Skip to navigation menu

Skip to main content

Teachers College Community School (TCCS)
Teachers College, Columbia University
teachers college logo columbia univertsity logo


Teachers at the Teachers College Community School are employees of the New York City Department of Education, selected by the school in consultation with Teachers College. The hiring process identifies excellent educators whose experiences and skills are consistent with the mission of the school to provide a dynamic and inclusive learning environment that nourishes children's academic, social, emotional and physical well-being.

There are no job vacancies at the moment. Please check back in the spring of 2016 for updates on open positions and application procedures.


  • Reach for the Stars, TCCS Students Are Told by a Guy Who's Come Close

    By Patricia Lamiell

    Mike Massimino was six years old when he watched the live coverage of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. He decided right then to become an astronaut, but his journey to space took years of hard mental and physical preparation, with some wrenching setbacks along the way. 

    "If there's something you want to do, you've got to stick with it and keep trying," Massimino told students at Teachers College Community Schoolwhen he stopped by for a chat on Jan. 24.      

    Getting an astronaut to come to your school requires a few connections, and TCCS definitely has them. Massimino is currently on loan from NASA teaching at Columbia University's Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, where he earned his bachelor's degree. He was invited to TCCS by parents Christine Kovich and Sam Sia, co-founders of Harlem BioSpace, a biotech incubator near the school. Sia is also a Columbia faculty member in biomedical engineering, and Kovich started the BioSpace project HYPOTHEkids, a nonprofit that teaches science at TCCS and runs the school's science after-school program. 

    TCCS, located in Harlem on Morningside Avenue near 126th Street, is a non-selective, public neighborhood school that provides an excellent education based on the most up-to-date educational research available through its affiliation with Teachers College. Comprehensive educational services, such as psychological evaluations and counseling and after-school science classes, are provided by Columbia University.

    Massimino told the packed room of students, teachers and parents about the tough challenges he faced along his own career path. After graduating from Columbia, Massimino earned master's and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering at MIT, worked in private business and won two patents, and did a lot of extra studying and strenuous physical conditioning to prepare for his NASA tryout. He was rejected three times before being selected on his fourth try as an astronaut candidate in 1996. 

    That was only the beginning of years of additional preparation for two space missions -- the second of which, to service the Hubble Space Telescope in 2009, included a spacewalk that loosely inspired the recent film Gravity. Wearing a 200-pound space suit with protective helmet and thick gloves and floating weightlessly in pitch-black outer space, Massimino had trouble removing a handrail from the Telescope in order to repair a piece of equipment. The first tool he used didn't work, then a second one failed, until finally, he yanked the handrail off and proceeded with the repair.

    In the Q&A session following his talk, Massimino emphasized that being an astronaut was difficult but fun.    

    One by one, children ages five through seven -- two wearing astronaut uniforms -- filed up to the front of the room to ask questions that reflected their enchantment, excitement and a little awe.

    How fast does the space ship go?

    "You go very, very fast in the space ship -- really, really fast. You go from zero to 17,000 miles per hour. You need all that speed to get up into space."

    What was your favorite space food and your least favorite space food?  

    "Favorite -- ravioli. Least favorite -- ice cream, because it's not really ice cream."

    What does the earth look like from the shuttle? 

     "It's the most beautiful thing I have ever seen."

    What's the future of space exploration?

    "Tourists and private companies -- not just NASA -- want to go to space now. I would hope that when you're old enough to be an astronaut, there will be lots of opportunities."

    Do you think humans will live on another planet?

    "Yes, I do. I think humans might someday live on the Moon or Mars, or another planet."

    How many stars are there?


    How has being an astronaut changed your life?

    "It's taught me that you may have to work a lot and stick with it, but dreams do come true."
  • The Chancellor Pays a Call

    The Chancellor Pays a Call

    Published in NYC Schools

    Dennis Walcott visits Teachers College Community School as part of the city's pre-k registration drive

    By Patricia Lamiell

    The visitor who seated himself cross-legged on the floor during story time in Carissa Sinanan's pre-kindergarten class at Teachers College Community School yesterday clearly had some pre-k experience. When Sinanan's reading selection, "A Sick Day for Amos McGee," prompted a discussion of the relative benefits of handkerchiefs and tissues, he patted his suit pockets in search of a handkerchief but instead produced a white tissue.

    "This is what a tissue can do," he said, tearing it at one corner. 

    Earlier this year, the visitor -- Dennis Walcott, Chancellor of New York City's public schools, who is indeed a former preschool teacher -- and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg  said the city would invest $20 million to add 4,000 full-day, pre-kindergarten seats in its neediest neighborhoods. Walcott visited TCCS and other schools this week to encourage parents to register their children for new pre-Kindergarten seats before the April 5 deadline. After leaving TCCS, he went to a DOE registration site nearby, where volunteers called families and passed out flyers in the neighborhood, encouraging them to register any child for pre-k who turns four by December 31 of this year. 

