New Teachers Cohort Receives Support and Resources Together

After completing their degree and beginning a job, new teachers can feel overwhelmed by the fast-paced and ever-changing landscape of education.

For the second year in a row, CVES has offered a four-part series to help new teachers develop their craft and use evidence-based methods to support student learning and growth. With 47 teachers in this year’s cohort, they meet every few months throughout the school year to collaborate with other new teachers and gain valuable resources for their classrooms.

“We are so pleased to be able to offer this new teacher experience in a cohort setting. Our goal is to provide teachers with an opportunity to explore best practices in teaching while building relationships with other teachers from around the region,” Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services Amy Campbell said.

CVES partnered with Jen Hesseltine Education Consulting to provide this service to local school districts.

“Jen Hesseltine and the guests she brings are some of the most innovative and experienced educators in the field,” Campbell said. “We are fortunate to have them
sharing their experiences with this amazing group.”

Hesseltine, a veteran teacher, now runs a business around supporting teachers. She works with over 1,000 teachers a year through various settings, such as one-on-one meetings and in-person or virtual workshops.

“This workshop provides, more than anything, access to each other and each other’s ideas.” Hesseltine said. “While I’ll bring some effective strategies and resources to the table for new teachers to use in their classrooms, I think what’s really powerful about a cohort like this is the ideas that come from the people in the room.”

Through her four-part series at CVES, Hesseltine brings in other educational experts, like Literacy Teacher Educator Dr. Stephanie Affinito, Educational Consultant Dr. Amy Brambos, and the work and ideas from Educator and Author Dr. Gholdy Muhammad, for new teachers to learn from.


The cohort has attended two sessions so far this year. A variety of topics are covered in each session to provide participants with as many resources as possible.

The first session, hosted by Hesseltine and Brambos, was introductory and a refresher of ideas learned in school, such as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Bloom’s Taxonomy. They also discussed classroom management, challenging behaviors, communication, engagement and NYSED learning standards.

The morning consisted of mostly Hesseltine introducing topics, but in the afternoon, Brambos led the teachers through fun, hands-on activities about communication styles and how those styles can be used differently.

“These teachers are problem solving every day, and some things are working and some things aren’t, so for them to be able to have the time here to share what’s working with each other gives another teacher real-life examples to pull from for their classrooms,” Hesseltine said.

While it’s great for the new teachers to share general strategies, the group has a diverse range of needs. According to Hesseltine, there are a variety of teachers from grades K through 12 across all disciplines, such as special education, literacy teachers, math and science.

Hesseltine saw the need to provide relevant information and strategies for the teachers’ specific educational responsibilities. So, she and Affinito broke the cohort into elementary and secondary school focuses.

“Despite being in my third year of teaching, the new teacher series has offered some great insight and tips. Getting to discuss and share ideas with my education peers across districts has been especially useful,” Third-Grade Teacher from Morrisonville Elementary
Alyssa Neverett said. “I’ve implemented several new procedures and strategies in my classroom that were ideas I received from my fellow educators.”

Part of Session 2 was to discuss authentic learning strategies, school-day enrichment, breaking down lessons, and go-to resources for inspiration and ideas. Hesseltine gave teachers the time to engage with educational blogs and vlogs and read articles.

“Time is a big concern that comes with teachers,” Hesseltine said. “They need time to create lessons, evaluate and dig into new resources. So, for them to be able to come through these sessions and say with confidence, ‘Here’s something I tried that really saves me time,’ and offer it to everyone else in the room as a new teacher is really powerful.”

Sessions 3 and 4 will start in 2024 with ways to help the cohort collaborate with professionals, cross-disciplinary learning, reflecting on what’s currently working or not, tips for ending the school year strong and digging into Muhammad’s Five Pursuits from her book Unearthing Joy.


“The big aha from last year’s cohort was seeing the confidence that was built with the teachers in the room from the beginning to the end of the year,” Hesseltine said. “It wasn’t coming from what I told them, but really coming from the facilitation of them being together as a group of new teachers.”

This is the second year Hesseltine has led a group of new teachers through this workshop. She watched the previous cohort grow over the four-sessions immensely.

“I’ve greatly enjoyed the educational connections I’ve made and the extra support that’s been offered,” Neverett added. “I look forward to the remaining training days.”

Hesseltine sees this opportunity for new teachers as a great way to develop skills, but even more so, as a space for these new teachers to build a network of support across the region.

“These teachers are the ones working with kids every single day, so we really want to make sure they have the support they need and that we are delivering what they need,” Hesseltine said.


Read more 2023-2024 Success Stories here.