Archive for March, 2022

What’s the Real Deal on Genuine Self-Care for Educators?

AACTE member alumnae working in the field, share tips on self-care for educators. 

When it comes to self-care, we wonder if teachers and administrators even know what they need. Giving themselves permission to let go and be free to relax, enjoy the great outdoors, and literally do nothing is paramount. However, sometimes feelings of guilt override self-care, as educators think they “need” to get schoolwork done, grade papers, complete lesson plans, or prepare creative and engaging activities.

MACTE Testifies in Support of Funding to Increase a Diverse Teacher Workforce

ACTE_Minnesota_LogoI serve as the legislative liaison for the Minnesota Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (MACTE), a consortium of over 20 public and private institutions of higher education. We represent both urban and rural geographic regions and we range in size. In Minnesota, we are unique in that the governor is a democrat, the house is majority democrat, and the senate is majority republican.

Prior to the launch of the Minnesota legislative session, MACTE developed collaborative legislative priorities that guide our work with the legislature. This year our four main goals are 1) to maintain high quality teacher preparation standards and support initiatives that reflect the research base around teaching methodologies; 2) increase the diversity of the Minnesota teaching force through strategies to recruit, support, prepare, and retain teachers of color; 3) to improve the retention of teachers; and 4) to support high-quality research-based E-12 instructional practices. In my work as the liaison, I attend committee meetings and advocate our support (or opposition) to proposed legislation through written or oral testimony. I am often supported by our MACTE leadership, our faculty who are content area experts, and our teacher candidates.

AACTE Weighs in on President Biden’s Budget Proposal

Word budget in lettern on background of dollar banknotesPresident Biden released his fiscal year 2023 budget proposal this week, which calls for an increase of $15.3 billion or roughly 15% for the Department of Education compared to fiscal year 2022.  AACTE strongly supports the investments in education programs called for by the president, which will make college more affordable for millions of students, help address the teacher shortage that our country faces, and diversify the profession.

Registration Open for AACTE 2022 Leadership Academy, June 26 – 30 in Tampa, FL

2022 Leadership Academy

AACTE is excited to announce that registration is now open for its high-quality leadership training for new and seasoned deans, department chairs, and other academic leaders. The program offers professional development designed to develop and enhance your skills as an academic administrator, covering the essentials skills of leadership today, while cultivating a supportive network of peers.

In response to your feedback, Leadership Academy now offers multiple ways to participate. For the first time, this year’s in-person event offers two tracks with differing experiences. This means less time away from campus and more focus on the pressing topics identified by your peers. Attend one or both of this year’s offerings in Tampa, FL:

Honoring Women Leadership in Educator Preparation

National Women's History Month

As another Women’s History Month comes to an end, AACTE wants to acknowledge the achievements of women-identified leaders in educator preparation. The Association kicked off its celebration by asking you, AACTE members, to identify a leader who affected your work as an educator through their mentorship, research, and colleagueship. AACTE is honored to share those responses here and want to congratulate all women members for their contributions to their classrooms and the field each day.

Joan Rhodes, chair, Department of Teaching and Learning and associate professor, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education
“Dr. Rhodes models skillful leadership and compassion. A transformational leader, she is responsive to the financial and structural needs of the larger institution, while prioritizing the human experience of faculty, staff, and students. She treats department members with dignity, soliciting feedback and input regularly. This collaborative approach led to adapting department practices. Voices previously unheard are now heard and respected. She quietly elevates and lifts all her colleagues and students, creating pathways to leadership roles for all members of the community. She makes me, a junior faculty member, feel seen, heard, and valued while I continue to develop my leadership skills.”

Secretary Cardona Issues Call to Address Nationwide Teacher Shortage and Student Recovery

Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona issued a nationwide call to action for states, higher education leaders, and schools to tap federal resources and work together to address the teacher shortage and aid student recovery. Today’s announcement builds on President Biden’s call in the State of the Union encouraging leaders to use American Rescue Plan funds to address this critical challenge schools and districts across the country are facing. The call to action coincides with Secretary Cardona’s participation in the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s Summit on Improvement in Education in San Diego.

