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You can really be honest about where you are - as a student, and as an academic - and I think that a lot of times we're not told, in some teacher education programs, how to be critical and reflective on your practice, and since I've been at TC I've had the opportunity to work with professors who have molded for me, different ways to be critically reflective.
Incoming students to Teachers College should, I think, orient themselves toward this idea of ‘with’, and by that I mean Who are you going to be in conversation with? Who are you going to be talking and thinking with? Who are you going to be creating with? Who are you going to be asking and questioning with?
When you come to Teachers College you’re going to meet the most brilliant researchers and academics that you’ll find in any place across the globe, but one thing that we do well that a lot of folks don’t recognize is that we bridge the gap between the institution and the work. So when you get here, you’re not only going to get the best at policy but you’re going to get who is being impacted by that policy.
Part of the structure that excites me so much is that we take teachers and students and we combine them – you are no longer a teacher, you are no longer a student – you are players for this experience.
Turning a school around is not something for somebody that wants a 9-5 or a job where when the kids leave, you leave. It takes a lot of planning and a lot of trial and error. There’s a level of perseverance that I think comes from it but also there’s vision, it’s very clear that you know where you’re going.