Bringing Your Best: The New York City Teaching Fellows Program

Jan 02, 2016
New York City Teaching Fellow Marianthy Karantzes (top row, fourth from left) with her students at a Shakespeare workshop
New York City Teaching Fellow Marianthy Karantzes (top row, fourth from left) with her students at a Shakespeare workshop

If you’re interested in entering teaching, as your first job or a mid-career change, the New York City Teaching Fellows program offers a competitive and funded opportunity to enter the field and earn your Master’s degree. Selected Fellows begin their commitment in early to mid-June with a rigorous pre-service training program that is centered on active practice of foundational teaching skills and classroom experience. Fellows participate in a Training Academy hosted by an NYC summer school where they attend daily skill-building sessions to learn proven techniques that great teachers use every day. One of the benefits of the Teaching Fellows program is enrollment in a subsidized Master’s degree program. Rather than complete a traditional teacher education program prior to entering the classroom, Fellows pursue a Master’s degree in Education while teaching full-time in a New York City public school. Extraordinary fact – 24% of all math teachers in New York City are Fellows!

The program seeks candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree and U.S. citizenship or permanent residency. To learn more about the program and tips for the application process, we spoke with Marianthy Karantzes, a current New York City Teaching Fellow.

1. What inspired you to apply for the NYC Teaching Fellows?

My inspiration for applying to the fellowship came from my desire to step back into the classroom. Living in Greece for 8 years in my 20’s, I taught English as a foreign language. When I moved back to the States I worked predominantly in business, which might have been lucrative money wise, but was not very fulfilling. Then my handicapped sister passed away suddenly in 2009, and I knew I had to make a choice about where I wanted to invest my energies.

2. What are some of the benefits of the fellowship?

As a NYC Teaching Fellow, you are thrust into teaching quite quickly. After a short 2-month training period, most Fellows seek and find employment in high needs schools in NYC. In addition, fellows begin their Masters programs at pre-assigned universities in the NYC area. It is quite challenging, but rewarding nonetheless. The Masters program is subsidized by the NYC Department of education, and fellows pay $8,000 for their degree, which is a great motivator for many to join the program. The network of alumni also serves as a great tool, both when applying for positions, as well as a support system, especially the first year in the classroom.

3. What tips would you give others applying to the NYC Teaching Fellows?

For those interested in applying to the fellows program, it must be known that it is highly competitive. The year I applied there were more than 15,000 applicants, of which roughly 850 were accepted. The interview process is quite grueling, but they definitely are looking for applicants that are able to take suggestions and implement them instantly. For example, the last part of the application process entails an in person lesson plan delivery. You are given 15 minutes to deliver your lesson. The interviewers, who are recording you, then meet with you and give you suggestions on how you are to change the method of delivery, at which point you reteach the lesson with the changes they have suggested.

Marianthy Karantzes has a BA in English Literature from Thomas Edison State College of New Jersey. She worked as the Sales Manager for The Bank of New York, and also was a contracted translation/localization specialist for the Greek government. Marianthy has been married for 20 years and has a 12 year old daughter in 7th grade.