Meet Tyiesha Hoskins, NCTR’s Associate Director of Programs


May 10, 2023 — When revisiting my experience in the classroom, both as a teacher resident and an educator, an old phrase comes to mind: “To understand the fruit, you must look at the root.” Over time, these incredible experiences emerged from broader social contexts–the root–in which these experiences occur. As I began reliving my story as a teacher resident and a social justice educator, I realized that there were many thick bans of stories that overlapped and braided together, which resulted in where I find myself today as an associate director at the National Center for Teacher Residencies. My personal, academic, and professional experience is cultivated by the power of resistance, stories, and a deep commitment to fostering a more equitable schooling experience for all learners.

I felt safe, fearless, capable, and empowered in the classroom. As a teacher resident and an educator, my goal was for my students to feel that connection. With this in mind, I challenged students to respond, think critically, and enjoy learning. While I desired students in the classroom to identify and reach for their highest potential, I equally wanted them to feel good about themselves and become confident human beings. As a teacher resident, one of my favorite memories was when students needed help understanding the fuss about reading because they had never gotten lost in a book. They would express their distaste for the selected readings in class — openly and honestly. I enjoyed their fearless attitudes and the level of comfortability in being their authentic selves. However, the thrill was helping them identify their favorite genre and author. The moment that felt so real for me was when I encouraged them to get lost in books, to love literacy, and to help define themselves as learners; not just students. And just like me, they can go beyond being a compliant citizen and follow their life script. Eventually, I became a teacher who opened their world to think, question, and consider the possibilities. Through my shared power approach, I implemented daily strategies that forged meaningful connections by communicating openly with them and demonstrating interest in the totality of their lives, not just their academic lives. In turn, my students understood the power of using their voices to learn. My residency program taught me to fearlessly make a positive difference for my students under any circumstances.

Now, as an associate director at the National Center for Teacher Residencies, it means a great deal to me to be part of a mission to build consensus around the vision that all teachers can achieve high-quality levels of preparation within a teacher residency program. This position provides an opportunity for me to bring along on this journey the memories of all the students I taught to co-build and co-support. As an associate director, I am clear about my “why;” my ethical responsibility is to advocate and champion for students to make connections with themselves, with their teachers, to each other, and with the broader community. In turn, I became a member of a larger community of changemakers advocating for our students and communities.

In my consulting work with teacher residency programs, I strive to bridge the lessons and experiences I gained as a teacher resident and educator. As mentor teachers and residents often interact with students in the classroom, I understand educators’ unique lens into students’ lives and how they see such positive values across multiple facets of their students’ learning development. As such, my work draws from a culture of support, growth, and collaboration with partners in the NCTR Network. I work to ensure that teacher residents have access to resources that will help them feel empowered to teach and harness the strength of the community to create broad coalitions of empathetic and resilient educators across the U.S. In all my learning experiences, I draw from the concept of solidarity, which emphasizes the importance of community-building and collective learning with people who are different, but work toward a shared goal.