Speeding up the New Teacher Trajectory


Aaron Cuny
Co-Founder and Head of School
Ingenuity Preparatory School, Washington, DC

Named an “Elementary School Worth Visiting” by Education Week, Ingenuity Prep has quickly earned respect as a high-performing urban school. Urban Teachers has been a partner since the beginning, supplying the school with promising new teachers committed to the profession.

Urban Teachers residents fit right into the school’s design: Every Ingenuity Prep classroom is anchored by a master teacher, with other teachers placed on a ladder as residents, associate teachers, and lead teachers. The idea is that developing teachers need time to strengthen their practice and opportunities to learn from the best.

School Co-Founder Aaron Cuny is impressed by the growth mindset of Urban Teachers residents. In contrast with teachers coming through other pipelines, Cuny notes a greater level of humility in the Urban Teachers residents he’s hired, as well as a hunger to learn. These qualities have paid off in a quick learning trajectory. Urban Teachers first-year teachers display deeper content knowledge, stronger management skills, and an ability to foster more rigorous classroom discourse than Cuny would typically see.

Cuny brought on a new cohort of Urban Teachers residents for year two and plans to continue hiring from them. Urban Teachers has proven to be a great partner, adapting its model to fit the school’s design and values and providing just the type of aspiring teachers Ingenuity Prep needs to achieve its ambitious goals for students.