College Helps New Teachers Stay In the Classroom
the Teacher’s College New Teachers Institute (TCNTI) was founded
four years ago it served only 20 teachers in District 32 in Bushwick,
Brooklyn. This year, the program that contributed to raising the
teacher return rate in that district from 40 percent to 90 percent,
will work with over 200 teachers in six different sites.
TCNTI, a program unique to the Columbia University Teachers College,
in response to the growing number of new teachers whom did not
return for a second year.
It seeks to support new and early career teachers by engaging
them in an intensive year-long
program focusing on leadership, standards and literacy.
teachers are very idealistic,” said Katharine Unger, director
of the New Teachers Institute who developed the program and initiated
the program’s collaboration with District 32. “Once reality hits
this is where we lose them.”
According to the Institute, 22 percent of all new teachers leave
teaching within three years, while 50 percent of teachers leave
urban districts during their first five years of service. All
this is taking place at a time when 2.2 million more teachers
will be needed nationallly over the next four years.
the moment we have an awesome crisis. If we want to build up the
capacity of our schools, and especially our public schools, we
have to support our new teachers,” said Unger.
challenges facing NYC [do not just exist] around the country,
but across the world,” said Unger citing that the Phillipines
and the Bahamas share the same problems.
These two locations are only two of the six new sites that TCNTI
will work with this year. Others include District 5 in Harlem,
Stamford, CT, and Philadelphia, PA.
Representatives from all of the locations gathered in New York
last month for an “intensive immersion,” a two-day crash course
introducing them to TCNTI. Program facilitators for each location,
who will work with TCNTI and perspective teachers, were assigned.
take the model and customize it to the culture of their school,”
The model seeks to uphold TCNTI’s primary objective: “to enable
participants to become effective teachers and leaders, and provide
them with the support, knowledge and networks they need to stay
TCNTI seeks to achieve its objectives through hosting a minimum
of 15 seminars on-site with professionals from TC. Seminars focus
on a variety of topics, including community building in the classroom
and beyond, lesson planning, classroom management, discipline,
standards for new teachers, conflict resolution, and multiple
In addition, participating teachers benefit from an intensive
mentoring program, where they are paired up with veteran teachers
in their schools, mentors from TC, and a vast array of TCNTI alumni.
Teachers also participate in a day-long workshops and have access
to professional development opportunities offered through the
Center for Educational Outreach and Innovation at Teachers College.
Upon completing the year-long program, teachers remain connected
to TCNTI and its objectives through an elaborate technological
network. This interactive website, which is still under works,
will provide teachers with live chats with experts and useful
resources for teachers.
experience in Brooklyn and now Harlem proves we have developed
a focused program that strikes a nerve with new teachers,” said
Unger. “It is so important to provide these young teachers with
the support they need as they face issues and problems that they
could not have possibly been prepared for in college.”
According to Unger, TCNTI welcomes the expansion, that has taken
place, while having a specific vision in mind: “How do we expand
and move forward with integrity and quality.”
TCNTI, housed in The Center for Education Outreach and Innovation,
gets support from several partner foundations, including Revson
Foundation, Lowenstein Foundation, Starr Foundation, JP Morgan
Charitable Trust, and the Clark Foundation.
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