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NYC Early Childhood Professional Development Initiative June 2012

I’m delighted to report to you on 2011-12, the fourth year of the amazing partnership between CUNY-CAT and the NYC Department of Education. Following my message is a long report with a lot of information. I’d like to use this space to recount for you a few of the many moments that demonstrate the real impact of this initiative: building a community of skilled teachers.

 One of the teachers this year led an interactive storytelling in Chinese, her native language. Her gestures were so specific and her vocal intonation so clear that an observer noted, “I totally understood the story, and I don’t speak a word of Chinese!”

 The kindergarten teachers at P.S. 163Q recounted that the first grade teachers, who had participated in a mentoring residency last year, offered them encouragement and advice as they prepared to lead their storytellings.

 A former Head Start teacher who had participated in CAT workshops and trainings almost 15 years ago is now education director of the 10 Bedford- Stuyvesant Head Start programs in Brooklyn. She reached out to reconnect last August; four months later, she purchased three residencies.

 At the cross-site gathering, teachers delighted in sharing the successes and challenges they experienced during the residencies, supporting one another’s “reapplication” ideas as we brainstormed around new books.

 Also at the cross-site, one teacher said (as all the others nodded in agreement), “We want to continue using these techniques, but we need ongoing support. Can you come back?”

It takes time, practice and encouragement to integrate new ways of teaching into ones daily practice. Over four years of working with teachers and students, we’ve made a positive impact. Now it is time to build on the foundation we have built – to push ourselves, and our teachers, to the next level, and to keep the community ever-growing.

Helen Wheelock

2011-12 Final Report CAT - NYC DOE OECE – Interactive Storytelling Professional Development

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