Graduate School of Education Announces a New Brooklyn-Based Teacher Residency Program in Childhood Special and General Education

Research shows that teacher 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.  

To help prepare more high-quality, culturally responsive educators in Brooklyn, New York, the Graduate School of Education announced a partnership with the New York City Department of Education to create the new two-year District 13 Residency in Childhood General and Special Education program.

The unique residency program aims to support high-quality teacher preparation for educators pursuing initial certification in teaching. Through the program, first-year students will participate in a full-time paid residency in a New York City public school with a strong focus on the integration of anti-racist and culturally responsive practices. In the second year, students will be eligible to be hired as a full-time teacher. Additionally, all cohort members will receive a scholarship that reduces tuition by over 50 percent, along with a $20,000 stipend. 

“Working with our public schools and investing in this residency model 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 students with special needs and students of color,” said Cecelia Traugh, Dean, Bank Street Graduate School of Education.

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, along with District 13’s new culturally responsive and sustaining learning component, the program enables students to be completely immersed in a classroom for a full year to deeply develop teaching skills and techniques that help meet the diverse needs of all students through the support of an experienced teacher, an expert Bank Street faculty advisor, and fellow classmates in their cohort.

Bank Street’s partnership with District 13 represents a shared commitment to equity in education and the incorporation of anti-racist pedagogy,” said Jessica Wontropski, Co-Director, Childhood Programs. In support of the tenets of social justice and equity, Bank Street and District 13 are committed to closing opportunity gaps and helping adults and children to construct knowledge around biases, build relationships, name injustice, and work together to enact change.

District 13 Superintendent Kamar Samuels said, “Our district is fully committed to what I like to refer to as a movement—a movement to bring an anti-racist stance to our work at the district, school, and classroom level. By taking a critical and innovative approach in response to the needs of our communities, families, and children, our commitment is to intentionally design a more equitable educational system in District 13 so that all students have a school experience that is truly integrated. I believe this is what makes learning high quality.”

District 13 includes over 40 schools spanning all or part of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Prospect Heights, Park Slope, South Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Boerum Hill, Gowanus, Vinegar Hill, and Downtown Brooklyn.

Deputy Superintendent Meghan Dunn, GSE ’08, said, “As a Bank Street alumna, I’m grateful to be positioned on the front end of this collaboration to develop and bring high-quality teacher talent into our district. Bank Street takes a reciprocal approach to their work, and this residency is an example of that. What we are bringing to Bank Street is a collaboration that will allow graduate students to get first-hand experience with the culturally responsive teaching practices our faculty are being trained in. They will also experience how a district is actively working to be anti-racist. Graduate students will experience this as we continue our work to integrate District 13 schools. For us all, the program promises to strengthen the learning experiences of children and families in District 13, as well as for graduate students at Bank Street.”

The Graduate School of Education Admissions team is holding a Virtual Open House on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET. RSVP here, or for more information about this new opportunity, please contact gseenrollment@bankstreet.edu or 212-652-8722. To learn more about the program, click here.