Elisabeth Valenzuela Coordinates New Regional School Partnership

This article originally appeared on the New Mexico Highlands University website and is reprinted with permission.

Elisabeth Valenzuela is the first coordinator for the Regional School Partnership, a collaboration among Pojoaque Valley Public Schools, Los Alamos National Laboratory and New Mexico Highlands University that aims to support improved teaching and learning.

The innovative partnership, launched in October 2018, is the first of its kind in New Mexico to combine a school district, a major employer and a university teacher education program. It focuses on increasing success for youth in grades 4 through 8.

“The clinical residency program is the most exciting element of this new partnership,” Valenzuela said. “Pre-service teachers who are students in the Highlands School of Education will spend their junior and senior years working three days a week co-teaching a classroom in Pojoaque schools. These college students will work under the mentorship of a highly qualified teacher.”

Valenzuela said Los Alamos National Laboratory has a history of working with Northern New Mexico school districts to improve teaching and learning.

Teacher Professional Identity and Learner Engagement

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Can there be something within a teacher’s professional identity that enables them to better engage their students? If so, what are some ways an educator can shape their professional identity to more effectively engage their students in content and skill development?

Education researchers (Salli & Osam, 2018) suggest that a teacher’s professional identity is a balance between both teaching strategies and the teacher’s interactions with students. A person’s identity is made up of several unique perspectives (I-positions), working both separately and in harmony with one another to effect one’s decisions and actions in a given situation (Meijers & Hermans, 2018). I-positions are made up of a person’s past experiences, and each I-position then assumes a role within the person’s identity. When a person encounters a new situation, several I-positions may be activated at the same time and through dialogic interaction, either collaborate or form tension with each other in order for the person to make a decision and act within that situation.

The collaboration and tension among I-positions is where a person’s identity is formed or grows.

Mentor Teachers Honored for Vital Role in U of A Educator Prep Program

This article originally appeared on the University of Arkansas website and is reprinted with permission.

Three University of Arkansas teacher candidates recently surprised their public school mentor teachers with banners lauding them as a Mentor Teacher of the Year for 2018-19.

U of A students in the teacher-education program spend either a full semester or year as interns in public schools across Northwest Arkansas for hands-on training before they have their own classrooms to manage.

“The internship is the most crucial aspect of our teacher preparation programs and mentor teachers are the lifeblood of the experience,” said Jake Ayo, director of field placement for the Office of Teacher Education in the College of Education and Health Professions. “They go above and beyond in an already demanding profession as they pour their time and energy into crafting our interns into teacher leaders.”

Being paired with a great mentor educator in local schools is vital to a student teacher’s success. Every year, public school teachers are named Mentor Teacher of the Year and are chosen based on their U of A intern’s nomination. The university recognizes the teachers who demonstrate a positive impact on teacher candidates’ development and P-12 student learning and development.

Georgia Southern and Haven Elementary Partner for Educator Program

This article originally appeared on the Georgia Southern University website and is reprinted with permission.

Georgia Southern University and Haven Elementary School are partnering to offer teachers a Gratifying Problem-Solving (GPS) program, which will provide educators unique monthly professional development based on the school’s current need for improved mathematics instruction.

The College of Education’s Jackie Kim, associate professor of elementary and special education, serves as director for the project, totaling $74,976, which is funded by a Community Partnership Grant from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement.

The GPS program uses a bottom-up approach, allowing the participants at Haven Elementary to help shape its development, workshop activities and directive.

“We go to find out what their inquiries and needs are and create a workshop based on the assessment,” said Kim. “We want to start with what they are currently doing in the classroom and change their practice to make instruction stronger yet doable.”

Higher Education Equity: Learning Experiences Via Multiple Pathways


The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Teacher educators love to talk. We lecture, provide oral directions, read passages aloud, ask countless questions, and verbally redirect. In addition to the auditory quality of teaching, we have also mastered the visual. Anchor charts, word walls, and mnemonic device posters are endemic in teacher preparation classrooms today as we dutifully prepare the next generation of teachers. Graphic organizers, mind maps, color-coding, and visual aids are also ubiquitous. In the never-ending struggle to meet the needs of all learners, the partiality toward auditory and visual aspects of teaching is biased against students (both adult learner and their future PK-12 students) who do not prefer to learn within those modalities.

Carlos D. Richardson Named Scholar of the Month

Congratulations to Carlos D. Richardson, Holmes Scholar of the Month for May 2019!  Richardson is currently a doctoral candidate at Bowie State University in Bowie, MD. His dissertation research examines “Factors that Influence Black Girls Participation in STEM.  Richardson served as Holmes Scholars Council historian 2016-2017 and Holmes Scholar Council vice president 2017-2019, where he was influential in advocating for students from underrepresented populations. 

