How Residency Directors Support Aspiring Teachers | NYU Steinhardt Teacher Residency Program
Teacher Education Reinvented
Supporting Excellence in Teacher Education

During the one-year master of arts in teaching and school-based residency, teacher residents are coached, instructed, mentored, and supported by a range of people. These people use their expertise to prepare aspiring teachers for life in the classroom. Residency directors are an essential component of the NYU Teacher Residency web of support.  

With residency options across the US, residency directors are geographically located on the ground with residents, acting as a liaison with a school, residents, teacher mentors, and NYU Steinhardt faculty. Since residency directors are so intertwined in the success of our residents, we took some time to understand their approaches and the roles they play.

What is one way that you help teacher residents balance the immersive classroom experience with the masters-level course work? 

“I target my coaching around the NYU Teacher Residency gradual release model. I do this to help residents connect the theories they learn to their practice. I work with the mentors to use the same language students are learning as they make their teaching craft visible to residents.” Emily Grossberg, Residency Director, San Francisco, CA

“The slow, purposeful ramp-up to full responsibility is key to handling the workload of this intense year. I only give feedback on curriculum components as residents become responsible for them in rehearsals, and I ask their teaching mentors to do the same. This allows us to focus on just a few components at a time, making things feel more manageable for the residents.” Christine Gentry, Residency Director, Corona-Norco, CA; Visiting Assistant Professor  

“At the beginning of the year, I check that residents’ schedules at their school sites provide room to grow. As the year progresses, residents will have increasing responsibilities both at their schools and in their course work. It is important that they are not over-scheduled at the start of the year. I also preview, for both residents and teacher mentors, upcoming requirements and deadlines a month or more in advance so they are able to plan accordingly.” Anna G. Brady, Residency Director, New York, NY

“To help my residents balance their teaching and their schoolwork, I often use our debrief sessions to discuss a reading or a module assignment to help them make connections between what they are doing in their modules and what they are doing in the classroom. I also use our debriefs to listen to issues that come up in their modules, at their sites, or even in their personal lives. I aim to be a supportive listener and problem solver.” Annaly Babb-Guerra, Residency Director, Upstate NY capital region (Albany); Visiting Assistant Professor

“When I meet with the residents for professional development, we share ways that they are easily implementing strategies from the courses in their classrooms. For example, when one resident was struggling with classroom management, two others shared ideas of how to redirect the class and bring back the focus.” Nora Rosensweig, Residency Director, Palm Beach County, FL

“I designed the scope and sequence assignment document so that teacher mentors could support residents with their assignments that require in-class activities. I work closely with the residents, mentors, and leadership to keep their site schedules balanced.” Tamara Sewell, Residency Director, New York, NY; Clinical Assistant Professor, Special Education Content Mentor

What role do you play with teacher mentors and their work with teacher residents? 

“I work with the teacher mentors on a monthly basis to support their development and to align their instruction with residents’ course work. Our work together is very collaborative in support of developing our residents’ teaching skills. I find we each bring strengths to the relationship – they bring their content expertise and I bring expertise around mentoring, so together we are a strong team!” Emily Grossberg, Residency Director, San Francisco, CA

“I work closely with teaching mentors to align our support for their residents. I do monthly professional development sessions at each school, which consist of small groups of two to four teaching mentors at a time. That time is focused on building community and practicing coaching and support skills. Every session involves working with the Teacher Residency framework, so teaching mentors use it when they give feedback to their residents.” Christine Gentry, Residency Director, Corona-Norco, CA; Visiting Assistant Professor  

“I frequently share expectations of the program as well as upcoming assignments with teacher mentors so we can thought-partner together around how best to meet the goals. When on site, I check in with mentors to see how they are doing and to determine what additional support they might need to facilitate their work with the residents.” Anna G. Brady, Residency Director, New York, NY

“I facilitate an orientation with the teacher mentors at the beginning of the year and hold a meet-and-greet with the residents. I conduct professional development sessions monthly where mentors learn more about the program and how best to support their residents. I also have formal and informal meetings with mentors – with and without the residents – to ensure that residents are progressing and that we are all aligned in our expectations and supports.” Annaly Babb-Guerra, Residency Director, Upstate NY capital region (Albany); Visiting Assistant Professor

“I provide professional development to teacher mentors on topics such as the various ways to coach a resident; what gradual release looks like; how we add rigor to lesson plans; and how to facilitate the opportunity for residents to practice the competencies for each rehearsal prior to filmed feedback sessions.” Nora Rosensweig, Residency Director, Palm Beach County, FL.

“I coach to the dyad whenever possible. This means that I aim to coach the resident and the teacher mentor together. It depends on what the teacher mentor needs and how I can best support residents’ success.” Tamara Sewell, Residency Director, New York, NY; Clinical Assistant Professor, Special Education Content Mentor

To learn more about the people who support you throughout the NYU Teacher Residency, read about our faculty.