This spring, the Bank Street Graduate School of Education received a grant from the Walton Family Foundation to help support the launch of a new Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Residency Program. The two-year program aims to support accessible, high-quality teacher preparation for educators pursuing TESOL certification while increasing diversity in the profession.
Research shows that preparation programs with hands-on practice in a real classroom produce more effective teachers who stay in the profession longer and strengthen schools over time. At Bank Street, first-year students enrolled in the TESOL Residency Program will participate in a full-time paid residency in a high-performing public charter or district school in New York City. Second-year students will be eligible to be hired as the full-time teacher of record. Additionally, all cohort members will receive a reduced tuition fee.
“Students benefit when they have teachers of the same race, ethnicity, or gender. Investing in residency models increases both the quality and diversity of our nation’s teacher pool by providing access to highly effective preparation models at an affordable cost. Now more than ever, we need to prepare more diverse teachers to provide high-quality, meaningful learning opportunities for all students, including English language learners, students with special needs, and students of color,” said Cecelia Traugh, Dean, Bank Street Graduate School of Education.
While diversity in the profession has increased over the years, educators remain predominately White in public schools. Teacher residencies are an effective way of diversifying the workforce by creating equitable access to high-quality preparation programs for all aspiring teachers. More than half of the students enrolled in the TESOL Residency Program will identify as People of Color and all will have studied a language other than English.
Grounded in the Bank Street approach to teaching and learning, which recognizes that individuals learn best when they are actively engaged with materials, ideas, and people, the new program allows students to be completely immersed in a classroom for a full year to deeply develop teaching skills and techniques with the support of an experienced teacher, an expert faculty advisor, and fellow classmates.
“The Walton Family Foundation grant will allow our teacher candidates to engage in a comprehensive learning experience that provides them with significant time in the classroom, helping them grow as educators and become more effective teachers,” said Cristian R. Solorza, Program Director, Dual Language Bilingual Education & TESOL Programs. “We look forward to welcoming our first cohort in the fall.”
Distributed between Bank Street, Marian University, and New York University, the grant will support the recruitment and training of more than 230 diverse teachers.
To learn more about the TESOL Residency Program, click here