    TCCS Principal Jeanene Worrell-Breeden said Walcott chose to highlight her school because, unlike other schools in Harlem, TCCS -- which has consolidated 36 half-day pre-k seats to 18 full-day seats -- has been over-subscribed with pre-K applications. "Our school was in great demand," Worrell-Breeden said. "Most parents want full-day." 

    TCCS, which opened in its permanent home on Morningside Avenue in Harlem last September, is a joint venture of Teachers College and the New York City Department of Education. TCCS is a "university-assisted school," which means it will benefit from a full range of resources provided by Teachers College and Columbia University, including an afterschool program, programs in physical education, nutrition and health, and other health and social services.
  • They Have a Dream, Too

    They Have a Dream, Too

    N’Deye M’Baye and Trinity Faulkner, two first-grade students at Teachers  College Community School (TCCS), were semifinalists in a recent nationwide art contest celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  

    N’Deye and Trinity were among a group of New York City elementary student semifinalists who were recognized at an awards ceremony on Saturday, January 26 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Their teachers, friends, family, and school administrators were there to cheer them on.

    “This is so exciting and wonderful for these students and our school” said Sara Malekzadeh, who teaches art at TCCS.

    The projects of both TCCS students focused on the issue of littering. N’Deye’s multimedia effort was titled “My Dream is to Help the World Be a Better Place by Stopping Littering.” Trinity’s collage, done with oil pastels and textured materials, was titled “I Dream that All the Garbage…”

    “I came up with the idea for my artwork because there is so much littering in my community, wrote N’Deye, who is six years old, in her artist’s statement. “My dream is for my community to stop littering. I see people throwing trash on the sidewalk and on the streets. People should throw their trash in the trash cans.

    “Dr. King had his own dream. His dream was for everyone to be free and equal and for the world to be a better place. He used his words not his fists. I hope people will stop littering so our world can be a better and cleaner place.”

    Trinity, who is also six, wrote, “Sometimes when I go outside it is stinky because there is so much garbage on the ground and that makes me sad. Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech has taught me that we need to make the world a better place. I learned that if we start a community that cares about the world that will follow to other people. Dr. King was a loving and caring person and I want to be too.”

    The co-presenter and curator of THE DREAM@50 Art Contest is Karz Productions, which created the critically acclaimed documentary feature, Legacy: Black and White in America, the third film in The Millennium Dinners documentary series.

    TCCS is a public, university-assisted school for pre-K through eighth grade, run by the New York City Department of Education and formally affiliated with Teachers College. The school admitted its first class – a group of kindergarten students in fall 2011 – and this past fall moved into a permanent facility at 168 Morningside Avenue and West 126th Street. Designed with community input, the school integrates delivery of services for children and families in order to optimize educational opportunities and achievement.
  • TCCS Grand Opening

    TCCS celebrates its new home, cheered on by the community and a cast of dignitaries 

    By Joe Levine

    “Good afternoon, everyone. I want to welcome you to the Teachers College Community School’s permanent home. Thank you!”

    Following those words from Principal Jeanene Worrell-Breeden, an audience of more than 300 parents, teachers, neighborhood residents, city and state dignitaries, and members of the Teachers College and Columbia University communities filled the TCCS auditorium with cheers and loud applause.

    TCCS, a public university-assisted PreK-through-8 school run by the New York City Department of Education and formally affiliated with TC, admitted its first class – a group of kindergarten students – last year in a temporary facility. The school was designed in collaboration with neighborhood residents and fulfills a pledge made by Columbia University, as a part of the Community Benefits Agreement it signed in undertaking an expansion into the Manhattanville area of Harlem, to create a community school. The school's vision also integrates delivery of services for children and families in order to optimize educational opportunities and achievement. 

    Now serving 125 students in pre-k, kindergarten and first grade, and with plans to add one additional grade per year, TCCS is operating in a refurbished building located at 168 Morningside Avenue at West 126th Street.

    For Worrell-Breeden, the new home is simply the icing on the cake.

    “I’ve been quoted on numerous occasions saying that this is the school of my dreams, and it may sound a little like a cliche, but there a million reasons why I feel, as any administrator would, that this is really the school of any administrator’s dreams,” she said, beaming. She proceeded to enumerate several of the most important ones, including her team of “fantastic and dedicated teachers,” the school’s parent community, and the support TCCS has received from Teachers College’s faculty and students.

    TC President Susan Fuhrman also spoke of hopes achieved.

