Skip to main content

My Brother's Keeper

TOC II Spotlight: Metropolitan College of New York Graduate Reflects on Experience

We featured this TOC II spotlight in our Summer 2020 newsletter

Thomas B. Lee, a 2018 graduate of the Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY), gives a personal account of his experience as a TOC II student. Mr. Lee now works as a full-time certified classroom teacher at PS 1X in the South Bronx.

Graduating the Master of Science in Education (MSED) program provided at MCNY has undoubtedly been the fundamental difference in my teaching career, and career path as a whole. Their unique residency model and focus on quality allowed me to engage the content which I was learning in the classroom in a much more intimate and impactful way. I not only utilized the knowledge and newly acquired skills in the classroom in real time, but it exposed me to the very demographic I was looking to make an impact for.

The Teacher Opportunity Corps II program was extremely advantageous in multiple ways. The monetary benefits such as test vouchers, textbook reimbursements, monthly MetroCards, and tuition assistance were of enormous help as a student, but the support provided was truly unparalleled. For example, there were several workshops administered by the professors throughout the year that were geared specifically to assist my cohort and I for upcoming examinations and being in the best position to succeed. In addition, as a male minority of Asian and Hispanic heritage born and raised in the metropolitan area of New York, I personally understand the necessity of being culturally relevant and responsive. The preparations provided to us at MCNY to become culturally responsive pedagogues to the "at-risk" student demographic of NYC allowed me to make a positive impact in the classroom beginning day 1.

Each professor brought his/her own personal and unique experience as prior educators in the NYC public schools which gave a first-hand idea on what to expect and how to prepare. In addition to this, MCNY offered The Faculty Advisement Program, which provided a dedicated mentor that would meet with me on a weekly basis or as needed. [My mentor] was my direct connection post-graduation with PS1X The Courtlandt School in the South Bronx where I am currently employed as a third-grade general education teacher.

I am extremely grateful for the entire well-rounded academic and professional experience and support I was given at MCNY.