Don’t let the current crisis distract you from connecting with colleagues and advancing your professional interests through service on an AACTE committee. Nominations are open through May 29 for positions on the following AACTE committees:
- Global Diversity
- Government Relations and Advocacy
- Innovation and Technology
- Meetings and Professional Development
- Membership Development and Capacity Building
- Professional Preparation and Accountability
- Research and Dissemination
This article originally appeared on the Touro College Graduate School of Education News site and is reprinted with permission.
My experience during this pandemic has been surreal. As the director of early childhood education for District 31 at The Richmond Pre-K Center, part of NYC’s Department of Education, I never imagined I’d be leading and making vital decisions related to COVID-19.
My staff and I had to immediately shift our way of thinking in order to perform our responsibilities in a new way. As educators, practicing social distancing during a pandemic while implementing digital learning with our 3-K and pre-K students is overwhelming. Grappling with this reality, we quickly implemented the word “flexibility” into our vocabulary and adapted to our new normal, accepting that things around us are changing by the minute. Being flexible gives us the opportunity to leverage the power of our emotional intelligence in order to stay grounded and focus our minds on building the future.
I applaud my district leaders and staff for leveraging their innovative skills to go above and beyond the call of duty and utilizing technology, including Microsoft Teams and Google Classrooms, to get our very important job done efficiently and effectively. We keep our students engaged by enabling them to interact directly with their teachers and fellow classmates via these virtual platforms in discussions on various topics. During our virtual meetings, our teachers create visual simulations of their classroom environment in order to deliver critical instruction, host live read aloud sessions, post videos of various activities, and lead singing and movement sessions for students to follow along with. Our teachers also model how to complete a variety of tasks related to science, literacy, writing, art, and math projects during these meetings.
Together as one, albeit separated by distance, we’re strategically maximizing the impact of education for our children during this unprecedented time.
AACTE joins the National Education Association (NEA) and the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) in celebrating excellent teachers during National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 4-8, and National Teacher Day, May 5.
The NEA and National PTA invite you to get involved by thanking a teacher in the following ways:
Thank A Teacher on Social Media
- Simply make a video or take a photo of yourself thanking a teacher who has made a difference in you or your child’s life, or just thank all teachers or supporting our nation’s students each and every day. (You can download this ThankATeacher template to use in your photo.)
- Share your message of appreciation on your favorite social media platform using the hashtag #ThankATeacher
Wear #REDforED on Wednesday, May 6
AACTE takes the health and safety of our attendees and participants at our events seriously, so we have postponed our regularly scheduled summer events to later in the year. Washington Week will now take place September 8-11 and Leadership Academy is now scheduled for October 3-7. We will take every precaution to create a safe environment while onsite. As this is an evolving situation, we will continue to monitor new developments concerning COVID-19 and will update the meeting status as needed.
Please note that due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the coronavirus, AACTE will not charge a cancellation fee if you decide to not attend an in-person event based on concerns around your health or travel. Please continue to visit aacte.org for the latest information.
WASHINGTON WEEK: September 8-11
This article originally appeared on EdSource and is reprinted with permission.
The coronavirus pandemic won’t prevent most teacher candidates from moving into California classrooms next school year, even if they have yet to complete all the normally required student teaching hours or certification tests.
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing voted Thursday to give university teacher preparation programs wide latitude to decide when teacher candidates are prepared to move onto the classroom. The commission made its decision during a virtual meeting attended by more than 550 viewers. It affects students who are on track to complete their coursework between March 19 and Sept. 1.
California expects 26,000 teachers, principals and other administrators, speech-language pathologists and school psychologists, counselors, social workers, nurses and librarians to graduate this school year, according to the commission. The majority are studying to get their teaching credential.
The AACTE 72nd Annual Meeting culminated with a Closing Session keynote address by 2019 National Teacher of the Year Rodney Robinson, a Richmond, Virginia, 18-year veteran educator who has developed programs to prevent students from entering the school-to-prison pipeline. Robinson shared how he uses culturally responsive curriculum and the whole child approach to learning in educating vulnerable students.
