Clinical experience is critical to the success of teacher candidates. It allows them to receive real classroom experience while they foster relationships with students and build their own instructional skills.
But, even with the skills they learn leading up to the clinical experience, teacher candidates can’t just enter the field and be expected to succeed. There’s a whole host of skills that cannot be taught in a college classroom or via a textbook. And, teacher candidates—just like classroom teachers themselves—need ongoing coaching and feedback to continuously improve their practice.
The coming academic year looks to be wholly different than the one just past. Campuses are busy reopening; professors are readying for in person instruction, and students are anticipating sharing space with their peers once again. But despite these upbeat developments, this year is very much like the last one in an important respect—uncertainty.
It is hard to foresee what the coming year will bring for several reasons. First, our experience during the past year has changed expectations. For instance, students have different expectations as to how classes are conducted, how accessible they should be, and what constitutes doing school. Faculty and staff have differing expectations regarding their presence on campus, what is needed to make the campus safe, and what is the right balance between personal freedom and social responsibility.
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.
As a member of AACTE’s Meetings and Professional Development Committee, it has been exciting to see this year’s Annual Meeting come together. Given the tragic events of the past few weeks, the conference theme of “Resisting Hate, Restoring Hope: Engaging in Courageous Action” is even more relevant today than a year ago. It is an affirmation that we truly live in a time that calls upon each and every one of us to restore hope through courageous action.
This year’s keynote speakers embody this mission. Award-winning author and professor, Bettina L. Love, will show us how to build communal, civically-engaged schools that love and affirm Black and Brown children. Our need for a healthier political climate, one that honors democracy through integrity and public service will be addressed by acclaimed, presidential historian Michael Beschloss.
The theme of the Third Annual New Jersey Convening on Diversifying the Teacher Workforce is “Leadership for Diversity: Creating Culturally Responsive Recruitment, Instructional Practice and Retention Strategies.”
The New Jersey Diversifying the Teacher Workforce Convening, co-sponsored by Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, New Jersey Department of Education, and the New Jersey Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is intended to address the serious need to increase the diversity of the New Jersey teaching population and increase culturally responsive practices in the state. This meeting is designed to engage stakeholders and constituents in New Jersey in considering the barriers and supports to diversifying the teacher workforce to increase our numbers of culturally responsive practitioners and to develop culturally responsive practices among New Jersey’s educators. This convening will also provide opportunities for participants to learn about promising and successful efforts to increase teacher diversity in New Jersey and for growing and sustaining culturally responsive educators.
A dynamic group of 80 leaders from educator preparation programs nationwide gathered in Portland, Oregon, for AACTE’s annual Leadership Academy June 26-30. This year’s participants came from all types of institutions, some on their own and others in pairs or teams. Many had just accepted a new role as a chair or dean, others were experienced in their positions, and some were enhancing their skills in preparation for future career opportunities.
The 5-day event featured several general sessions addressing such topics as establishing authority, building consensus, assembling a team, and managing change. Two guest sessions on inclusive education were added this year, one presented by the Ohio Deans Compact on Exceptional Children and the other by the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability, and Reform Center. Based on the positive response to these offerings, AACTE plans to continue including special topics at future Leadership Academies.