Every year, the New York City Department of Education hires approximately 6,500 new educators and tens of thousands of students begin each school year with a first-year educator leading the classroom. We know from experience that new educators face challenges.
From day one, new educators are expected to meet the needs of increasingly diverse classrooms, but inadequate preparation and poorly designed field experiences fail to equip educators with the skills or know-how to manage this diversity. It is no wonder that so many of us struggle.
Unfortunately, on-the-job professional development does not address new educators’ skill deficits. While we are inundated with development opportunities, too often they do not apply to our unique needs and are out of reach due to structural barriers.
What if our teacher prep program recruited more future teachers of color and prepared us for our diverse student body? What if each of us had access to professional development aligned to our needs? In the end, public education will be stronger when our educators are prepared on day one and have the ongoing support they need to support all of our students.
Increase Educator Workforce Diversity
- The New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) should substantially invest in the diversification of New York’s teaching workforce.
Grow Teacher Residencies
- The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) should make recruiting and hiring candidates who participate in yearlong teacher residencies a significant source of educator talent.
Require Preparation Program Transparency
- The New York State Education Department (NYSED) should publicize teacher preparation program outcome data annually.
Improve Professional Development Quality and Alignment
- The New York State Education Department (NYSED) and New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) should ensure that professional development is high-quality and aligned with students’ needs, teacher professional growth plans, and schoolwide Comprehensive Education Plans.
Increase Accessibility and Equitable Funding for Professional Development
- The New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) should ensure that all educators have access to the professional development opportunities and the new leadership positions outlined in the 2018 United Federation of Teachers contract.
About the Teacher Action Team
Thank you to all our colleagues, New York City public school teachers, who shared their experiences and opinions on how best to prepare and develop excellent educators. The challenges and successes we encounter every day shaped our recommendations.
To create meaningful recommendations, our team engaged over 1,000 city educators through focus groups and more than 700 through surveys, examined case studies and research from across the country, and consulted with over a dozen experts and stakeholders. We believe these solutions will have a significant and immediate impact in ensuring every teacher is prepared for the classroom on day one and beyond.