NYC Teaching Fellows Reviews | Glassdoor

NYC Teaching Fellows Reviews

Updated February 24, 2018
36 reviews

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NYC Teaching Fellows Principal Anthony Finney
Anthony Finney
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36 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Teaching Fellow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at NYC Teaching Fellows full-time

    Pros

    Free Master's Degree and Great Students

    Cons

    Low Pay and High Turnover


  2. "Worth IT"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at NYC Teaching Fellows full-time

    Pros

    Master's Degree is subsidized and you are able to work while earning your degree and pursuing state licensure.

    Cons

    Long hours, extremely intense structure, and hard to get direct information.

  3. Helpful (5)

    "Teaching Fellow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    You can learn a lot if you apply yourself, go in with an open mind, and desire to work in a NYC school that likely is underserved. Since my fellowship, I have had experience subbing in independent and private schools, and I have found that many of the techniques (especially with respect to behavior management) are really helpful in the classroom, and in fact, you may emerge having a better idea of how to engage students than those who do other paths to teaching. You also join a cohort of educators, and it is wonderful to develop a supportive peer network (and trust me, you will need it!) I learned an immense amount from the Head Instructor who taught us the NYC fellows curriculum in the summer.

    Cons

    There are MANY cons to the program, unfortunately. If you really want to develop as a teacher, you won't be able to do so reflectively, applying your masters' degree coursework in the classroom. You are just trying to stay alive. Being a first year teacher is challenging enough as it is, but to try to do so while taking graduate courses is extremely taxing. Also, the schools that hire fellows are often very, very limited in funds, can be hostile work environments, lacking in administrative support, etc. Many of us are drawn to the program because we truly desire to help make education in the city more equitable, but in my experience, the obstacles present at the hiring schools can be insurmountable. I think there ARE many teachers who emerge from the program with a job at a school that they love, so be smart as you do your job search. Other cons: you don't get to pick the area in which you receive your certification, because the selection process is based upon school need. Also, the pre-service training (which is the summer school intensive training) does not necessarily prepare you for your classroom in the fall. For instance, all of the literacy lesson planning you learn through the Fellows curriculum is actually quite good. However, if you are doing elementary education, or high-school science, it is essentially useless. Therefore, you start your job in the fall without any practical /applicable experience, and can't know how much you like it and/or how well you will do. Also, there is often lack of coordination between the DOE and your graduate school from an administration standpoint, so at times you have to "jump through hoops" to get some of the backend work completely as far as your certification requirements are concerned. Ultimately, if you can afford to go to graduate school and work part/full time in another capacity, you will have a much better outcome.

    Advice to Management

    More preparation, more thorough screening process to ensure good fit of teachers with specialties, more transparency with respect to job outlook and job expectations.


  4. Helpful (4)

    "Looking for a stable job opportunity? This is not it!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Special Education Teacher
    Current Employee - Special Education Teacher

    I have been working at NYC Teaching Fellows full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    After pre-service training you are paid as a full-time teacher while you earn your Master's degree and work on your certification.

    With the exception of $8,000 which you must pay, DOE pays for your Master's degree.

    Cons

    1) Due to heavy politics, position is not stable; if you have a job already don't quit to become a fellow, because acceptance into the program is no guarantee that you will be allowed to finish; and then you will be stuck with no job.
    2) First three months ~$800 month stipend only.
    3) If you don't live at home with your mother, you'll need a second job to survive 1st 3 months; caveat is - it is almost impossible to work a 2nd job based on the volume of work.
    4) Because the environment is very political, be prepared to compromise your integrity or lose your job.
    5) Even if you meet all of the academic requirements, pass all State exams and get all "A"s in the Master's program, if you are not willing to go along with questionable policies, just to get along, its difficult to move forward.
    6) If you are from out of town - Fellows offers no housing support, and its difficult to find decent housing in New York.

    Advice to Management

    There are some schools in the DOE that are operated by less than professional administrations. The teaching fellows should work hard to identify those schools, and alert fellows to steer clear of them.

    Be up front and honest about the pros and cons of the program.

    Develop a housing program for out of town people.

    Increase the stipend.


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Poorly Organized, Bad Leadership, Cookie Cutter Expectations"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Fellow in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Fellow in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at NYC Teaching Fellows full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Offers an opportunity for people to change careers or to pursue a teaching career at low cost.

    Cons

    Poorly organized, does not listen to or support fellows, hires terrible leaders and coaches, prepares you for militaristic discipline, teaches you how to treat students like numbers

    Advice to Management

    Prepare your fellows better for teaching instead of acting like drill sergeants. Hire coaches who care about the fellows, and don't actively discourage them at every step of the way or question their dedication while the fellows in question are working themselves to the bone with effort. Be lenient and understanding when fellows file appeals. Don't use alarms or time your fellows or students because it is anxiety-inducing. Don't discourage your fellows from applying to high-need schools in areas 'inconvenient' to your reps for observations, but understand that people want to teach in borough schools that need them and transport access isn't equal. Let fellows appeal their expulsion from the program and make a case for a secondary review. Respond to emails after you solicit feedback when a fellow has been removed from the program. Give actual straight answers to questions we ask. Support your fellows of color and listen to criticisms of your methods. Multiple fellows of color shared my experience. Don't treat students like numbers or only accept one kind of teacher.


  6. "Awful"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Unfortunately, there are no pros.

    Cons

    Quick route to certification, great opportunity for experience


  7. Helpful (5)

    "They Should Teach You Like You're Expected to Teach"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at NYC Teaching Fellows full-time

    Pros

    - Shortened timeline for hiring
    - The kids are actually a blast... when you make a connection and ignore all of your training.
    - Having a cohort to go through it all together makes it easier (certainly makes grad school homework easier) but you'll still be offended by half of them.

