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NYSAIS 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 2022-23, the institute will be held with an in-person full-day session at the start and the end of the institute, and after-school Zoom meetings in November, December, and February.



Full-day sessions:

  • October 14, 2022 – Opening Day in person, The Spence School, 412 East 90th St., NY, NY, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., with an hour lunch break
  • April 21, 2023 – Closing Day in person, location The Spence School, 412 East 905h St., NY, NY, 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 7
  • December 5
  • February 6

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, marcy@nysais.org.


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

Registration opens in summer 2022.

Staff in 2022-23:

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-leader, is the Ethics and Technology Coordinator at Ethical Culture Fieldston 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.


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.