March 1, 2019

Educators for Excellence-New York Teachers Reimagine Teacher Development

March 1 (New York) — Educators for Excellence-New York (E4E-New York), a teacher-led organization, released “Ready for Day One and Beyond,” an educator-written policy paper that reimagines how teachers are prepared to enter New York City classrooms and their continuing professional development. 
 
“Our team rejected the commonly accepted idea that every educator faces a really rough first year in the classroom and sought solutions that ensure that all educators can be ready on day one of their career,” said Valerie Green-Thomas, an E4E-New York member and middle school teacher at MS 390, South Bronx. “My colleagues and I wrote these recommendations based on the day-to-day experiences of city educators like me who want the opportunity to grow as professionals and gain skills to better serve our students.” 
 
Written by 23 current New York City educators and informed by the input of over 3,000 city teachers through surveys and focus groups, “Ready for Day One and Beyond” recommendations include: 

  • Increasing educator workforce diversity so that it better reflects the diversity of our student population;
  • Growing teacher residencies that provide new educators experience in the types of schools they will work in upon graduation; 
  • Tailoring professional development to teacher and student need; and
  • Ensuring all city educators have access to development and leadership opportunities. 

The full policy paper can be found at e4e.org/oneandbeyond.
 
“Educators continually seek out opportunities to improve their practice, but it is by no means an easy search,” said Paula L. White, Executive Director of E4E-New York. “Sifting through the seemingly endless options for trainings that meet their students’ needs is a daunting task for a busy teacher, and when teachers finally find the right fit, they often cannot afford the cost or to take time off work. Policymakers should listen to the educators demanding better and more affordable professional development - they just want to be the educators our students deserve. These recommendations, by educators and for educators, will equip educators with the tools they need to serve all of their kids.” 

Voices from the Classroom, a representative national survey of teachers with an oversample in New York City, found that teacher development was a major issue for city educators:

New York City educators feel poorly prepared when entering the classroom

  • Only 29 percent reported that they were “very well” prepared to provide rigorous academic instruction when they first entered the classroom - five points below the national average.

New York City educators seek more professional development to meet the needs of the modern classroom 

  • Forty-three percent want additional development in supporting unique learners (e.g., students with disabilities and multilingual learners) - four points above the national average
  • Thirty-five percent want additional support providing culturally responsive pedagogy - a method of teaching that incorporates students’ backgrounds - 20 points higher than the national average. 

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