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The Collaboration for Excellence: TC’s New Teacher Institute

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The Collaboration for Excellence: TC’s New Teacher Institute

NTI participant Latasha Matthews from PS 123.

The Collaboration for Excellence: TC’s New Teacher Institute

Aladji Sow from PS 195 at NTI.

Over the last four years, the Teachers College New Teacher Institute (TCNTI) has evolved to become a year-long intensive, ongoing, sustained professional development program to support the successful transition of new teachers into the profession.

From May 28 to 30, TCNTI, which has collaborative partnerships with School District 32, in Bushwick, Brooklyn, Community School District 5, the Harlem Renaissance District, and with the Stamford, Connecticut, Public Schools, celebrated "The Collaboration for Excellence in Education," where teachers in the districts documented their professional portfolios and personal development plans.

According to Vane Lashua, Assistant Director of TCNTI, District 32 has 47 teachers engaged in the Institute and District 5 has 37.

Lashua talked about how the "The Collaboration for Excellence in Education" came about. He said, "During the course of the year there are 15 sessions in the curriculum of the New Teacher Institute. A part of the process is to develop a project proposal and to submit it to the institute, have it critiqued and then accepted. For that project proposal, the teacher gets a $250 grant. Each of those grants then becomes the seed of a project that the teacher demonstrates in his or her classroom. Those grants can be combined if the teachers wish to develop team projects.

Jennifer Locraft Cuddapah, a research and program associate with TCNTI, said, "These are the culminating events that catapult the teacher into a leadership role. It documents their teaching through the first year. It gives the new teachers an opportunity to showcase the new initiatives they're taking with their students and with one another as professionals. Principals, assistant principals, and district superintendents were present to see the teachers' presentations."

For example, Aladji Sow of PS 195 in District 5 created a cultural museum. Based on the $250 grant, Sow set up tables and materials that formed the basis of a museum. As it turned out, the school took that project over and donated a room and had the children from the school who come from all over the world-from Yemen, the Caribbean, East Africa-bring in artifacts from their country, whether maps or population statistics. Now it's become something that other children from the school visit.

Another teacher, Latasha Matthews from PS 123 in District 5 set up "Living Things in a Classroom," where students created and cared for an aquarium. The students learned about the life cycle of fish and the project had elements of authentic performance by seeing and taking care of the aquarium.

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