Mayor de Blasio said he expects to have more than enough applicants to fill teacher positions if, as expected, the city implements universal prekindergarten this year.
In a report released Tuesday on the city’s preparations to recruit and train high-quality teachers as part of the expansion of full-day pre-K, the city Department of Education projects it will need up to 1,000 new lead teachers this September to instruct 53,600 children, with another 1,000 teachers needed the following year for full implementation. The report says up to 8,000 prospective teachers may apply.
All pre-K teachers—in public schools and community-based organizations—must hold a bachelor’s degree and, ultimately, earn a valid early childhood state certification and a master’s degree.
Already, the DOE says, applications from teachers with certification to teach pre-K are up 55 percent over this time last year.
To further deepen that pool, the DOE is also undertaking a national recruitment effort to attract high-quality talent from across the country, with applications online at TeachNYCPreK.org.
As part of the plan to recruit, train and retain the best teachers, the city will enter a $6.7 million partnership with the City University of New York and its Early Childhood Professional Development Institute to help 400 New Yorkers secure their certification to teach pre-K.
“No single factor is more important to starting a child’s education right than ensuring that child has an excellent teacher,” de Blasio said in a statement. “I have seen what a difference it can make firsthand with my own children. We have put in place the building blocks to make sure we have trained and qualified professionals in every single classroom.”
The DOE will also hold recruiting events throughout the city with particular emphasis on areas with a high number of new classrooms, and will launch a “Teach NYC pre-K” subway advertising campaign this spring.