Bronxville School Prepares Graduate Students to Become Teachers
A group of eight graduate students have been embedded in several elementary school classrooms to support students’ needs as part of the Teacher Residency program at the Bronxville School. Under the mentorship of an experienced teacher, they are part of all general and curriculum planning throughout the entire school year to prepare them for their own classrooms once they graduate.
“They are learning classroom management techniques, how to deliver the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project’s reading and writing curriculum, how special education plans are executed, how to pace curriculum and plan lessons, the pedagogical approaches to teaching, how to communicate effectively with students, families, administrators and the community,” said fourth grade teacher Derrick DiRienzo, who is mentoring the program for the next two years.
DiRienzo, who serves as the district administrator intern and mentors the program as part of his educational leadership master’s program, said the students benefit greatly from the additional instructional support that a teacher resident brings to the classroom. Meanwhile, the benefit to the district is that there’s no loss of instructional time if a teacher is out because the interns can take over and teach a lesson to the students after being involved in the lesson planning with their mentor.
While the program has been in place for since 2012, DiRienzo said he has been growing it and working toward ensuring that the residents have a meaningful experience. He also facilitates workshops to help them better understand their curriculum, work comfortably with technology, communicate professionally with colleagues, and eventually write résumés and prepare for job interviews. The program was created by former elementary school assistant principal Adrienne Laitman, and it was mentored by teacher Christine Dowd for the past two years.
“I work hard to ensure they are learning, growing and meeting their potential as up-and-coming educators,” DiRienzo said. “I also work with them and their mentor teachers to ensure they are cultivating those relationships in ways that benefit everyone, including their students.”
The teacher residents – Julia Colangelo, Francesca DiLapi, Lucas Frajndlich, Jamiee Iannarilli, Gianna Mercato, Amanda Schultz, Marisa Vitiello and Mindy Wintermantel – have been working directly with students thanks to a partnership between the district and the College of Mount Saint Vincent, Dominican College, Iona College, Manhattanville College, Mercy College and SUNY Oneonta.