Richardson teaches social studies at Friendship Collegiate Academy, an urban high school located in Washington, DC. He has served in a variety of roles over the years, including being a social studies subject area supervisor, extended learning coordinator, lead teacher, summer school principal and more. For the last 8 years, Richardson has also served as the coordinator of the Summer Enrichment Program, where students participate in over 16 extended learning programs that also serve as their summer job and receive pay as part of the Washington, DC Summer Youth Employment Program. Under Richardson’s leadership, the program has twice been named most outstanding school-led summer program by the Washington, DC Department of Employment Services.

In 2014, Richardson was named the Friendship Public Charter Schools Teacher of the Year, as well as being named the 2014 Washington, DC Public Charter Schools Teacher of the Year. Upon graduation, he plans to continue his career in the K-12 education system.

Critical Friends Working Toward Program Improvement While Building a Partnership


In September of 2018, University of North Georgia (UNG) Educational Leadership staff began partnership discussions with Gwinnett County Schools. The UNG educational leadership program went through several iterations and was working toward revising the program to align with the Principal Pipeline Research from the Wallace Foundation. This revision also met the requirements for the new Tier 1 certification program implemented by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission. We were new to the work and very interested in the successful, data-driven work Gwinnett County Schools Leadership development programs.

The initial discussions were about the application process and how we screen candidates, as well as, how we measured the success of our candidates beyond the obvious licensing test by the state.  This was the beginning of deep thinking for us about our program. We quickly learned that to build a quality program, we needed to attract the best candidates and track them through their placements in schools as leaders to determine the effectiveness of our work. We were most impressed with Gwinnett’s systems for measuring the success of their leadership development programs. This was great timing for our program as our Tier I participants had just completed the first cohort.  

The quality measures divide the process program improvement into six domains. We shared our practices in our Tier I program in each of the six areas, collecting evidence to support our work with our critical friends from Gwinnett.  At the same time, Gwinnett County Schools examined its practices in its principal preparation program sharing with us as critical friends. The process was transparent and helpful.  We both walked away with fresh ideas for improving our programs.

Learn from Alumnus at AACTE Leadership Academy

AACTE’s Leadership Academy is the perfect professional development opportunity for you to discover who you are as a leader. Designed for new and aspiring deans, department chairs, and anyone looking to develop or enhance their skills as an academic administrator, the academy covers the essentials of leadership while helping attendees cultivate a supportive network of peers. Here’s what the newest member of AACTE’s Academy Faculty, John Kuykendall had to say about his experience, including being a previous Academy participant:

What do you feel is the most valuable reason for attending the Leadership Academy?

For new administrators, it is essential to know that you are not alone in your role. I consider it necessary to develop a support group around your new leadership position and to have colleagues to call upon for guidance and assistance. The sessions at AACTE’s Leadership Academy provided me with key awareness in the decision-making process and leadership practices and strategies. My experience with the Academy was essential in developing a confident start in my new role as a dean for a school of education.

Shanita L. Pettaway Named Holmes Scholar of the Month

Congratulations to the Shanita. Pettaway, the March 2019 Holmes Scholar of the Month!

Pettaway, a native of Mobile, AL is a Ph.D. candidate in administration of higher education at Auburn University. She is focusing her research on the areas of administrative law, higher education law, human resources, public policy, historically black colleges and universities, as well as, the higher education professoriate—a logical and instinctive continuation of her previous graduate education. Her dissertation consists of a multi-content analysis of Title IX policies at historically black colleges and universities.

Graduating in 2008, with the highest academic average of a senior in business Administration from Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University, Pettaway is also an alumna of Southern University Law Center (Juris Doctor), Southern University and Agricultural & Mechanical College (Master of Public Administration), and Auburn University (Master of Education, Administration of Higher Education; Graduate Certificate in College and University Teaching).

Shealey Named Senior Vice President to Lead Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Rowan

This article on AACTE Board of Director Monika Williams Shealey and accompanying photo originally appeared in Rowan Today and are reprinted with permission.

Monika Williams Shealey has been named senior vice president of the newly created Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Rowan University.

Shealey, who joined Rowan as dean of the College of Education in 2013, will oversee a division that brings together departments and programs to develop initiatives designed to address issues of access, equity and inclusion across all of the University’s campuses.

“Under Dr. Shealey, the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will be tasked with making Rowan a model institution—a University where diversity is valued and equity and inclusion are routine,” Rowan President Ali A. Houshmand said in announcing Shealey’s appointment.

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