“They’re always there for you.”
NxtGEN Teacher ResidencyJulia Cummings | School of Education and Human Development May 13, 2020
Are you a student of color, a multilingual speaker, or a first-generation college student? Have you ever wanted to teach and be a role model for children in highly diverse schools? CU Denver’s NxtGEN Teacher Residency (NxtGEN) program in the School of Education & Human Development (SEHD) is much more than three years of paid teaching experience and teacher education courses followed by a final year-long residency in a school. It’s an opportunity for those who wish to receive forward-thinking mentorship from Dr. Tania Hogan, director of NxtGEN Teacher Residency, together with a cadre of award-winning teacher education faculty, school site teams and mentor teachers.
Dr. Hogan cares deeply about social justice, say students in the NxtGEN program. She grounds them in their academics through helpful seminars and one-on-one appointments. She guides students through the process of gaining financial aid, scholarships, interviews and paid internships that they love. She listens attentively and generously, day and night. She speaks thoughtfully to them about their coursework and internships: always helping them see the bigger picture or the extra article they could read. In short, she is the living example of the kind, compassionate, and exemplary teacher they wish to become.
Nathalie Gomez, a senior in the program, describes the NxtGEN program as highly relational, supportive, a true community and the reason she chose CU Denver: “Since I joined NxtGEN, I’ve been inspired by Tania. I want to be as supportive to the students in my classroom as she’s been to me. I just want to go above and beyond. There've been personal issues that she's helped me figure out and incidents in classrooms that we're still figuring out together. Tania helped me find an internship site where I could speak Spanish consistently, and where I eventually obtained a full-time job as a third grade ELA-S teacher. I’m also planning to continue my schooling at CU Denver to get an MA. So that's really exciting.”
David Montes, a second-year student in NxtGEN, loves the paid para-professional work in schools, as well as the academic and personal supports that NxtGEN provides: “I enjoy it a lot. It's hard work, but I have been doing hard work all my life. It's just different. I love the feeling of belonging to this community, this body of educators. It's just really good. Tania is my hero. The people in NxtGEN listen to us. They are our personal psychologists. They take a big load off our backs. They are our friends. They are our teachers. They are a very big part of education, for me. I always recommend NxtGen. I think it's a great program. They're always there for you.”
“Early on, our students are getting the experience of what it's like to be a teacher,” said Hogan. “They see the behind the scenes. They're working in the schools five days a week, 8:00 a.m. to noon. So, the reality of teaching is visible for them. Our graduates know they want to be teachers and they just have so much more instructional experience. They know the system. They know all the curriculum ahead of time. They learn how to interact professionally with teachers and families. We're creating and empowering strong groups of new teachers.”