The National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) is delighted to join with AACTE and an array of partners—the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium (MAEC), and the National Education Association (NEA)—to expand our understanding of how educators are prepared for family engagement. As part of this project, we are inviting department heads and chairs of colleges of teacher education to complete our National Survey of Educator Preparation in Family Engagement by October 31. The goal of the survey is to map how educator preparation programs are preparing education candidates for effective family engagement, identify promising practices, and learn and share innovative ideas.
Preparing Educators for Family Engagement
Engaging families and communities in learning has always been foundational to student success. Yet, as our nation sets a path forward for education this school year, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the reinvigorated movement for racial justice, family and community engagement is more important than ever before. Many educators, however, are not well-prepared to engage families and communities meaningfully.
In April, The Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) did what many organizations had to do. We transitioned our annual conference to an online format, and we discovered we were still able to have rich conversations with our SITE members around the world. Spurred on by this success, we have been planning a new fall event we are calling the SITE Interactive Online Conference, which will take place October 26-28.
We hope this will be a way of connecting our SITE community in-between the annual spring conferences and allow us to have an event with more practitioner and conversation-oriented sessions. While there will still be opportunities to present research papers as we do at our annual spring research conference, we have added new presentation categories (such as birds of a feather, best practices/demo teaching, and practitioner panels) to provide space for conversations around the important issues facing teacher education today. With a conference rate of $150 and a special rate of $55 for students, we especially hope to see many graduate students and early-career faculty join us.
Proposals are due Friday, September 25 on our website. I hope to see you at SITE Interactive October 26-28!
Elizabeth Langran serves as president of the SITE Executive Board.
The horrific image of George Floyd taking his last breath is seared into our hearts and minds. Since that tragic event, we continue to bear witness to racial violence, police brutality, and incidents of discrimination that are played repeatedly in the news and via social media. The cumulative effect of these stressful reports can be traumatizing, and they are having a profound impact on our educators and students of color.
Racial battle fatigue (RBF), a term coined by critical race theorist William Smith, reflects the cumulative results of race-related stress. It emerges not only due to macroaggressions, but also from daily microaggressions, such as dismissive and demeaning comments directed at Black and Brown individuals. Basically, RBF is a wearing down based upon one’s racial identity. Some of the symptoms include depression, anger, frustration, and an overwhelming feeling of helplessness that a person of color is unable to contribute to positive change.
RBF is persistent and pervasive, and it manifests in different ways dependent upon who the person of color is and what he or she has experienced in the past. And while RBF impacts every aspect of our society, in higher education and K-12 environments, we predominantly see it’s imprint through hateful, divisive speech on social media, racial profiling in our society and our schools, and discipline policies that differ for students of color.
This article is part of a series on clinically rich teacher preparation in New York State, coordinated by Prepared To Teach at Bank Street College. The text is adapted from their latest report, Making Teacher Preparation Policy Work: Lessons From and For New York, and shared by the featured institution.
In the fall of 2018, Canisius College developed the Western New York Teacher Residency Program (WNYTR). The two-year, graduate level program is designed to prepare skilled teachers who are committed to teaching in Buffalo schools, especially schools with high poverty rates and few resources.
In the planning phase of WNYTR, representatives from five partner schools, seeking a pipeline of well-prepared, diverse teachers, met regularly with College administrators and faculty to discuss the design of the program and align the curriculum to eight Canisius Resident Practices, including, for example, eliciting and interpreting student thinking; supporting students across their social, emotional, and academic needs; and designing/adapting appropriate student lessons and assessments.
After spending a year planning for this program’s launch, there was deep and mutual commitment to the goals and objectives of the program moving into the resident selection process.
Are you looking to enhance your professional skills in advocating for national education policies that advance teacher preparation? AACTE is seeking a social media engagement intern to join its marketing and communications team starting this fall semester. If you enjoy keeping up with current trends, storytelling, and gathering data on member engagement and education issues, then consider applying for the remote position.
The ideal applicant for the social media engagement intern position will possess strong knowledge of the digital media landscape, including various social media sites and tools. The successful candidate will be responsible for contributing to website projects, monitoring and engaging with various blogs and social networks, engaging members in social media activities, and participating in online outreach and promotions. Those looking to gain valuable, online media experience with an established organization are encouraged to apply.
The deadline for the AACTE 2021 Awards is quickly approaching. The final day to submit a nomination is October 9. Submissions can be either be self-nominated or nominated by a third party. To submit a nomination, visit AACTE’s online submission site.
As the fall 2020 semester begins like none other, AACTE would like to remind you of a few new additions to the member resources roster that may be of service to you as the new academic years begins in a COVID-19 world.
- COVID-19 Resource Hub – Here you can connect with peers and access various webinars, tools, and the latest research about online and distance learning.
