Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Good Education Schools

I blast ed schools in general, but there are a few good programs – the one with which I’m most familiar is the Relay Graduate School of Education. Here’s one of my readers on another program:

I wanted to respond to your following comment:

"An op ed in the NYT calling (as I have for years) for a VASTLY different and better system for hiring, training (our ed schools are beyond abysmal), mentoring, and evaluating teachers. We do this so well for other professions, so why not teaching?!?!"

NYU Steinhardt and the Great Oaks Foundation have developed a unique collaboration to develop a teacher residency program aimed at developing a new human capital pipeline for the City of Newark's public schools - district and charter.  While Steinhardt continues to operate some traditional teacher training programs, there are a few residency-based programs that, I think, will improve the quality and effectiveness of the teachers who graduate from the program.  Much of the debate focuses on teacher evaluations, and there seems to be little discussion about what happens prior to that - teacher development.  

As an initial gateway into our program, residents in the NYU-GO Teacher Residency must first be accepted into the Great Oaks Charter School Tutor Corps, modeled after the MATCH School in Boston.  This gateway to entry ensures that our teacher residents have gone through a rigorous and selective vetting process, in addition to having to meet the academic requirements of NYU.  The residents receive their practical training at the Great Oaks Charter School in Newark by working as tutors five days a week.  They are responsible for a small group of students with whom they build relationships, monitor academic progress, analyze assessment data, facilitate enrichment activities, and complete a number of other tasks.  As the residency director and their professor of record, I am imbedded in the school where I am able to mentor and coach the residents daily, and also work closely with the teachers and administration to support their instructional and curricular needs.  This year-long  tutor corps experience is a powerful opportunity to provide these aspiring teachers with a year of intensive and practical experience.  After they successfully complete the first year of the residency, which includes successful completion of their tutoring experience, we provide job placement support in Newark.  Their coaching and mentoring support continues during Year 1 of teaching with a full-year of weekly in-class support from me, or another coach, along with coursework aimed at helping them master practical teacher moves and skills.  You can read more about this residency program here: http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/teachlearn/english/residency/teacher_residency

Because of my TFA, North Star Academy, Teacher U/Relay experiences, what I am doing with this residency probably looks very different from a typical ed school program.  The Steinhardt Dean, the faculty, and other administrators have embraced this program and are invested in its success.  So, I wanted you to know that at least one ed school has acknowledged that we need to do something different about developing teachers and is attempting change.

Ayanna Taylor
Master Teacher/NYU-Great Oaks Teacher Residency Director
Department of Teaching and Learning
East Building
239 Greene Street, Room 4011
New York, New York 1003

 Subscribe in a reader