In talking about inequity, Robinson spoke about two different types: resource inequity and cultural inequity. During a tour of schools in Southwest Virginia, he noted the differences in resources. “It’s mind boggling. We went to some schools with 21st century buildings, state-of-the-art high-speed internet. Kids were using STEM boxes to plant agriculture, kids were using drones to to study space. And then we would go 30 miles down the road and buildings don’t even have AC, no high-speed internet; one school district didn’t even have text books.” He was challenged to advocate for these types of inequities between rural and urban schools.
AACTE Responds to COVID-19
AACTE members across the country are seeking novel ways to approach clinical practice, observation hours, and practicum expectations for their teacher candidates in order to address the nation’s need for an excellent teaching workforce in our PK-12 schools during COVID-19. AACTE and CEEDAR will co-host a second Lunch and Learn focused on strategies for leveraging partnerships in innovative ways to facilitate new opportunities to learn May 1, 2020, 1:00-1:30 p.m. ET.
Education leaders from Ohio, including our AACTE Board Member and associate dean of Bowling Green State University (BGSU), Mary Murray, will provide examples of educator preparation faculty and district partnerships that are adapting instructional modalities for students with the help of teacher candidates. From early childhood to secondary content areas, including special education, candidates are supporting their district partners through the development of lessons, online tutoring, supporting parents in their navigation of distance learning, and direct instruction online.
Join us to learn how you might apply these practices in your own context. Register now for Just-in-Time Strategies for Leveraging EPP-LEA Partnerships.
The AACTE Annual Meeting is the premier educator preparation conference in the nation. Each year, the conference provides a forum for educators to engage in meaningful discussions, share research and practices, and become better equipped to drive change in the educator preparation field. And with the 2021 Annual Meeting theme of “Resisting Hate, Restoring Hope: Engaging in Courageous Actions,” the profession will continues its 2020 mission to join together in a united effort to disrupt inequities while educating for inclusion and change.
Peer Reviewers serve an important role in ensuring that exemplary learning opportunities are selected from the proposals submitted. Since the Annual Meeting offers attendees a wide breadth and depth of content and learning experiences, peer reviewers from a background of areas from within the educator preparation field are essential. AACTE encourages you to shape the focus of the 2021 Annual Meeting by volunteering to serve as a peer reviewer.
Timeline for a Reviewer Application
- Applications are due by Wednesday, May 13 at 11:59 p.m. PT
- Approved applicants will be notified on or before Friday, June 5 at 11:59 p.m. PT
This blog post is written by AACTE consultant Jane West and is intended to provide updated information. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
This Week in COVID-19 Relief Funding
Today the President will sign the fourth COVID-19 relief bill. Passed by a voice vote in the Senate and a live vote in the House of 388-5, the bill adds $484 billion bill to COVID relief funding. Funds are to be distributed as follows:
- $321 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (small business fund which ran out of money last week
- $60 billion in economic disaster loans for small businesses
- $75 billion for emergency relief for hospitals
- $25 billion for more coronavirus testing
AACTE Responds to COVID-19
AACTE and ISTE invite you to customize your learning during a 45-minute webinar on navigating the shift to online teaching on May 6, at 1:00 p.m. ET.
Successfully transitioning to a fully online summer or fall semester will require expedient decision-making, thoughtful approaches, and awareness of the challenges that lay ahead. In this webinar, university leaders who have already transitioned to online learning will share what they learned learnings and answer your questions about making a similar shift for your program.
The intention of this webinar is to provide educator preparation program leaders with an opportunity to “customize” the learning experience by selecting one of three breakout rooms. The three breakouts will focus on different levels of familiarity with online learning. An AACTE leader proficient in transitioning to online learning and an ISTE leader, a veteran innovator who has been using technology to transform learning, will lead each breakout.
Register today for Transitioning Your Education Preparation Program Online: Decision Making Opportunities for Education Leaders.