Yale Education Studies Introduces Partner Teachers Program

Piloted in the 2022-2023 academic year, the Partner Teachers Program allows Yale Education Studies students to learn from the expertise of New Haven Public School teachers. The inaugural cohort comprised 14 educators from 8 New Haven Public Schools, all of whom expressed eagerness to reflect on their practice. 

In the fall, Partner Teachers were matched with students from Professor Daniel HoSang’s Anti-Racist Curriculum and Pedagogy class. Undergraduates created anti-racist curricular materials that were specific to their Partner Teachers’ needs, and Partner Teachers allowed students from Dr. Mira Debs’s Foundations in Education Studies to observe their classrooms. 

In the spring, Partner Teachers were paired with students from Professor Melissa Scheve’s Principles of Effective Teaching in the Secondary Classroom course. 

“In my class, we focus on a different effective teaching principle each week,” Scheve explained. “…every couple of weeks, [students] go in and observe for those effective teaching principles and have a follow-up conversation with the teacher each time.”

Scheve’s principles anti-racist teaching, culturally sustaining pedagogy, and backward planning. While public school classroom observations didn’t always neatly mirror the readings in her class, Scheve’s students were still able to glean valuable insights from the Partner Teachers Program. Katherine Matsukawa (YC ‘23) watched Julia Miller begin her lesson with a community circle, for example, and Grace Miller (YC ‘24) saw Steve Staysniak color code his PowerPoint slides to indicate whether students were allowed to use their phones. 

For undergraduates who were interested in teaching, the Partner Teachers Program was a source of mentorship and real-world experience. Hema Patel (YC ‘24) taught lessons in both the fall and spring semesters. In HoSang’s class, she created a lesson that connected Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling during the national anthem to Standing Rock’s protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. In Scheve’s, she taught a short lesson on the celebration of Native art in powwows. 

The Partner Teachers Program is now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 academic year. If you teach in New Haven Public Schools and are interested in joining the upcoming cohort, click here for more information.