John E. Clark
Hope Street Group National Teacher Fellow
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
I’m a high school teacher in Florida. I entered the profession through an alternative certification route after completing a 20+ year career in telecommunications. Beyond my standard college classes, my classroom-based preparation consisted of only 10 days of observation along with the creation and delivery of two practice lessons. I graduated as “highly qualified” and was hired immediately as a science teacher at the local teacher job fair.
If I were entering the profession now, especially coming from the business world, I would want a more effective teacher preparation experience than the one I had 10 years ago. Many experienced educators concur. Hope Street Group’s On Deck: Preparing the Next Generation of Teachers (a report released this spring) was the first study that compiled data collected by teachers from classroom teachers regarding their professional preparation. Along with 17 other National Teacher Fellows, I conducted this peer research, sourcing educators of all tenures who were certified in 49 states plus the District of Columbia. Amid several interesting findings in On Deck, two particularly resonated with me as I also reflect on “what I wish I’d learned then.”