- COVID-19 Educator Preparation Policy Tracker Map – View the latest policy changes affecting your program and receive guidance on how to make any programmatic changes necessary.
- Virtual Reality Classrooms – Need to provide your candidates with virtual simulations to complete clinical practice requirements? Through your AACTE membership, you receive special rates to Mursion Virtual Reality Classrooms.
Additional resources that you will find useful include the following:
The culminating course of the NYU Teacher Residency focuses on a year-long participatory action research (PAR) journey residents take with a small group of students. PAR is a collaborative, iterative process of inquiry and action in response to an organizational or community problem. Residents and their students work as a team to identify a problem of practice, research that problem of practice, craft action and data collection plans, implement those plans, and then evaluate their impact through analysis of gathered data. In presentations at the end of the course, residents reflect on the entire process and how it helped develop student agency, advocacy, and voice as well as their own leadership. It is the faculty’s hope that during the PAR journey, residents practice radical listening and how to be mindful learners and leaders.
In March 2020, COVID-19 entered the residents’ PAR experience like a wrecking ball. I gathered with the other PAR instructors to decide how we were going to adjust the project for our residents, considering the radical change in access both to physical spaces and to the students in the PAR teams. We ultimately decided to offer the residents two choices: a reflective path, in which they could craft a presentation on their team’s original plan and the progress they were able to make pre-COVID, and a virtual pilot path, in which they could adjust their projects to the virtual space we all suddenly found ourselves in. Understandably, most residents chose to pursue the reflective path, but one resident, Lorraine Zhong, and her team of students chose to continue their project virtually. Her project is a model for how the PAR instructors in the NYU Teacher Residency will be approaching the project this year, with COVID-19’s grip still firmly on our schools. Her journey is a beautiful example of the transformative power of PAR—its ability to strengthen relationships, build student investment, and spark meaningful change—even in the face of this new and terribly difficult time for our schools.
I’ll let her take it from here.
This article is a personal reflection of the 2020 Washington Week Holmes Policy Institute by attendee Angeline Dean.
“People, Policy, Politics, and Processes” – Jane West
The knowledge of this framework and its relation to analysis and advocacy spearheaded the Holmes Advanced Policy Course. This framework, along with homework given by AACTE staffers Jane West and Weade James was not only the necessary grounding to an understanding that truly “all politics are local” but also ripe for Luis Maldonado to address the navigating of politics and policies. Immediately following, Lakeisha Steele, professional staffer and policy team leader for Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), chair of the House, Education & Labor Committee, “ripped the runway” with her honesty, passion, and commitment to social and transformational change! She reminded us that “we are our ancestors wildest dreams!” Therefore, we like our ancestors and so many who have transitioned this year, must be prepared to live in “good trouble” spaces and we must Persevere.
“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair” – Shirley Chisolm.
As we segued into the rest of the Holmes Policy Institute, we were gifted with the Power statement of “Miss Unbought and Unbossed” herself, Shirley Chisolm. How befitting as this statement resonated as an overarching theme for such a time as this. AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie Fenwick challenged us to thwart the narratives that brand Black bodies in lies and deficits. She pushed us to exercise our Positionality as spaces of truth, resistance, power, and countered narratives that honor civil rights ancestors in the proper telling of history and data in education. With that, students posed questions that blended and asserted their politics, processes, power, and positionality as people such as: What exactly is the role of a dean in residence and how or does it relate to Holmes students and their needs? What systems are in place to protect (another p word) BIPOC students against whiteness and internalized racism in predominantly white institutions?
The Louisiana Department of Education, Louisiana Board of Regents and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) debuted a new website that will help soon-to-be educators choose the teacher preparation program that fits them best. Prospective educators can now visit LouisianaTeacherPrep.com to explore teacher preparation programs and pathways to become a teacher.
“If we want to provide our children with the education they deserve, we need a highly effective teacher in front of every child,” said State Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley. “Not only does this new tool help prospective teachers find the best pathway for them, but it will recruit educators to our state by showcasing Louisiana’s many quality preparation programs.”
The new website will serve as a one-stop-shop for information on the state’s 29 teacher preparation providers. LouisianaTeacherPrep.com was produced to provide prospective educators with data on Louisiana teacher preparation providers that may be helpful as they select a program suitable to their needs.
Completion of a teacher preparation program signifies that an enrolled teacher candidate has met all state educational and training requirements to be recommended for initial certification. The LDOE is collaborating with BESE and the Board of Regents in this work. BESE has regulatory authority over any training program that results in initial educator certification in Louisiana. The Board of Regents has regulatory authority over public universities.
