Last March, many educators were caught off guard—and dismayed—when they learned their school doors were closing and teaching would move online due to COVID-19. Rightfully so. They simply were not prepared for one of our nation’s greatest education experiments turning in-class instruction into online learning with a flip of a switch.
While some schools had already implemented remote learning strategies, the vast majority believed that teaching online and in blended environments would happen sometime in the future. No one anticipated that PK-12 schools and universities would be forced online overnight—without a plan.
The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 shed a light on the need to enhance online teaching curricula in our educator preparation programs. Prior to the pandemic, most teacher education programs prepared candidates to go into brick and mortar schools, so their emphasis on teaching online was minimal. Often, teacher candidates were taught to use technology in classrooms as a tool to convey information or allow students to seek answers. What was not being done was a wide scale effort to prepare future teachers to model and integrate online technology in their pedagogical approaches.
AACTE’s Washington Week virtual conference is quickly approaching. This year’s event will feature the Holmes Advanced Policy Short Course, Holmes Policy Institute, AACTE’s Day on the Hill, and the State Leader’s Institute.
Joining the Holmes Policy Institute this year is Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor. Congressman Scott will deliver the closing keynote address at this year’s Holmes Policy Institute on Thursday, September 10.
Throughout his 14 terms representing Virginia’s third congressional district, Congressman Scott has been a champion on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion. He has advanced policies to address the equity gaps in education, employment, and healthcare. In 1993, Chairman Scott became the first African American elected to Congress from the Commonwealth of Virginia since Reconstruction and only the second African American elected to Congress in the history of Virginia. Congressman Scott continues to break barriers and create opportunities for future generations of African American and minority leaders.
Following his keynote remarks, the Congressman will engage in an interactive discussion with the Holmes Scholars about the state of public education, educator preparation, and the importance of diversifying the educator workforce.
To learn more about the AACTE Holmes Program, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.