Looking Forward to New Orleans

As the May 28 deadline for the Call for 2022 Annual Meeting Proposals nears, John Henning, AACTE Board liaison for the Committee on Meetings and Professional Development, reflects on the theme and developing proposals for the post-pandemic world of educator preparation.

The AACTE 74Th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA, March 4-6, 2022, promises to be a memorable one. AACTE members have just passed through one of the most intensive and challenging periods of growth in the organization’s long history. There will be much to share and much to reflect upon next spring. Even now, AACTE members are deeply engaged in reflection as they craft their conference proposals in anticipation of the May 28 deadline. What a great time to take a deep breath, gather your thoughts, and prepare to share insights with like-minded colleagues. This is noble work and critical for reimagining teacher preparation. 

But next spring’s Annual Meeting is not about the past, no matter how unforgettable recent events. Instead, it is focused squarely on the future, as reflected by its theme: Rethink, Reshape, Reimagine, Revolutionize: Growing the Profession Post Pandemic. As the pandemic recedes, teacher educators will be tasked with designing and implementing the post-pandemic world of teacher preparation. To do so, we will have to redouble our efforts to address the educational inequities so dramatically revealed during the pandemic, find ways to enhance preparation to include the whole new dimension of virtual instruction in P-12 settings, and prepare teacher candidates to help students who have experienced significant learning loss. That’s a big job.  

The 2022 Annual Meeting in New Orleans has been designed to tackle it. Each of next spring’s conference strands provides an excellent framework for developing a new vision for teacher preparation. Collectively, the strands ask us to think deeply about our future, to consider how we can renew our democracy, to envision the future of the profession, and to directly confront our current challenges. The basis for that discussion will be the lessons we have learned in the past year. The question for us is how can we use those lessons to craft the new direction needed in these unprecedented times? 

I am not sure myself. So, what I’m doing is working with a group of colleagues to figure it out. We are developing a couple conference proposals before the May 28 deadline. In so doing we are celebrating what we accomplished, reflecting on what it means, and looking forward to what’s next. At the Annual Meeting, I like to review the titles of the accepted proposals listed in the program; it provides an excellent snapshot of the direction the field is heading. Even more important is hearing from colleagues. The future of the profession emerges from the cross fertilization that occurs before, during, and after the sessions. I am really looking forward to gathering again in person.  See you in New Orleans! 

To submit a proposal by the Friday, May 28 deadline, visit the AACTE online submission center.

Tags: ,

John Henning

Dean of the School of Education at Monmouth University (NJ)