Last week, scholars of color convened for the AACTE Holmes Policy Institute, a three-day training under this year’s theme, “Moving towards Equity through Advocacy and Policy.” The virtual conference, the first of the AACTE 2020 Washington Week events, offered students the opportunity to connect with peers, build their networks and engage in lively discussions on current trends. The advocacy and policy training focused on how the intersection of policy, education, and research can affect positive change for students of color.
Day 1 kicked off with AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie Fenwick leading a session on civil rights in education and AACTE consultant Jane West presenting a policy briefing. Day 2 centered on presentations by guest speakers—faculty, national organization professionals, and congressional staffers—who covered topics such as efforts to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and community-based participatory research to achieve social justice. The final day of training began with social reform advocates Jael Kerandi and Amanda Wilkerson, and moderator Ann Charity Hudley sharing their experiences and guidance on how scholars of color can mobilize for change.
The professional literature on the lifespan of education deans in their positions indicates that they serve in the role four to six years on average. We discovered a similar finding when we conducted a study through AACTE about education deans’ perceptions of essential characteristics for contributing to their success. More than two-thirds had been in their current position for five years or less (Wepner et al., in press). By the same token, though, we found that one-third of the education deans stayed in their positions much longer. These findings piqued our interest in the construct of longevity in the education deanship and inspired us to conduct a qualitative study, with the assistance of AACTE, of the factors contributing to the length of time education deans remain in office.
We believed that the construct deserved study because endurance in this demanding administrative capacity would presumably exert an impact on the welfare of schools and colleges of education. In a related vein, resilience as an education dean would seem to signify a reasonable indicator of sustained effectiveness, while brevity in the job might suggest the reverse. We also pursued the construct with the understanding that the roles and responsibilities of education deans, while resembling other academic deans, do present some markedly unique challenges that might affect longevity, and that there would be value for those in positions to affect education deans’ tenures positively, whether central administrators, peers, faculty or staff, to better understand the factors that promote longevity.
The following article by AACTE Dean in Residence Leslie T. Fenwick is reprinted with permission from Diverse: Issues In Higher Education, 2020.
Dear Generation Z Students,
You are digital natives. So, this letter would better reach you by video, Instagram, Snapchat, maybe Twitter or a hashtag. But I need more letter characters and time than these platforms allow.
Please bear with me as you read. I warn you: First, my history recitation may seem unrelated but stick with me. Second, you might be tempted to read my analysis of White male power as a screed against all White males. It is not.
Did you learn about Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg in your history class? I’d like you to consider this battle as a metaphor for what you’re witnessing now with the murders of George Floyd, a truck driver and bar bouncer laid off due to the COVID pandemic; Breonna Taylor, an EMT and emergency room tech; Ahmaud Arbery, an avid jogger; and, the assault of Christian Cooper, a Harvard grad and bird watcher victimized by a White woman who used an old, violent trick – call the police and lie about being attacked by a Black man .
General George Pickett (known as the Lost Cause General of the Confederate South) fought a losing battle on July 3, 1863. Pickett and his all White male brigade were fighting to maintain an apartheid south built on the brutalizing, free labor of enslaved African men, women, and children. Pickett moved well above the Mason-Dixon Line and took about 12,000 Confederate soldiers straight into the heart of Union territory, Pennsylvania.
For much of 2020, COVID-19 has forced AACTE and its members to “think outside the box” and reimagine programming. Just last week, AACTE conducted its inaugural virtual event, with educators coming together to receive advocacy training and learn effective techniques for effectively engaging with political leaders. And in keeping with innovating its professional development opportunities during the current pandemic, the association is pleased to announce the 2020 AACTE Leadership Academy Series.
In lieu of the traditional, in-person, four-day training, this years’ experience will offer a series of interactive sessions for attendees. The six-session experience will take place in two parts, with three sessions to be offered this fall, and the other three sessions to be offered during the 2021 Annual Meeting. Under the theme of “Leading During Difficult Times,” the three fall sessions will explore content in the following areas:
October 14 – Addressing Issues in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
October 27 – Collaborative Decision-Making During Crisis
November 10 – Re-Thinking Field Experience
AACTE delivered its first virtual Day on the Hill advocacy event this past week. Over two days, attendees met with Congressional staff, AACTE Committee on Government Relations members, and panelists to develop their advocacy toolkit. This week, the attendees will host two days of Congressional visits with the senators and representatives from their states. AACTE state teams will be advocating for the AACTE 2020 Legislative Priorities, which describe the needs of educator preparation as we address twin pandemics: COVID-19 and racial injustice.
In preparation for their virtual Congressional Visits, attendees practiced how to communicate the priorities to legislative leaders, were briefed on current data related to educator shortages, the important to increase funding toward TEACH grants and Teacher Quality Partnership Grants within educator preparation programs, and the value of funding the Institute for Education Sciences, which is the principal research agency for education in the United States.
In addition, attendees received resources to support their learning. Each of these resources is available to all AACTE members!