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LITI Opportunities

Throughout their time in the program, students can access a range of opportunities to engage with the work of the Reading and Writing Project and leaders in the field. Depending on interest and experience, students can become TCRWP fellows, engage in ongoing inquiry work in NYC schools, attend Calendar Days, or shadow a staff developer for a semester.

TCRWP Fellows:All Literacy Specialist students are welcome to become a Teachers College Reading and Writing Project fellow. This role entitles you to attend almost any of approximately one hundred calendar days the Project offers, or to function as a TA/research assistant in a think tank, and to learn from the organization in other ways, too. The TCRWP offers workshops to teachers who work with primary students, with ELLs, with children with IEPs, and with upper grade students. You may receive extra credit within a course for your additional study and can include this valuable experience on your resume.

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Apprentice with a Staff Developer: Students in the Literacy Specialist Program who are already or who have an interest in becoming teacher educators, literacy coaches, Directors of Language Arts, or principals may have the opportunity to apprentice with one of the staff developers or senior leaders of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. This apprenticeship means that the graduate student becomes a sort of junior staff developer, helping to support school-wide reform in a handful of nearby schools. The graduate student sometimes joins into the staff development as a learner, and sometimes extends the reach of the staff developer—perhaps returning to the school between the staff developer’s visits to help the new work become rooted, or working with half the teachers while the staff developer works with the other half. Graduate students also become TAs at Coaching Institutes, the Content Area Institute, and in Specialty Groups.

In addition to the required practicum and coursework, I learned a great deal through volunteering as a TCRWP fellow. Being a fellow allows you to go behind the scenes to help events run smoothly and to attend professional development workshops. I attended Calendar Days and Saturday Reunions where I learned not only from the presenters, but also through networking with fellow educators from all corners of the world. I also took part in implementing Reading Rescue, a reading intervention program for struggling readers. This allowed me to deepen my knowledge of reading development and gave me the opportunity to be in different schools all over the city. – Grace Yee, Second Grade Teacher, PS 158, Manhattan

Having the opportunity to shadow TCRWP staff developers during my year in the program was such a gift. Not only did it elevate and expand my own teaching repertoire, it also gave me insight into highly effective ways of coaching and supporting other teachers to elevate the level of their literacy instruction. I am a better teacher for having had this experience and now feel fully equipped to be a successful literacy coach. - Catherine Maddox, First Grade Teacher, Sunset Park Avenues Elementary, Brooklyn

Being a student in the Literacy Specialist program at TC and having the chance to learn from and co-teach with a teacher experienced in this work forever changed my trajectory as an educator. I had the invaluable experience of learning from a staff developer who is known for her ability to mobilize a school community around thoughtful reading and writing instruction. She gave me exactly what I needed—the chance to learn by doing. I then had the opportunity to lead staff development myself with a school new to the writing workshop. – Nivan Khosravi, Principal, Maxwell Elementary, Denver