“I have always known that a well-prepared, well-supported, well-compensated, and diverse educator workforce is the foundation for student success. Educator vacancies and other staff shortages represent a real challenge as our schools work to recover, falling hardest on students of color, students in rural communities, students from low-income backgrounds, students with disabilities, and multilingual learners. That’s why I’m proud that the American Rescue Plan has equipped states, school districts, and colleges and universities that prepare our educators with unprecedented financial resources to help overcome this challenge,” said Secretary Cardona. “Today, I am calling on states, districts, and institutions of higher education to use ARP funds to address the teacher shortage and increase the number of teacher candidates prepared to enter the teaching profession. My team will continue to advise state and local leaders on how they can seize this moment; put COVID relief dollars to work in our schools; and achieve a lasting, equitable recovery for our students.”

Cardona Urges LEAs to Consider Students with Disabilities When Lifting COVID-19 Mandates

Front view of schoolboy looking at camera while sitting at desk in school  against school kids in backgroundThis weekly Washington Update is intended to keep members informed on Capitol Hill activities impacting the educator preparation community. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.    

We have received confirmation that the president will release his budget request on Monday, March 28 — signaling the official “kick-off” to the FY2023 appropriations season. Advocates are anxiously awaiting to see the line item requests for the Department of Education and will work diligently in the coming months to secure meaningful investments to address the critical shortage of educators and lack of diversity across the field. Stay tuned for more details to come in next week’s Washington Update.

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona Urges LEAs to Recognize the Critical Importance of Supporting Students with Disabilities

This week, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona sent an eight page letter to school district officials and parents urging LEAs to recognize the critical importance of supporting students with disabilities. The document comes as many districts are rolling back their COVID-19 mitigation efforts following updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The letter is intended to help school district personnel and families design learning opportunities for all students, including students with disabilities. The document reviews key strategies, including Leveraging the IEP or Section 504 Processes to Ensure Protections are In Place to Protect In-Person Learning; Continuing Use of Layered Prevention Strategies to Keep School Communities Safe; and Ensuring Students Receive Education and Services in the Least Restrictive Environment.

2022 ACSR Business Meeting in Review

“Building Capacity, Community, and Inclusive Leadership” was the theme of the ACSR Business meeting held this year at the AACTE Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Chapter leaders from around the country gathered to connect and to discuss the pressing issues impacting the education profession in their state. 

John Blackwell, in his last official act as chair of ACSR, led a discussion about the ways AACTE state affiliates have sought to build leadership capacity and the resources that have aided their efforts.  Afterwards, Robin Fuxa of Oklahoma State University and incoming ACSR chair-elect, continued the conversation with a panel discussion, which included the participation of Tara Haskins of Eastern Washington University, Adria Hoffman of Virginia Commonwealth University, Beth Kubitskey of University of Michigan (Flint), and Stacy Leftwich of Rowan University.

Learn to Address Censorship through Collective Action and Messaging

Workshop: Educators Addressing Censorship through Collective Action & MessagingAACTE continues its collaboration with AERA’s Division K: Teaching and Teacher Education to produce an in-depth, scaffolded, three-part series of professional learning opportunities addressing the recent uptick in education censorship across the nation. The first presentation of the series took place as a Deeper Dive session during AACTE’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans. On April 12, AACTE and AERA Division K will co-host a workshop: Educators Addressing Censorship through Collective Action & Messaging, which will include members of our P-20 education system. The third session in our series is a Town Hall taking place during the AERA Conference in late April where Lynn Gangone, AACTE CEO and president will be moderating alongside AERA Executive Director, Felice Levine, and Division K Chair, Dorothea Anagnostopoulos.

AACTE Introduces 2022-23 Holmes Council

2022-23 Holmes Council

AACTE would like to congratulate newly elected officers of the Holmes Scholars Council. The Council members are elected by the general Holmes student body. As a service entity, the Council coordinates events to promote scholar engagement, and shares ideas and scholar needs with AACTE to ensure that our Holmes programming is relevant and impactful.

