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Radio Show Previews AACTE Annual Meeting

In an online radio show February 12, Education Talk Radio host Larry Jacobs interviewed AACTE staff members about the upcoming AACTE 70th Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. Rodrick Lucero (vice president) and Matthew Wales (senior director of meetings, events, and special projects) joined Jacobs to discuss preparations for the event, which marks the 70th anniversary of AACTE, and what to expect on site at the Baltimore Convention Center and Hilton Baltimore.

Jacobs opened with an overarching question about AACTE’s purpose, in honor of the Association’s 70th anniversary. Lucero said it boils down to uniting the field in a national narrative, pooling everyone’s research and practice and solutions so that progress anywhere can benefit students everywhere. He emphasized that this narrative must be “put forward by the experts, and those are the people that are trained and able to speak about the work we do with kids, and with training teachers.”

Noting the value of a national conference for advancing this objective, Jacobs asked Wales who tends to come to the AACTE Annual Meeting—and what they are looking to get out of it.

Wales said the attendee profile has grown more diverse over the years and now encompasses not only education deans but students, faculty, PK-12 partners, and other groups looking to connect and learn together under the theme of “Celebrating Our Professional Identity.”

“What we have lined up this year in Baltimore is really a great example of providing an environment that is not only going to allow them to engage in very meaningful and productive discussions,” Wales said, “but also allow for some casual networking and really get a chance to further develop and deepen [existing] relationships.”

Asked what has changed the most in teacher preparation over the last 10 years, Lucero said one key point of growth is that “we are much more sophisticated in pedagogical practice.” The field has more evidence about what works, and more innovative models to employ, to prepare teachers to serve all students more effectively—whether these students are English learners, have learning disabilities, come from underresourced areas, or whatever their needs might be. Teacher candidates have stronger clinical experiences, consider new advances in the science of learning, practice using new technologies, and otherwise engage in rigorous pedagogical development.

The AACTE Annual Meeting is a great place to share and advance this growth. “We look for what others are doing so that we can embrace and improve our own practice,” Lucero said. It’s also an important opportunity to celebrate the profession, he said, “and talk about teaching as not just a paycheck—it’s much more of an opportunity for a rich life in terms of a career.”

You can listen to the recording of this show here, and stay tuned for next week’s shows from the Annual Meeting in Baltimore!

Note: Education Talk Radio, which reaches over 70,000 listeners each month, wants to help AACTE member institutions bring in more new students for graduate work. Jacobs, the show’s president and host, is offering a discounted rate to all AACTE members to get your message to his audience of engaged teachers and administrators. You’re invited to bring faculty and administrators onto the show for lively discussions about the great work your program is doing. For more information, contact Jacobs at 978-712-8187 or edutalklarry@gmail.com. You can also meet him in person at the AACTE Annual Meeting in Baltimore next week, where Jacobs will be hosting live shows.