    Cons

    - The degree isn't actually subsidized for those qualifying for in-state tuition. In fact, you pay for your degree. This is the first of many NYCTF lies.
    - Very little diversity to match the student population you'll be teaching. It shows. All the time and if you're a POC, you will want to kill yourself during training group share outs hearing some of the self-righteous nonsense.
    - Zero reliable communication from NYCTF (incorrect and often late, only email - no one answers the phone)
    - Most unreliable with pay; also, summer fellows (2 months) get paid the same as fall fellows (4 months) - for fall fellows, consider student loans in order to live after starving the first 8 weeks.
    - The staff hates life. They're sarcastic, rude and completely lack self-awareness (because they fluff each other's egos constantly.) They may love each other but their students definitely hate them, including/especially fellows. My favorite is when they share a life-changing teacher moment that actually just illustrates how biased (sometimes racist) they were/are.
    - They clearly like to tokenize people throughout the interview process. It's clear. Notice who gets kicked out, you'll have known from day 1.
    - NO HIRING SUPPORT. They provide a guide that covers so many hypotheticals, it's worthless. Network with other teachers, find out where positions are open, pray.
    - Zero standards, all subjective feedback. Zero interview questions, they just want to see you copy the video samples they provide (throughout the entire process. I REPEAT: ZERO INTERVIEWS/HOMEWORK, all you do is imitate their teaching clips a minute after viewing).
    - A lot of subjectivity in grading so just make sure you maintain good relationships because, in the end, that is all that will save you: someone "higher up" vouching for you.
    - You will not get training in your specific content area. You're given 4 books to read throughout classes. Read them. Teach yourself (like a champion).
     - Most teaching academy coaches will have zero experience coaching. You'd think because they're teachers they (and NYCTF staff) would be good at teaching but clearly not. They would need lesson plans to have effective conversations. Or a video to copy. Everyone is just trying to mold you after their self so simply pretend they're the best and roll your eyes behind their back. Then move on. [NB: Not all coaches suck).

    Advice to Management

    Coaches are former fellows. They like to project their terrible experience on new cohorts. If they actually allowed students to do the thinking, they'd actually be considered effective. But, because they act like bitter older siblings afraid to be called out for being poorly trained, poor educators, it's just 4 months of slides and microaggression-filled workshops. The lack of support from this program OVERWHELMINGLY is responsible for the lack of diversity/type of people who apply and stick it through. You have to be settled, financially stable, and have some maturity to make it through. That weeds out a lot of young POC, NY-natives who've gone to local public schools. Instead there are just a bunch of white women and gay men former substitute teachers, paras/TAs, and lawyers/accountants.... who don't understand servant leadership. (Then those are the type of people who become NYCTF staff after 5 years.)

    Program is all around sketchy and unreliable but it gets you into a classroom right away, forces you to do the grad classes, and certainly provides more support than most first year teachers get. Worth doing if you're privileged.

    Also, if someone says they weren't good teachers until their 3-5th year, it's because they were poorly trained by NYCTF. Chances are, unless they've had outside professional development and worthwhile reading/grad courses, they're still not good teachers, they just finally decided to do the work and their kids hate them less.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "The Program Is Done Poorly, But Sometimes There Isn't a Better Choice"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - ENL Teacher in Brooklyn, NY
    Current Employee - ENL Teacher in Brooklyn, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at NYC Teaching Fellows full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    - You are allowed to work as a fully-paid NYC teacher while getting your certification. (For me, a father supporting my family on my single income, two years in a traditional teaching school was not an option.)

    Cons

    - Grueling.
    - Management, classes, training, schedules, everything is poorly organized.
    - The grad school classes may have little to do with what is actually going on in your classroom.
    - Grueling.

    Advice to Management

    Consider what your teachers need to be successful day one. Some of that is the classroom management techniques that you teach, but they also need to know how to plan lessons. Training and grad school require far more focus on that.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Teaching Fellow"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at NYC Teaching Fellows full-time

    Pros

    hands-on experience being in a special education classroom if you are placed in special education
    subsidized masters education (positive initiative)

    Cons

    I do think that people with color do get preferential treatment and that they observe you and that one observation basically determines your ability as a teacher, which is totally unfair because one observation does not mean you are not a good teacher, especially if you are a new teacher in training. Sometimes the program will give you harsh reviews and criticism that will make you lose faith in your ability to teach, but also they don't take in consideration about the learning environment that students are in. For example, why would a general education teacher observe a fellow in a special education setting where certain rules that they teach you in skill building don't really work and that the special education students don't learn the same as general education students?
    I would have to say that they give you very little time to become the best teacher that you can be and 3 months to become the very best teacher is very unrealistic.
    I would definitely say that this program has a very little time constraint and grades you mostly on classroom observations and gives you very little time to improve your teaching skills.

    Advice to Management

    definitely, allow more time to get observed, allow time for fellows to make corrections especially if they are inexperienced in a special education setting and place a special ed teacher to observe a special education setting.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Teaching Fellows"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Masters Degree while working
    Get to meet other teachers in NYC and because the program is so intense you become close very quickly

    Cons

    Summer is very difficult. Make sure you know you would be really great at it before you quit your job and take the leap.

    Advice to Management

    Some fellows work really hard and might need additional time to learn how to be the best teacher you want them to be. Make time for those fellows to continue learning and being in the program. The summer can be really difficult and hard to learn all of the skills.


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