Bustling Fall at Teachers College!

It’s been a very busy few weeks here at the Peace Corps Fellows office at Teachers College.

From school visits to small group seminars, interviewing candidates to organizing a wonderful pizza party with our major donors and our Fellows, there’s so much happening with the Peace Corps Fellows! 

Learn more by visiting us on Facebook and following us on Twitter and stay tuned for photos! 


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PC Fellows host Validus Prep College & Career Panel

Last week, PC Fellows hosted Jamie Munkatchy (who you may know from her spotlight on PBS NewsHour), other PC Fellows alumni teachers and students from Validus Preparatory Academy for a morning of learning about higher education. Here’s what Munkatchy wrote:

“Peace Corp Fellows along with Validus Prep hosted a panel discussion about college and careers at TC on September 24. The six member panel talked about their own education and career paths and offered Validus high school seniors advice about deciding between a 2-year or 4-year schools, the challenges of being a person of color in a white dominated space, and the importance of raising expectations of yourself. Validus students participated as part of a week long investigation into college and career options.”


Students posed questions to presenters on the “backchannel” (above) and learned a great deal about applying, surviving and thriving in higher education. Thanks for a great experience Validus, panelists and everyone who came together to talk about visions of the future with these bright young people!

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Kicking Off PCF Fall Seminar Series!


The PC Fellows met this past Friday night at Teachers College for the first in a series of seminars around teaching and learning. Below, check out answers from our First Year Fellows in response to questions about their work in NYC schools this year!


What are your goals for yourself as an educator this year?

Good classroom management

Solid organization

Routines that make learning fun and efficient

Interactions with students on an individual basis

Implementation of practices in students’ best interests

To be effective

To observe as many teachers as possible

To eat lunch at lunchtime

To pace work

To build culturally relevant pedagogy


How will you enact powerful teaching?

By helping students to achieve individual goals and overcome challenges

Using creative activities

Discussing provocative issues

Using multimedia

Allowing students ownership

Creating an environment of trust so that students feel at home

Investing in workshop models while using culturally relevant pedagogy

Being purposeful

Through critical pedagogy

Putting thought into everything I do

Getting to know students

Responding to student needs

Continually asking students to share their values and opinions

Developing systems that work


What are your priorities for your students?

Providing structure and a safe environment

Establishing routines and structure to learn

Passing the Regents Exams

Helping students apply to college

Helping students to see value in their own work

Helping students improve their writing

Teaching students to behave in a collegiate environment

Be engaged




Do best by them

Do everything in their best interest

Remember they are just young people

I want my students to love reading and writing


What creates a positive environment for learning?

A safe, structured environment with routines and opportunities for practice

A calm teacher






All points of view are represented

All learning styles are accommodated

Building relationships

Exciting material




What are the greatest challenges you anticipate?

Gaining proficiency in classroom management

Using time effectively and planning ahead

Working collaboratively with co-teachers

Thorough understanding of age-appropriate content



Student motivation

Differentiating instruction for all of my students


Keeping the learning ship right-side-up

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Word of Wisdom from the PCF Mentors!

Yesterday’s meeting with the Peace Corps Fellows Mentors was lively and informative. The PCF Mentors are geared up to start a great year with our Fellows!

We asked the PCF Mentors to offer some big ideas about mentoring teachers. Here are some highlights from our conversation about what makes a successful mentor:

Listen to Teachers

Build Relationships

Develop Trust

Work Together

Reserve Judgment

Share Experience & Expertise

Guide Reflection on Practice

Assist in Planning

Be Constructively Critical

Build on Strengths

Stay Positive

Have you ever been a mentor or been mentored? What advice would you offer?

Visit our website to learn more about our Mentoring program!

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First Day of School!

On behalf of the Peace Corps Fellows Program at Teachers College we wanted to say good luck and best wishes for the new school year! And we’d like to offer our new Fellows a few words:

Dear Fellows,

By the time you read this, you will probably have just completed your first full day of teaching in a NYC public school. Congratulations!

There is nothing quite like the first day of school, with the excitement of a fresh start, the anxieties and rawness of new relationships, and certainly the eagerness of students and teachers alike to see what the year will hold. You are probably feeling: exhausted, exhilarated, overwhelmed, energized, excited, apprehensive and much more. Whether it was wonderfully flawless or full of obstacles, you made it! You made it this far because you have the expertise, tenacity, resilience, care and vision to be a great educator.

Reflect upon what went well, strategize how you will make every day a little better, remember to focus on self-care and continue to forge ahead on the long journey to struggle alongside your students for social justice in your classrooms and in your schools. And know that you are not alone. You are lucky to be a member of an amazing network of Peace Corps Fellows that have served New York City public schools for over 25 years. Reach out to your colleagues, build together, collaborate and make our strong community ever stronger.

Finally, always remember that you make a difference. In the words of famous rabblerouser Emma Goldman:  “No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.” 

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Teachers College Library Tour

Elizabeth Bishop, our Assistant Director, toured the Teachers College Gottesman Libraries today and received an excellent, informative tour from Senior Librarian Jennifer Govan. From Socratic Seminars and Book Talks to Pressible Blogs around Learning at the Library, musical performances and more, there is so much for the Peace Corps Fellows to explore!



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PC Fellows Office & Resource Center

PC Fellows Library & Resource Center

The library and resource center at the Peace Corps Fellows office in 411 Zankel Hall has been organized for easy access to valuable texts and curriculum guides! Thanks to the hard work of Josie, PC Fellows Graduate Assistant extraordinaire, the library is labelled by subject-specific topics. Come by from 10-6 Monday through Friday to check out our collection. From content areas to socio-cultural topics, classroom management, policy and assessment, we’re here to help you expand your expertise!

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