I am currently seeking contributing authors for a book with IGI Global, for release in 2021, titled Empowering Formal and Informal Leadership While Maintaining Teacher Identity. This publication will add to the body of scholarship on teacher leadership and further help to define the opportunities and challenges for school districts to consider to promote teacher leadership in their settings. The edited book will provide a wide and broad perspective of the topic which can be used in university settings and practitioner settings related to teacher education and teacher development.
Education researchers and practitioners are invited to submit a 1,000 to 2,000 word chapter proposal by July 9, 2020.
The past several months have gone by in a blur for the world as rushed plans were created in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. There were many questions that surrounded education. How would we transition to an online learning platform? How would we ensure all students had equal access to devices and the internet? How would we reach students’ social-emotional needs?
Another challenge facing school districts was how to best support teachers. The short turnaround time that brick and mortar districts had to transition into online schools was a daunting task! How would professional development be facilitated? How would the delivery be and when/how would they require teachers to complete the training?
Learners of all ages are being impacted by COVID-19 through school closures, the transition to online learning, and the shortage of teachers and faculty across the nation. AACTE continues its long tradition of addressing the educator career continuum and supporting PK-12 learners in America’s public schools by joining the Educating All Learners Alliance (EALA), an alliance dedicated to equity for complex learners.
EALA is specifically designed to help ensure the continuity of special education services during remote instruction and to spotlight best practice approaches for schools and educators. It represents a dynamic alliance of non-partisan groups deeply committed to the success of students with disabilities.
This article originally appeared in The Free Press and is reprinted with permission.
While the pandemic has brought disruption to daily lives, it has reminded us of the important role teachers play in their students’ lives. Teachers are hardworking, dedicated and effective. Recently, the irreplaceable nature of their work has been reaffirmed by millions of students and their parents.
Teachers not only promote learning, help students make connections and nurture their confidence, they also selflessly contribute to preparing the next generation of educators.
Minnesota State University has been preparing teachers for over 150 years and has had a long history of collaboration with its PK-12 partnership school districts. The university and the partnering school districts blend in-depth preparation with relevant practices and authentic experiences to ensure teacher candidates are prepared to meet the learning needs of all students.
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.
Educators Step Up for Racial Justice
Educators are responding to the killing of George Floyd and the racism it highlights by stepping up with a variety of initiatives and a renewed sense of urgency. Both the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Public Schools have cut their ties with the Minneapolis Police Department.
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is urging school leaders to address racial disparities in discipline policies and the use of resource officers in response to the George Floyd killing and subsequent events.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 400 other organizations, including both teachers’ unions, issued a letter calling on Congress to pass police reform legislation. They urge changes in areas including the use of force, policy accountability, racial profiling, militarization, data collection, and training.
The following article is an excerpt from the Rowan University Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion blog and is reprinted with permission.
For the past 2 months our country has been in the grips of a pandemic that has challenged us in unimaginable ways and revealed our strength and courage in the face of fear. Unfortunately, during a time when we should be united against a common enemy, COVID-19, racism and xenophobia has become the cure for some who are inflicted with an irrational hatred and fear of people of color. Let’s not forget we were introduced to this pandemic as the “Chinese Virus” and the result was an onslaught of hate speech directed towards Asians and Asian Americans. We are not ok.
It is difficult for Black Americans to forget the legacy of the enslavement of Black bodies for economic consumption, Jim Crow, the civil rights movement and mass incarceration lives on. How does one talk about systemic racism and the oppression of people of color without acknowledging and understanding the current conditions that ensure our country remains divided by race. The election of a Black president was believed to be an indication of how far we’ve come as a country and we even heard that we were living in a post-racial country. Yet, the stories of police brutality, racial violence, and discrimination directed at Black Americans continued. We are not ok.
As our education system continues to provide online learning in the wake of the pandemic, all learning institutions will need to consider the element of equitable access to technology for their students. In the past, increasing our student’s digital access in online and blended learning environments has been on the shoulders of families as opposed to schools. Now that technology is being leveraged for learning in our school systems, low-and moderate-income (LMI) youth need education leaders to build the capability or partner with institutions that can support computers, broadband, and technological support access.
The National Center on Digital Equity in collaboration with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), is hosting a series of webinars titled “Community Reinvestment Act, Digital Equity and Systemic Inclusion.” In this four-part series, the FDIC will walk participants through systemic approaches that advance digital equity in LMI communities in support of financial and economic inclusion. With the immediate shift to online learning within our education system, this series brings our focus to stabilizing LMI youth and their communities.
AACTE Board members Marvin Lynn and Laurie Mullen recently met with me to discuss the important role education leaders play in crises. In the videos, Lynn and Mullen shared the following:
“I think what we’re seeing happen at the national level is that inequalities are being exacerbated because of not only the lack of attention to those inequalities in the first place but [also] a kind of callousness around what those issues are, and who’s impacted and whether or not we should be focusing on them. I think leaders have an opportunity to take a crisis and turn it on its head by really focusing on issues of equity,” said Marvin Lynn, dean of the college of education at Portland State University. Lynn possesses decades of leadership and community service experience on prestigious national, state, and local committees. His leadership experience in schools of education includes his role as program coordinator at the University of Maryland and later at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Lynn also was the associate dean at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and dean of the School of Education at Indiana University South Bend.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, teacher preparation programs are faced with the difficulty of how to support and evaluate candidates in the field. Here in Washington state, we already face a shortage of willing mentors to host our candidates. A recent study by Western Washington University and my colleagues at the University of Washington estimated that only 3-4% of teachers serve as mentors any given year. According to the findings of a state workgroup in which I participated, this trend is even more pronounced among rural and remote school districts. As a result, programs throughout our state are looking for effective ways to further support our candidates in the field, particularly in rural and remote areas.
One solution that is effective and can support efforts to maintain teacher certifications, including during the pandemic, is the use of online observations. We began using Edthena in 2015, and over the last 5 years, we have witnessed tremendous success and accessibility, especially for candidates in rural and remote school districts. We utilize Edthena’s platform as part of multiple measures to assess candidates in field placements. Field supervisors can use the online video tool in conjunction with traditional in-person observations, providing a nice mixture of evidence for our program to assess our candidates’ readiness towards licensure. Here are some of the highlights of our experience using online video observations.
On behalf of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) Board of Directors, Chair Ann Larson issued the following statement today on race matters in America:
“AACTE leaders are compelled to voice our dissent of the recent, tragic events that have resulted in the horrendous murders of Black Americans. The unjust deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others represent incendiary racism that has deep, historic roots in our society. This profound moment in time has brought despair not only to the Black American community, but also to innumerable individuals, families, and communities representing legions of cultures and ethnicities throughout the country and the world. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.’
It is imperative that educators embrace their responsibility as front line workers in dismantling structural racism within the American education system. Schools play a critical role in educating students about citizenship and societal values, which have long perpetuated the cycle of racial injustice. Educators must be change agents for reversing the miseducation of white people about black and brown people, and for promoting racial equity. There is a critical need for well-prepared, culturally responsive teachers who can educate and guide learners to value the lives of all human beings and hold others accountable in practicing justice, ensuring equitable access, promoting and assuring diversity, fostering inclusive policies and practices in all aspects of our society, and offering hope and optimism to all children.