News and Speeches

Mayor, Chancellor Kick Off Second Week of Summer Pre-k Teacher Institute

8/19/2014

4,000 Pre-K Educators Receiving Extra Training Through Unprecedented Professional Development 

Effort Setting the Foundation for High-Quality Pre-K


NEW YORK – Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Carmen Fariña today delivered keynote remarks to open the second week of “Getting Ready for Pre-K: An Institute for Educators,” a professional development program preparing thousands of pre-K teachers and assistant teachers for the fall. The Mayor and Chancellor highlighted the successful first week of the Teacher Institute,which is being hosted by the New York City Department of Education in collaboration with Bank Street College of Education, and applauded the thousands of committed teachers who have dedicated their time and energy to learning cutting-edge pre-K teaching techniques and best practices at the sessions. 

Nearly 4,000 pre-K teachers, assistant teachers, administrators and support staff from across the five boroughs and programs in New York City’s unified pre-K system, including public schools and Community Based Early Childhood Centers, are attending the Institute. Engaging in small workshops with education experts and their colleagues, they’re learning to build safe,supportive classrooms with evidence-based curricula that uses play to foster the academic and social development of the city’s 4-year-olds. 

Two three-day Teacher Institute sessions were held last week at Queens and Brooklyn Colleges, and two are occurring at the same locations this week. Each participant receives 18 hours of instruction. The Institute is a critical piece of New York City’s historic expansion of free, high-quality,full-day pre-K, ensuring that qualified, high-quality teachers held to high standards will be leading our pre-K classrooms.

“Every child deserves a great teacher at the head of the classroom, and that’s why we’re investing so much in each and every educator taking part in Pre-K for All. The Summer Institute is one of many steps we are taking to deepen this profession and give our teachers the skills and tools they need. This is going to be a unified system that meets high standards across the board—and no single factor will be more important to its success than our teachers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“As a grandmother who saw her two and a half year old grandson off for the first time this week, I have a real sense of the importance of pre-K.To ensure this necessary academic foundation, we must have ongoing professional development which is truly at the core of any excellent teacher,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “Today we are joined by dedicated, passionate educators who are here because they want to be even better – and they will through this top-notch support and the collaborative learning that comes with exposure to education experts and new colleagues. Our teachers and assistant teachers will have ongoing supports throughout the school year so they can continue to improve their skills and bring joy and academic learning to our 4-year-olds.”

Participants at the Teacher Institute also receive training in creating a welcoming tone and atmosphere in their classrooms and engaging children, parents, and families from diverse backgrounds including those learning English. Teachers and assistant teachers share and develop strategies for determining and catering to the individual needs of each child including students with developmental variations and children with special needs.

The Institute represents the first stage in intensive, ongoing professional development for pre-K teachers and assistant teachers. At the sessions, participants devote time to identifying goals for the school year, as well as reflecting on the principles and techniques they learn and considering how to apply them in different potential classroom settings and situations.They also meet fellow educators with whom they can collaborate throughout the year, and learn about year-round professional development activities within the Department of Education.

Early childhood experts from the DOE will observe pre-K teachers and assistant teachers throughout the school year and provide feedback to ensure that each pre-K classroom is meeting high standards and effectively preparing its students for kindergarten and their educational future.Additionally, early childhood experts have been working closely to train pre-K administrators, providing even more expertise and accountability for every pre-K program.

Families can still apply for free full-day pre-K in their neighborhoods and receive alerts and information, visit nyc.gov/prek or text prek to 877877.