“They don’t know what to aim for. They don’t know that their dreams can be that big. So part of what you do is tell them, “YES, dream big. And then we will help you get there.” – Julie, 2008 special education Fellow
The New York City Teaching Fellows program is preparing a critical mass of exceptional teachers committed to a better future for the NYC students who need them most.
Great teaching isn’t easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight. Our teachers believe in the power of practice. Fellows engage in rigorous practice so that they hit the ground running on day one, and they have the passion to continue improving for years to come.
Our teachers understand that teaching our students is a privilege, and a tremendous responsibility. They believe that every lesson has the power to inspire, every hour in the classroom is precious, and every student has the potential to succeed.
Our teachers go where they are needed the most - they teach in urban neighborhoods, where too many children have fallen behind and are struggling to catch up. They understand the challenges of growing up in a low-income community, and work tirelessly to provide their students with the educational opportunities available to students from wealthier backgrounds.
More than 9,000 Teaching Fellows are currently teaching in New York City public schools. Together they are demonstrating the transformative power of great teaching – and proving what’s possible in public education.
Our training is profoundly simple: focused practice on fundamental skills to prepare new teachers for a strong start with their students.
Each great teacher is unique, but all do certain basic things well. Our training hones those essential skills to ensure all Teaching Fellows are consistently effective.
Intensive Classroom Practice: Where many teacher preparation programs leave little time for hands-on skill-building and practice, our innovative training is centered around real teaching and practice of core skills, such as creating a positive classroom culture and delivering content clearly. Fellows train like pro athletes, with ample opportunity to practice, reflect, and improve, until essential teaching techniques become second nature.
Expert Coaching: Teachers can only improve if they know what they can be doing better. Throughout training, our expert coaches provide constructive feedback to help Fellows quickly grow into effective teachers. All coaches are experienced NYC teachers with a strong record of success. They visit Fellows’ classrooms regularly, observe Fellows teaching, and provide in-the-moment feedback that helps them improve in real time. Afterwards, Fellows and coaches discuss concrete strategies to apply in future lessons so that Fellows’ students are engaged in rigorous instruction every day.
Personalized Training: We set clear expectations and continually assess Fellows’ progress, identifying areas of growth and customizing support to address those needs. Whether a Fellow is struggling with lesson planning or striving to improve their classroom management skills, we tailor our support and training to help them get up to speed quickly.
Our teachers are committed to excellence – from their students and from themselves.
Great teachers have a significant and lasting impact on students’ lives, and students grappling with the challenges of poverty need great teachers most. That’s why our program is highly selective. In order to ensure that only teachers capable of delivering game-changing results are given the privilege of working with New York City students, standards for acceptance to the Fellows program are rigorous. Over the past five years, only 12% of applicants have been accepted to the Fellows program.
Fellows are intelligent and creative teachers who think outside the box to inspire their students. Fellows Anthony and Georgina seek inspiration from the world around them and bring that to their classrooms every day. Anthony, a 2005 Fellow, spent a summer working one-on-one in a university laboratory with one of his sophomores to complete a cell biology experiment that was shared at a conference. Georgina, a former forest ranger and 2002 Fellow, had her science classes design, build, and present hurricane-proof shelters as part of a lesson on ecology after Hurricane Sandy.
Teachers who start strong are more likely to remain successful over time. We hold high standards for completion of pre-service training, and not everyone meets them. By setting a high bar and supporting rapid growth, we ensure that all Teaching Fellows enter the classroom ready to be successful and make a lifetime of difference for the students who need them most.
Fellows achieve dramatic results because they are committed to having a long-term impact in their schools. Over half of all Fellows teach for five years or more, and now represent 12% of the teaching force in New York City public schools.
Our City, Our Schools
Our teachers are committed to filling critical needs for New York City schools.
Low-income communities in NYC, particularly outlying neighborhoods in Brooklyn and the Bronx, struggle to attract and retain talented teachers. These are the communities where effective teaching is most critical, where students are not receiving the education they deserve. Our teachers seek out positions in these communities, knowing that their dedication has the potential to make a profound impact.
Fellows teach in the classrooms and neighborhoods that need them the most. That includes teaching shortage subject areas such as math and science, teaching students with special needs and English Language Learners, and teaching in high-poverty communities in New York City.
Fellows ensure that students have the solid foundation in science and math needed to train for prestigious jobs as doctors, statisticians, computer programmers, and accountants. They lead the charge for students with disabilities, and work with new immigrants and other non-native English speakers to strengthen students’ content knowledge while they build their social and academic English skills. Fellows hold high expectations for every student, so that the students have the tools to reach their goals.