• AACTE 70th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD

USED to Offer ‘Skills for Success’ Grants

The U.S. Department of Education invites applications for Skills for Success grants to support local education agencies and their partners, including colleges and universities, in developing the noncognitive skills of middle-grades students.

According to the Department’s web site, up to $2 million is available to fund “the implementation, evaluation, and refinement of existing tools and approaches (e.g., digital games, growth mindset classroom activities, experiential learning opportunities) that integrate the development of students’ noncognitive skills into classroom-level activities and existing strategies designed to improve schools.”

ISO International Education Alumni

Does your teacher preparation program have any international alumni who might like to be interviewed for an article in a study-abroad magazine?

Elaina Loveland, editor-in-chief of NAFSA’s International Educator magazine, is looking to profile some international teacher education students who received degrees in the United States but went back home to teach or start schools in their home countries. International Educator is a bimonthly publication about global education and exchange, published by NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

‘Mama Bear’ Teacher Says edTPA Gave Student Teacher Realistic Classroom Experience

LaSaundra Colson Wade has worked with a lot of student teachers in her 18 years as an educator. That’s why she knew that it wasn’t business as usual last spring when she began working with a teacher candidate from nearby Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, GA, who was going through edTPA.

And it’s one of the reasons she’s not surprised that this spring’s student teacher is already her full-time teaching colleague.

edTPA Data Drive Conversations, Changes at Nazareth College

Educator preparation faculty at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, like to meet with faculty in other departments to compare notes about how their teacher candidates are doing and how best to support them across study areas.

“That’s just the environment we work in. They are all of our students, as they major in education and an area of the liberal arts and sciences,” explains Kate DaBoll-Lavoie, professor and immediate past chair of the Department of Inclusive Childhood Education at Nazareth. “We want them to succeed. We support our colleagues.”

For the past 2 years, DaBoll-Lavoie and her colleagues have brought to the table new data that have enriched the conversations and helped to focus them on specific needs of students.

As Open-Records Requests Continue, NCTQ ‘Thrilled’ With Proposed Changes to State Laws

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) continues its data collection efforts for the planned 2016 edition of its Teacher Prep Review. As part of this pursuit, NCTQ is once again utilizing state open-records requests for information from public institutions that have chosen not to comply with NCTQ’s information requests—and at least one state is considering a change to open-records law.

The subject of lawsuits from NCTQ in Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin, several institutions around the country asserted that course syllabi are the intellectual property of their faculty and therefore covered by copyright law – protecting them from NCTQ’s open-records requests.

Call for Comment: Revised ISLLC Standards

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) invites feedback on the latest revision of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) model standards. Comments are due Friday, May 29.

The update attempts to capture the changing expectations for school leaders, who are increasingly held responsible not only for administrative tasks but also for student learning. The model standards, according to the draft document,

[. . .] clarify the most important work and responsibilities of learning-focused leaders operating in today’s education context. Grounded in both research and effective practice, these standards provide a framework for state departments of education and districts alike to understand how to best prepare, support, and evaluate education leaders in their efforts to help every child reach his or her fullest potential. [. . .] The standards can also inform how schools and districts recruit and cultivate leaders who can build teams that share and distribute the responsibilities required for high levels of student learning and achievement to occur. (p. 3)

Lessons From Mrs. Berrier, aka Mom

The greatest teacher I ever had was Mrs. Berrier. As my fifth grade art teacher, she taught me lessons about self-direction and creativity that have endured long after I left her classroom. In fact, she continues to teach and support me—because she’s also my mother.

My mom, a proud graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, has been a teacher for almost 20 years. She has taught in schools where she had to take training to be able to break up fights, and in schools where irate parents demand to know why their children received less than a “satisfactory” on their report card. I think she has excelled at all of it because she teaches her students the same lesson, regardless of what classroom she is in: Your work is your own and is special when it represents you.

Minn. Teacher Says Prep. Program, edTPA Portfolio Helped Make First Year a Success

What a difference a year makes.

Last spring, Phil Munkvold was in his final months of college at Minnesota State University (MSU) Mankato, finishing his clinical experience and preparing his edTPA portfolio.

Thanks to a strong partnership between the MSU Mankato program and the school where Munkvold student taught, he was exposed to the edTPA process as well as the school’s staff and its students shortly after he moved to Minnesota from another state to continue his teacher preparation.

Why I Score edTPA

Editor’s Note: Tracy Spesia, a nationally trained edTPA scorer, is the recent recipient of an innovation award from the University of Saint Francis for her work on edTPA at the College of Education. According to the university, Spesia’s “creative and successful efforts with the implementation of edTPA have positioned USF as a leader in the state” and have helped enhance “the quality of USF students’ application of theory into practice during their field experiences.” In recognition of her leadership, she was appointed to the Illinois Association for Teacher Education in Private Colleges as the edTPA liaison. Spesia also serves on the executive board of the Illinois Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Click here for information about becoming an edTPA scorer.

This year I became an official edTPA scorer, and it is one of the most rewarding professional experiences I have had since I started working in the area of teacher preparation.

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