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Good day everyone,


The New York City Teaching Fellows have unfortunately terminated me from the program as of August 15, 2016. I must share with all of you that I feel extremely disrespected and perplexed about the way I was notified about my termination from the program. My NYCTF and Pace University profiles this summer, they have been more than professional, regardless of all the difficulties and unfairness I was put through. For that reason, I feel that the way I am being treated by the program is not reciprocal. It is unfair and rather cruel to have received a simple termination email after being placed in a Masters degree program, teaching NYC students, and given false encouragement by my coaches and site director all throughout. This shows a lack of transparency and frankness from the NYCTF.

I also strongly believe that I was not given a fair chance since the very beginning of my school placement. The NYCTF assigned me to teach General Education 7-12 Biology and I was placed in a 6th grade ELA class with 25 students this summer, some of who had IEPs (Individualized Education Program) which are given to Special Education students. I was never notified about this, yet my coaches expected me to have 100% attention from students every time. On one occasion, my coach tried to discipline one of my most misbehaved students and she was completely unsuccessful, however this (among many things) was not taken into consideration and was graded extremely tough. I was clearly told by my site director that the unfairness I was being put through was reported to a higher official and that the Fellows would take it well into consideration.


There were also many disparities such as fellows who had a class of only 2 students, and inconsistencies about the way fellows were being graded, among other things such as clear favoritism, conjectural racism, and unfair grading. On three occasions, I heard about coaches going back to two fellow profiles to adjust their ratings. Lastly, the fact that my teacher track and NYCTF blackboard accounts have been deactivated is extremely questionable. I can no longer access ANY of my NYCTF documents and Pre Service Training performance information. I was also not told how to go about continuing my career as a teacher nor what will happen with my master's program. I have many questions. Even the program director couldn't give me a clear answer as to how the NYCTF came about making a final decision to terminate me from the program.

I must mention that this post is not meant to discourage you from accepting an offer or even applying to the program. However, I believe it's important to let all of you know about the reality of it.

As many of you know, the process of applying to this program is rather lengthy. You must go through submitting your application, a phone interview, and a selection day event. You must also wait long weeks, even months to hear back from the program with an answer. If you're selected, you get to take certification exams (out of pocket, about $300), as well as completing numerous online courses.

Summer training is extremely tough. Fellows say that are long hours but the reality is that you will definitely get 5 hours of sleep, at most, every day. I commuted for 4 hours everyday, going from home to my training site, then to my university and back home. On top of that I had to do lesson planning and grad school work. I still don't know how I still managed to get a 4.0. I'd leave home at 5:40 a.m. and come back till about 8 p.m., everyday during summer training. As a fellow, you are expected to give YOUR HEART AND SOUL during the summer, however, unfortunately hundreds of student-centered, dedicated and hardworking individuals like me will also be wrongfully kicked out of the program next year. I do not want other people to go through this, especially those who have a true teacher vocation and really want to make a change for NYC's students. I MUST also mention that I'm extremely shocked about some of the fellows who actually were kept in the program. I am talking about people who could care less about their students and who only want in for the money. I'm talking about people who should not be trusted with a classroom full of adolescent students, for many reasons. I'm talking about people who are unprofessional and disrespectful. Yet, they are out there, representing the NYCTF and well-renowned universities.

Before you decide to apply or accept an offer to become a NYCTF you must consider the following:

- The process from applying to completing summer training can up to 11 months.
- You must take certification examinations once you are accepted (pay out of pocket). If you don't pass you will have to retake them until receiving a passing score.
- You must be willing to quit your job in order to successfully complete summer training. Notice that, even if you have given it YOUR ALL, there is a chance you will still get dropped from the program. Just like that.
- Do research on the program: glassdoor, articles, blogs, Facebook page. See what people are saying.
-NYCTF will assign you a specific subject and grade level that you are to teach in September, BUT they will most likely place you in a different area of teaching for the summer. What was I doing teaching ELA to 6th graders when I was assigned Biology 7-12? The world will never know.
- NYCTF staff at your training site will give you high hopes all throughout training, yet some of you will unfortunately be terminated from the program. After all, they need you to teach for the actual certified teachers who are enjoying their summer. No certified teacher wants to teach summer school.
- Make sure you read each email, and document and save it to your computer. Information can be contradicting. They quickly deactivate your accounts if you're terminated and you will have no access to ANYTHING.
- Make sure you have a plan B if you decide to join the program, as they'll only provide to you about $2500 dollars in the summer. That's about $200 per week. You need support in every way possible.

My dreams have been crushed, my self esteem is not well, I no longer have a career plan. I always wanted to be an educator and when I finally thought I had made it, I realized it was all a lie since the beginning. The NYCTF absolutely CANNOT keep doing this to people. They will give you everything and take it away the same way even if you give YOUR HEART for the children and their education.

I hope this letter helps as an eye-opener for all dedicated and professional people out there who a considering to apply and who truly care about education like me. Please think twice and consider everything I have written in this letter. I hope it serves you well.

Please message me through this platform if you have any questions. I will gladly provide you with my personal email.


Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

TC

Comments

(Anonymous)
Oct. 5th, 2016 05:05 pm (UTC)
Sad to hear you've had a disastrous experience, but for the most part many fellows have had nothing but great things to say about the program. Due to thorough instruction by the NYCTF, they've turned out to be wonderfully prepared teachers. Sounds like you had some bad luck with an overpowering, stubborn leader who wouldn't give you a break. If you feel you've been unfairly terminated you have to fight the system and not give up so easily!
It is true that the fellows program has some kinks to smooth out, i.e. being trained for one specialty only to end up teaching in another. Yes, you need to be versatile to be a successful teacher, but it can become extremely difficult to handle when special ed students are thrown into the situation. They definitely need to revamp some aspects of the program.
As far as your comment regarding the fellows who were only in it for the money. This comment is as unwarranted as traditional route teachers' comments that ALL fellows are in the program because their dream career fell through and they're only in it for the money and subsidized masters degree. Across the board, there are some only in it for the money and some with a passion to teach. If you fall under the second group, don't let NYCTF stand in your way. There are many CUNY schools, unlike Pace, with affordable tuitions for you to pursue in achieving your desire to teach. If you want it bad enough, you can secure a teaching career without the support of NYCTF.
One more thing - as a retired NYCDOE employee with 30 years in the system, I can assure you that there are plenty of employed teachers who desire to teach summer school. It's expensive living in NYC, and the extra income helps make it easier to survive here. The DOE has more teacher applicants each summer than they have available teaching slots. Your statement that "no teachers want to work summer school" is farthest from the truth.
Wishing you luck in your future endeavors whatever they may be!
(Anonymous)
Nov. 30th, 2016 09:41 pm (UTC)
No one gets into teaching for the money. That's just silly. The fellows have some things to work out but I have to agree about teaching in the summer. Lots of certified teachers WANT to teach in the summer. the summer is tough but it's only 2 months. 8 weeks. Don't be discouraged!
(Anonymous)
Jan. 31st, 2017 06:47 pm (UTC)
There are a decent amount of teachers who DO go into teaching for the money! After they've worked in private industry with long hours and sub par pay, they see the value of being a NYC DOE teacher, with a decent salary in this economy. Shorter work days, summers off, great benefits, a pension plan - total all that into the salary and it's pretty impressive. Yes, you'll have paperwork to do at home BUT that's pretty common across all careers these days.
Ok - you'll never be rich, but you'll be comfortable in a meaningful job that also gives you a life outside your job.