Webinar to Highlight Key Findings from AACTE’s Signature Report

The Colleges of Education: A National Portrait is AACTE’s signature report on schools, colleges, and departments of education. The second edition was released today and AACTE is hosting a webinar to review its findings on Monday, March 28 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

This report is a major vehicle for AACTE to tell the story of colleges of education nationwide and for members to situate their own programs in the broader context of the trends that are shaping the profession. Education preparation program faculty are encouraged to use it to communicate with their institution’s leadership, PK-12 partners, and other key cnstituents about the issues, trends, and challenges impacting educator preparation.

This year, in addition to describing the work of colleges of education, the people who do that work, and the students they serve, the National Portrait includes a special analysis on the important contributions that community colleges make to educator preparation.

Join me and my co-author Weadé James on March 28 for this member-only, informative webinar.  Register today.

AACTE’s National Portrait Sounds the Alarm on Declining Interest in Education Careers

Today, AACTE (American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education) releases the second edition of Colleges of Education: A National Portrait. In addition to updating information on colleges of education and their leaders, faculty, and students, this edition features a special analysis on the contributions of community colleges to educator preparation.

This update of AACTE’s signature report offers a comprehensive picture of the nation’s schools, colleges, and departments of education: the work that they do, the people who do that work, and the students they serve. The report describes the key trends and challenges in meeting the nation’s need for highly skilled educators.

Colleges and universities can benchmark their programs against peers, gain innovative ideas to grow and diversify enrollment through community college partnerships, and describe to stakeholders the challenges confronting educator preparation.

AACTE Offers Members Travel Perks from Avis and Budget

AVIS / BUDGET logoWhether you are traveling for business or booking your next getaway, you can make the experience safe and comfortable with a rental from Avis or Budget with your AACTE discount.

Enjoy these advantages with your AACTE membership:

Reserve Flexibly: Choose “Pay Later” when making a reservation and you may cancel or modify your reservation any time without cost or worry.

Get Perks: Members can enjoy up to 35% off base rates, plus other great offers like complimentary upgrades. Enroll in the complimentary Avis Preferred® or Budget Fastbreak® programs to accelerate your savings, earn rewards and bypass the counter for an expedited rental experience.

Congress Condemns Threats of Violence Against HBCUs

happy male african american college student using tablet computerThe House of Representatives and Senate both recently passed resolutions condemning threats of violence against historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). 

Over the past several months, numerous bomb threats have been called in to HBCUs causing the colleges to cancel classes; disrupting campus environments; and increasing anxiety of students, faculty, and staff.  At least 18 HBCUs received bomb threats on February 1, 2022, the first day of Black History Month. Unfortunately, to date no one individual or group has been found responsible for these reprehensible acts. 

As the resolutions (H.Con.Res. 70/S.Res.534) note, HBCUs were established in response to discriminatory practices that excluded Black Americans from pursuing an education in the United States and they educate and produce a significant share of the nation’s Black leaders and innovators.

Belmont University Announces New Partnership to Recruit and Train Math Teacher

Belmont University logoIn partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education and local public school districts, Belmont University announced a new initiative to recruit, train and support the next generation of mathematics teachers in the Midstate region.

The newly established Belmont University Math Teacher Residency will leverage partnerships with area school systems — including in several rural communities — to enable high-quality potential candidates to become mathematics teachers in secondary schools across Middle Tennessee. 

With $2 million in grant funding awarded to Belmont University through a competitive state grant process, the program will place each teacher candidate in an in-school “residency” — a paid educational position in a classroom where they will learn from and receive support from an experienced mentor teacher. Concurrently, candidates will enroll in high-quality, intensive online coursework at Belmont, deepening their content knowledge and learning effective pedagogical strategies. Belmont professors will work alongside candidates’ mentor teachers to ensure that instruction has immediate and meaningful classroom application.

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