    “When I took on the presidency of the world’s oldest, largest and best school of education, I had several dreams,” said Fuhrman, who spearheaded the launch of a university-assisted neighborhood public school in West Philadelphia while serving as Dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. “Today marks the realization of one of them. This is a dream become reality – a university-supported public school that will offer unparalleled education for the children of our community.” 

    Fuhrman extended a special welcome to “those of you who are in many ways the most important guests here” – the TCCS parents and students – and added, “It’s for you that we have worked to make this happen, but it’s only with you that we were able to do so. Our vision was to create a university-assisted public school that serves children in the surrounding area, where the college and the community together would develop a high-quality education program, and where, as a stakeholder in our community and as a neighbor, we would share responsibility for students’ educational outcomes.” TCCS – the centerpiece of the College’s Partnership Schools Consortium, which supports a number of Harlem public schools with similar education services – is the embodiment of that vision, Fuhrman said, “an example of what can be achieved through a close university-public school affiliation.” She added, to cheers, “Can you imagine the improvement we would see in public education in America if every university worked in concert with local schools and communities?” 

    Fuhrman acknowledged many people and organizations who helped to make the creation of TCCS possible, including: the Reverend Georgiette Morgan-Thomas, Chair of Manhattan Community Board 9; Kofi Boateng, Executive Director of the West Harlem Local Development Corporation Manhattan; Donald Notice, Executive Director of West Harlem Group Assistance; New York City Councilman Robert Jackson, who chairs the Council’s Education Committee; Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (represented at the event by Deputy Borough President Rosemonde Pierre-Louis); New York State Board of Regents Chancellor (and TC alumna) Merryl Tisch; New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott; Columbia University President Lee Bollinger; and Worrell-Breeden, whom she praised as “an intrepid, passionate, educator.”

    Fuhrman reserved special praise for Nancy Streim, TC’s Associate Vice President of School and Community Partnerships. “Nancy has truly been a driving force behind this school. While everyone here today contributed hugely to this effort, without Nancy it would never have happened.” 

    After offering her own round of thank yous, Streim said that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” and then introduced a special video about the school, titled “A Model for the Nation.” When the video concluded with Principal Worrell-Breeden saying, “We did it!” as children are seen dancing in the school’s new gym, the room again rocked with applause.

    The message that came through most clearly from the other speakers was that TCCS does indeed represent a genuine community partnership.

    “TCCS illustrates for us the value of collaboration and it represents a triumph of partnership among Community Board 9, Teachers College, Columbia University and the Department of Education,” said Morgan-Thomas. “I can tell you that we at Community Board 9 – our Youth and Education Committee especially – have enjoyed a great partnership, full of respect, full of patience. Nancy [Streim] has worked very closely with us, has heard us and has always been willing to re-listen and re-visit situations that we were not clear in terms of our journey forward. TC has heard the needs of our community and been extremely responsive.” Morgan-Thomas said that TCCS “honors the spirit of the Community Benefits Agreement with Columbia University.

    “We trust that the children from our district will receive keys needed to open their minds… to open their spirits… providing the kind of confidence that will enable them to swing open wide the freedom gates and access the kinds of opportunities that will assure them a seat at the global table, this year, next and year, and for always.”

    New York State Assemblyman Keith Wright also drew thundering applause with his brief, poignant remarks. 

    “Langston Hughes wrote a long time ago, ‘What happens to a dream deferred – does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?’” Wright looked around the room and grinned. “No! A school gets built on 126th Street and Morningside Avenue!’”

    Following the speeches, the TCCS first-graders filed onto the stage and sang accompaniment to recordings of Louis Armstrong’s rendition of “What a Wonderful World” and Bruno Mars’ “Count on Me.” 

    And finally, to cheers so loud that some of the children covered their ears, kindergarteners Two’Moons Fields and Najah Parker carried a giant ribbon to the center of the stage. Then, two first-graders – Mirelle Sarah Liimatta and Calvin Butts V (the son of TCCS Parent Association President Tiffany Butts and grandson of Calvin O. Butts, Pastor of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church) – cut the ribbon with a giant pair of scissors specially created for the occasion.

    Teachers College Community School had come home.

    Read more: Teachers College Community School Ribbon Cutting
    Teachers College Community School Finds Collaborative Success
  • TCCS Wins Blackboard Award!

    In November 20122, the Teachers College Community School was honored with Manhattan Media's Blackboard Award, in the category of New and Noteworthy Schools.  This is the 9th year of the award honoring local education by celebrating schools, principals and teachers who make a big difference.  The goals behind the award are to:  1) Honor deserving schools, principals, and teachers; the everyday heroes essential to the fabric of society; 2) Be a resource for city parents as they strive to find the best education for their children; and 3) Boost the reputation and morale of schools so that the best practices may be shared throughout the city's top schools.

    The TCCS is proud to have received this honored award!