Beginning Teachers Institute

The Beginning Teacher Institute (BTI) is designed for first or second year teachers and assistant teachers. The experience is highlighted by small group discussions led by a staff of experienced teachers and facilitators, along with videotaping of sample lessons by participants. In 2021-22, the expanded institute will be held via Zoom with a full-day session at the start and the end of the institute, and monthly Zoom meetings in November through February. 


Full-day sessions:

  • October 4, 2021 - Opening Day on Zoom, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., with an hour lunch break
  • April 18, 2022 - Closing Day in person, location TBD, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., with an hour lunch break

Monthly sessions are on the following Mondays, from 4:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m.:

  • November 8
  • December 6
  • January 24
  • February 28

The program supports professional growth and development in three main areas:

  • The self (goals, personal growth)
  • The relationship to the school (parents, colleagues, Heads, and students)
  • The vocation of teaching (curriculum, classroom management)

Areas of focus of BTI include:

  • Parent Conferences
  • Classroom Management
  • Writing Comments and Grades
  • Setting Goals
  • Subject Area Discussions
  • Grade Level Discussions
  • Working with Students with Learning Differences
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Current Issues in School Today

The staff of the Beginning Teachers Institute includes seasoned teachers and administrators who serve in leadership roles. Participation on the staff of the Beginning Teachers Institute includes occasional meetings for planning prior to the institute, as well as full participation and leadership during the institute. Those who would like more information and/or are interested in serving on the staff of one of our institutes should contact Marcy Mann, Associate Director for Professional Learning,


  • Members: $550
  • Non-members: $650

Register here.

Staff in 2021-22:

  Kyle Anderson teaches Lower School STEM courses at The Calhoun School.
 Jennifer D. Tait is a Middle School Learning Specialist, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator and the Seventh Grade Dean at Trinity School, where she is particularly passionate about her work with student affinity groups.
 Sara Beasley is an English teacher and chair of the English department at The Spence School.
 Kim Deveaux, BTI co-leaderis the Ethics and Technology Coordinator at Ethical Culture Fieldston School.

Russell Combs has served as a grade-level dean, department chair, discipline committee chair and Dean of Students at The Nichols School.

 Kinjal Mankad Nicholls, BTI co-leader, is a K-4 Learning Specialist at the Spence School.
  Tracy Gruver is entering her 18th year of teaching, 14 of those have been at Brooklyn Heights Montessori School. She teaches first through third grade, and has served as Lower-Elementary team leader for 3 years.
  Alicia Howard is the Dean of Leadership at St. Luke's School and an educator with over 20 years of teaching experience in independent schools. In her years of teaching, Alicia has worked with lower and upper school students in English, Humanities, Math, and Social Studies.
  Nayantara Mhatre is a progressive educator with the heart of a middle schooler. She has worked in independent schools for fifteen years, and is currently the Middle School Dean of Students at The Calhoun School.
 Mark Silberberg - Mark Silberberg currently serves as the Director of Learning & Innovation at Little Red Schoolhouse Elisabeth Irwin High School (LREI).
  Nikki Vivion currently teaches upper school science and serves as the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Nightingale-Bamford School, a role assumed after spending seven years as chair of the science department. Nikki's passions lie in public health and the environment, and most specifically at their intersection.
  Peter Soto is a Middle School Dean at Poly Prep Country Day School. His other roles have included 4th grade associate teacher, PE teacher, Athletic Director, and Chair of the Physical Education Dept.  Peter has had the privilege to teach, coach, and mentor students from Preschool through grade 12.  




NYSAIS Events Registration
    • January 24, 2022 What Remote Learning Has Taught Us About Executive Functioning and What Do We Do Now 4:00 PM to 5:30 PMeSeminar
      Online via zoom, Andrew Ayers and Amelia Glauber, Collegiate School 
      Three-part series: Mondays, January 24, 31, & February 7, 2022 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
      Audience:  Educators, K- 5th Grade
      Details and Registration here!
    • January 25, 2022 Using Statistical Data, Quantitative Maps, and ArcGIS Mapping to Analyze Social Justice and Environmental Issues 4:00 PM to 5:30 PMeSeminar
      Online via Zoom
      Tuesday, January 25, 2022 
      Presenter: Ayo Magwood, Uprooting Inequity LLC
      4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
      Audience: Middle and High/Upper School STEM and human geography educators, and curriculum/academic deans
      Details and registration here.
    • January 29, 2022 Trustee Governance Conference: Strategic Thinking for Boards and Heads of School 9:00 AM to 12:15 PMZoom

      Online via Zoom.

      Target Audience: Heads and Trustees

      Speakers: Nishant Mehta, Anne-Marie Balzano, Ari Betof, Tony Featherston, Mark Lauria, Mary Kay Makunas, Duby McDowell, Mark Mitchell, Caryn Pass, Staci Williams Seeley, and Amada Torres. 

      Details and registration here.
    • February 3, 2022 Experienced Teachers Institute (ETI22) Mohonk Mountain House

      Thurs. Feb 3 - Sat. Feb. 5, 2022
      New Paltz, NY

      Proof of Vaccination Required

       Leaders: Annie Byerly, Javaid Khan, Kenny Graves

       Details and Registration are here.

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© 2013 New York State Association of Independent Schools

site map   |   privacy policy   |   contact us
17 Elk Street (First Floor)     Albany, NY 12207     Tel: 518-694-5500     Fax: 518-694-5501

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