates are hired in clusters so that they push each other to greater heights and have an in-house support system. As this network of educators grows, so does your impact.

Every student deserves a great teacher - regardless of their zip code. 

Why a residency program?

Earn a Master's Degree + teaching license in 14 months

Full year apprenticeship with a great teacher

Residents learn with each other and from each other

Ongoing support and leadership development, with additional support throughout the four years of your commitment

Receive a living stipend throughout the entire residency

Live in Chattanooga - a progressive, smart, outdoor city

More than one way to make a


Support the future of hamilton county.

When you support teachers, you change the lives of children who will change the world.

Make an Impact. Donate to Project Inspire.

  • Go to
  • Scroll to the middle of the webpage, and click Donate to PEF Today.
  • Enjoy the feeling of contributing to the future of Hamilton County!

Calling All Majors

You don’t need a bachelor’s degree in education to teach!

Here’s what we look for in a Project Inspire resident.


  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75

  • Four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university

  • Commitment to teach 4 years in a Hamilton County high-need school

  • US Citizenship or permanent residency



Download the expanded details
Submit resume, unofficial college transcripts, and references
Interview with the Project Inspire staff and attend Selection Weekend

Why Chattanooga?

choose to invest in a city that…

Choose to invest in a city where the "can-do" attitude of its citizens helped remake Chattanooga from an industrial hub to the best mid-sized city in America. Rivers and mountains make it the perfect outdoor playground while gigabit internet speeds brought the tech infrastructure and innovation to support both big business and startups alike. Urban education is Chattanooga's next challenge and full of opportunity; will you join us?

Be Inspired: Meet Our Residents

  • Chandler Davenport

    "I’m excited to work with my CI to create a curriculum that’s representative of the students in our classroom. It’s really important for me to able to say “you belong here” through the things I’m teaching. I’m also looking forward to developing the leadership styles of my students. Most people have a very traditional view of leadership but I want to teach my students that they can each be a leader with the skills they already have."

    Chandler Davenport,
    Project Inspire graduate, History teacher at The Howard School
  • Jordan Simon

    "I'm ready to get pushed outside of my comfort zone. Because I know that when I leave that space, that's where I will see the most growth. And when I am growing, there's a large likelihood that my kids will have the opportunity to grow along with me. When that happens, even the stars seem to be within our grasp."

    Jordan Simon,
    Project Inspire graduate, Math teacher at Tyner High School
  • Jonathan Brown

    "When I was looking at what I wanted to do after my undergraduate degree I was looking for a program that would allow me to have an impact while at the same time be impacted myself.  I saw that there was a big need for me as a black man in Chattanooga due to the lack of representation at the elementary level for men of color, and this push for an equitable education. The thing that cemented my decision was the family mentality, from the moment I met Castwell at my school to today I feel as if I am part of a family who pushes and motivates each other to make sure that we are moving towards our greatest potential."

    Jonathan Brown,
    Project Inspire graduate, First Grade Teacher at Orchard Knob Elementary School
  • Olivia Kane

    "Ever since I began considering a career in teaching, I knew I wanted to teach in a high-need setting. I believe strongly in the power of education to pull people and communities out of poverty. I knew that Project Inspire would provide me the support and mentorship to become an effective and confident teacher, as well as a more self-aware person in general. My work as an educator will continue long after my five years with Project Inspire, and I felt - and feel now - that PI will set me on the path to being an influential educator and leader in all areas of my life."

    Olivia Kane,
    Project Inspire graduate, Chemistry Teacher at The Howard High School
  • Amanda Davidson

    "The year long residency, the ability to learn and grow with my students while having so much support is what brought me here. I had so many teachers growing up that inspired me and encouraged all my interests and that is what I want to be for my current and future students. Students in every school deserve to know they can do anything, that their interests are worth pursuing, and there are people all over to support them."

    Amanda Davidson,
    Project Inspire graduate, Elementary Teacher at Hardy Elementary School
  • Ethan Schubert

    "I know that I was always meant to work with teens in one form or another. I’ve spent time as a high school athletic trainer, youth mentor at church, and a camp counselor. In everything I did, the best interactions and relationships I built were while I taught those around me. It was in this that I found my calling as a teacher because in everything I did, it allowed me the best opportunity to positively effect these people’s lives."

    Ethan Schubert,
    Project Inspire graduate, Chemistry Teacher at Brainerd High School

What will your impact be?

When Anthony Zermeno stepped into the classroom on the first day of his residency year, he was terrified. “I felt chills going down my back. But I really believe that fear was an indication that I was exactly where I needed to be.”


Now in his fourth year of teaching, Zermeno sees himself being committed to his school and students long term. Of the teachers who have graduated from Project Inspire, approximately 70% are still teaching.

You can be the teacher students in Hamilton County deserve.

Start your application today!

Our Partners

  • Public Education Foundation
  • Americorps
  • Hamilton County Tennessee Schools
  • National Center for Teacher Residencies
  • Lee University