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Teaching in New York City
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“The best part of being a student in New York is that we get to sit in a classroom full of students who come from all over the world. On my right, there is a student from India; on my left, there is a student from China; behind me, there is a student from Ireland; in front of me, there is a student from across the street. Having a diverse community seems like the best thing a school could possibly have and our school achieves that because of the diversity in NYC.” - Jimmy, high school senior. Student of Amy, 2004 Fellow

 

 

There’s a big opportunity to make a difference in New York City, with over 1.1 million students attending nearly 1,800 schools.

 

Each school across the five boroughs operates as its own unique, vibrant learning community – a true reflection of the diversity of New York City. NYC has the most varied student population in the world, with students in grades K-12 speaking more than 150 languages at home.

 

For the 2012 – 2013 school year, 71% of schools were eligible to receive Title 1 funds due to a high percentage of students from low-income families. Hundreds of schools remain persistently hard-to-staff, due to factors related to geography (e.g. difficult to reach by public transportation, nearby housing options perceived as less desirable) combined with shortage subject area needs.

 

Putting the Needs of Children First

The New York City Department of Education is committed to ensuring that all New York City students receive an excellent education and are prepared to succeed in college, in their careers, and in life. Children First is a Department of Education initiative that aims to improve New York City schools by finding the best and brightest educators to lead our schools and  providing school leaders and teachers with the tools to do their jobs well.

 

Gains have been made in student achievement in recent years, as evidenced by the following

  • The percentage of students graduating from NYC schools increased by nearly 20 percentage points (from 46.5 percent to 64.7 percent) between 2005 and 2012.
  • The dropout rate decreased by ten percentage points (from 21 percent to 11.4 percent) between 2005 and 2012.
  • The percentage of students proficient in math has increased 6 points and the percentage of students proficient in English has increased 4.5 points between 2010 and 2012.

As a new teacher joining the New York City Department of Education, you will play an important role in fostering continued success in the classroom.

 

Raising the Bar

To successfully prepare all students – including students with disabilities and English language learners – for life after high school, teachers need to create demanding learning experiences in their classrooms every day.

Students need to think creatively, solve problems, make effective arguments, and engage in debates in order to thrive in a rapidly changing world. New York City has transitioned to a new set of learning standards designed to prepare all students for success in college and careers.

 

The Common Core Learning Standards challenge students to take on more rigorous and engaging work. For example:

  • In literacy, instead of just reading stories and writing about their own experiences, students will read and analyze challenging nonfiction texts – such as President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address or a recent analysis of global warming trends – and then write opinions and arguments in response.
  • In math, instead of solving straightforward problems with only one right answer, students will get the chance to solve challenging "real-world" problems from fields like engineering or statistics.

The Common Core standards provide a powerful opportunity to develop students’ critical thinking skills and push them to become lifelong learners.

 

A Focus on Quality STEM Education

Excellent STEM instruction – referring to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics - is critical to preparing New York City’s students for 21st century college and careers.  

 

New York City is an exciting and dynamic place to be a STEM teacher, with an unparalleled breadth of STEM-focused programs across schools, ranging from science research to computer science to the health professions. Theme-based schools (including the High-School for Health Sciences, the Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment, and the New Explorations into Science, Technology, and Math High School) prepare students for 21st century science and math careers.

 

NYC is also home to some of the world’s leading science and math institutions, including the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Mathematics, the New York Hall of Science, the Bronx Zoo, and leading research and technical universities. STEM is a key driver of New York City's economy, and the opening of new, cutting-edge STEM organizations (including Cornell University's new NYC Tech campus, the city's "Silicon Alley" technology companies, and the NYC DOE's innovative STEM-focused schools) are indicative of the opportunities that STEM teachers have to be at the cutting edge of their fields in both content and pedagogy.

 

Fellow Lauren, a middle school science teacher, participates in the Urban Advantage middle school science investigation program, a joint collaboration of the American Museum of Natural History, the New York City Department of Education, and seven other leading NYC STEM institutions. View a video of her speaking about her experiences here.

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Hear from current Fellows about why they love teaching New York City.