“At the end of the day, there's no class that can teach somebody how to teach. You have to go out there and do it. The Fellows provides you with that opportunity… It's perfect for people who are go-getters, people who want to do good and do it well.” – 2012 Fellow
The New York City Teaching Fellows program’s training is designed to transform talented professionals into great teachers through a sharp focus on core teaching skills and techniques. Rather than overwhelming Fellows with training that is a mile wide but an inch deep, we focus first on mastery of foundational teaching skills. These foundational skills are hallmarks of effective teaching, and are characteristic of effective teaching in every classroom, regardless of grade level, content area, or instructional setting.
NYCTF’s pre-service training is full-time Monday through Friday from mid-June through early August. Fellows receive a stipend to offset cost-of-living expenses during training.
The Power of Practice
We value practice as the primary means to develop. Fellows are trained like professional athletes, with ample opportunity to practice, reflect and improve, until essential teaching techniques become second nature. Our pre-service training curriculum draws from the practices of highly effective teachers, and focuses on teaching techniques that are used by great teachers every day to help students make significant academic gains.
A Culture of Feedback
Just as Fellows hold high expectations for students, we hold exceptionally high expectations for performance and expect to see significant improvement throughout training. Fellows have the courage to give and receive critical feedback, because it will help them to improve much faster than trying to figure it out alone.
Fellows can’t improve if they don’t know what they could be doing better. Whether struggling with lesson planning or striving to improve classroom management skills, pre-service training staff focus their expertise on helping Fellows quickly get up to speed in that area. This rich feedback and personalized support helps Fellows grow quickly into amazing teachers.
High Expectations for Fellows
Fellows are held to the highest performance standards during pre-service training because their students are counting on teachers capable of delivering game-changing results. Every Fellow who completes training has reached a level of proficiency in the foundational teaching skills, meaning that they enter the classroom on day one ready to lead their students to exceptional success.
Summer School Teaching
The heart of training is the time that Fellows spend teaching in NYC public school classrooms. Fellows are placed in the classroom of a Cooperating Teacher, and they get the opportunity to start making a difference with students immediately. Fellows are planning lessons, delivering content, and helping their students learn all summer under the guidance and support of their Coach, Cooperating Teacher, and co-Fellow.
Throughout the pre-service training, experienced Coaches serve as the most critical line of support as Fellows apply lessons from skill-building sessions with students in their summer school classrooms. Each Fellow is paired with a Coach who is an experienced NYC teacher with a track record of raising achievement in urban classrooms.
Our Coaches regularly observe Fellows in the classroom, providing real-time, individualized feedback to dramatically improve their teaching. Coaches model teaching techniques for Fellows in classrooms with students, and cue Fellows actively during their teaching to support real time improvement. After class, Fellows and Coaches debrief and discuss concrete strategies for success in future lessons. Coaches also pull Fellows into targeted responsive coaching sessions to address their highest-priority development needs so that they are on track to become excellent teachers.
Fellow Advisory Sessions
Instructors are experts in their content area, maximizing Fellows’ potential to succeed. During sessions, instructors model teaching strategies, providing Fellows with exemplars of what it looks like to effectively apply various teaching techniques in the subject area and context they will be teaching in the fall.
Fellows learn what to do at the beginning, middle, and end of a lesson, how to greet students at the door so they enter ready and excited for class each day, and how to listen and understand if their students are really learning what they are trying to teach them.
“Because my Coach watches me in the classroom, and we work together one-on-one, I really feel like I have improved significantly over this short period of field experience. She provides specific moments in the classroom where I could've done things differently, and where I did things well. She understands completely the realities of the summer school classroom, and gives great advice for handling both the real and perceived barriers students encounter.” - 2013 Teaching Fellow
The Spring Classroom Apprenticeship
A small group of Fellows spend an additional ten weeks in NYC public school classrooms before starting pre-service training as part of the Spring Classroom Apprenticeship. They are paired with an expert Cooperating Teacher and spend the spring practicing lesson planning, classroom management, and building relationships with students.
Spring Classroom Apprenticeship Fellows are clustered in neighborhoods and subject areas facing shortages of high-quality teachers, and students benefit from the support of an additional teacher in the classroom. A stipend of $6,000 is available to offset cost-of-living expenses during this time. Click here to learn more about the Spring Classroom Apprenticeship.
Fellows create a culture of constant learning and excitement from the moment they step into their classrooms. They take advantage of the many supports and resources available to them from other Fellows, their schools, their university programs, and NYC, and work tirelessly to find the tools that will benefit their students the most.
“It is a wonderful gift to know that I am a part of a fellowship that continues to help me develop in and out of the classroom. I am doing more today than I ever thought possible, the opportunities in teaching through the NYC Teaching Fellows Program are endless, and that is why I am proud to be a part of this organization.” – Marilyn Rodriguez, 2006 Fellow