SCSD Partnership with NYU Helps Promote Excellent Teaching

     Published on 5/7/18   Tagged under:    District News    Ed Smith    Grant Middle School    Huntington K-8 School    Westside Academy at Blodgett   

This is a photo of a NYU Fellow working with Westside Academy students.With the goal of creating a pipeline of committed urban educators, 15 future SCSD teachers are currently earning their Master’s degree while working in our schools. The embedded Master of Arts Teacher Residency Program (EMAT) program, in partnership with New York University, is currently in year one at Ed Smith, Grant, Huntington and Westside Academy at Blodgett.

The program creates an opportunity for student residents to earn their graduate degree through online coursework and immersion in an SCSD school. Residents are partnered with an experienced teacher in their SCSD building as a day-to-day mentor, and NYU Steinhardt faculty are available to support and mentor residents throughout the year as well.
 
“This program is beneficial for both me and my students,” Grant resident Justin Canfield explained. “For me, I am able to learn from a veteran teacher mentor and slowly ease into the teacher role as the year goes on. This is great because it lets me take things at my own pace so I am never uncomfortable with my role or responsibilities.  It also allows me to try new lesson plans or delivery and get instant feedback from my mentor and other staff.”
 
Through the residency program, residents combine a year of full-time experience in a classroom with rigorous graduate coursework. Over the course of a year, they complete 12 online learning modules – each focused on a different topic and acting as its own class. Module topics range from Special Education to teaching to incorporate English Language Learners and more. Through these modules, residents read articles, post their thoughts in a forum for discussion and even take part in weekly meetings via Skype.
 
Residents say the immersion into a SCSD school, though, is the most beneficial aspect of the program’s teacher preparation.
 
“Coming in and knowing I’m going to be here for at least a year makes it easier to become accustomed to the school and the students I’m working with,” Westside Academy at Blodgett resident Andrew Roney said. “That’s something you won’t get from a traditional student teaching program. I know people who have four-year degrees in education who are jealous that I have this experience. But you really can learn just as much in one year actually doing it as you do reading about it for four years!”

The daily classroom experience has helped the residents develop confidence in their teaching abilities.
 
“I’m a whole different teacher than I was the first couple of months,” Mr. Roney added. “Nothing compares to actually being in a school for months on end. I’ve learned how to handle the everyday struggle of classroom management – that’s not something you can read about. You can’t prepare for being in front of a class by reading a book!”
 
Upon completing the Residency program and the corresponding student teaching experience, residents commit to three years of teaching in the SCSD.
 
“The NYU-SCSD Residency Partnership is off to a wonderful start,” SCSD Director of Recruitment and Selection Scott Persampieri said. “We launched this partnership as a way of ensuring that we have a pipeline to teacher candidates who are familiar with the rewards and challenges of teaching in an urban setting, thereby improving retention. By the time they fully complete their respective residencies, our residents will have spent a full year teaching in our schools and establishing relationships with our students. This provides a greater level of confidence in terms of our ability to retain these staff for the long term.”
 
Cohort 1 residents are currently working in Ed Smith, Grant, Huntington and Westside Academy at Blodgett. In the 2018-19 school year, the SCSD plans to hire a similar number of residents, with the hope of eventually expanding the program to additional schools. Thank you to NYU-Steinhardt for collaborating with us on this great initiative! 

To learn more about the program, click here for some details and FAQs.