In the States: A Look at the Southern Region

The new “In the States” feature by Kaitlyn Brennan is a weekly update to keep members informed on state-level activities impacting the education and educator preparation community.

States and districts around the country continue to scramble to fill teaching positions with fully certified, profession ready educators. A recent analysis from the  Southern Regional Education Board of 2019-20 data in 11 states found roughly 4% of teachers — which could be up to 56,000 educators — were uncertified or teaching with an emergency certification. By 2030, the number of uncertified teachers or those teaching with an emergency certification is expected to balloon. The Southern Regional Education Boards projects that upwards of 16 million K-12 students in the Southern region of the country could be taught by an unprepared or inexperienced teacher. While the pandemic certainly exacerbated the problem, it is not new and has steadily gotten worse over the last decade. For example, in Texas school districts’ reliance on uncertified new hires increased significantly over the last decade. In the 2011-12 school year, fewer than 7% of the state’s new teachers — roughly 1,600 — didn’t have a certification. By last year, about 8,400 of the state’s nearly 43,000 new hires were uncertified.

USD’s School of Leadership and Education Sciences to Develop Initiative for Black Students

The School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at the University of San Diego has received a $1.5 million grant from the San Diego Foundation to develop and launch the Black InGenius Initiative (BiGI)-- a college access and early literacy program for Black students within the San Diego region.The School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at the University of San Diego has received a $1.5 million grant from the San Diego Foundation to develop and launch the Black InGenius Initiative (BiGI)– a college access and early literacy program for Black students within the San Diego region.

Sixty rising sixth graders will be selected for BiGI every year starting in fall 2023. USD will provide students with consistent academic support delivered by SOLES students and faculty trained in neurodivergent teaching, which is the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in different ways, therefore there is no one “right” way of thinking, learning or behaving.

Surveying Attitudes Toward Game-Based Learning in Teacher Education Program

Virtual reality has a number of applications for pedagogy and teacher training; simulation training in these much-needed areas may add an essential component to the field of teacher education (Tondeur, Pareja-Roblin, van Braak, Voogt, & Prestridge, 2017). Computer simulations can provide guided practice for a variety of situations that pre-service teachers wouldn’t frequently experience during their teacher education studies (Mason, Jeon, Blair, & Glomb, 2011; Mason, 2011). Simulations can help pre-service teachers develop the skills that it takes to properly run a classroom without the high-stakes risk of causing harm to actual students (Matsuda, 2005).

There are numerous benefits to game-based learning, including improved learner motivation and engagement, constructive knowledge frameworks, exploratory and independent learning and, at times, higher achievement outcomes over traditional pedagogy (Boyle et al., 2016; Cheong, Flippou, & France, 2015; Peterson, 2019). Simulations can allow pre-service teachers to see their students from a different perspective, gain insight into the best ways to manage their future classroom, and understand the direct consequences of their actions in the classroom (Ferry et al., 2004).  Including simulations in pre-service teaching coursework has demonstrated an increase in the confidence and effectiveness of first year teachers (Englebert, 2010).

Phylicia Anderson Named Holmes Scholar of the Month

Congratulations to Phylicia Anderson, on being named Holmes Scholar of the Month! Anderson is a doctoral candidate at Texas Woman’s University.
 
Her latest publications include a chapter in the book, Engage and Empower: Expanding the Curriculum for Justice and Activism, titled “Cultural (mis)representations in the media: Challenging hegemonic ideas,” as well as a journal article published in the Journal of Language and Literacy Education, titled “Language, literacy, and love: A critical framework for teaching adolescent emergent bilinguals.”

AACTE Welcomes New Holmes Scholars

We are excited to welcome four outstanding scholars to the Holmes Community. Please join us in welcoming Jordana Simmons (Rowan University), Zhan Shi (Texas Christian University), Denise Mugabe (Texas Christian University), and Monica Manzur (Texas Christian University).

Final Call for 2023 AACTE Awards Nominations



Does your institution have a best practice that deserves national attention? Do you want to recognize the achievements of a colleague in the field? You still have time to nominate institutions and individuals for a 2023 AACTE Award. The deadline to apply is October 31, 2022

Help AACTE To identify notable programs, practices, activities, writing, and research that strengthen the profession of teacher preparation through innovation, high standards, and leadership. Winning entries will be recognized formally at the 2023 Annual Meeting, February 24-26, in Indianapolis, IN.

Learn more about the 2023 AACTE Awards, eligibility, and criteria.  AACTE invites nominations or applications for the following awards:

Learner Variability and Culturally Responsive Practices

Understanding learner variability helps disrupt the idea of a one-size-fits all approach and paves the way for more equitable teaching and learning. The intersection of culturally responsive practice with the science of learner variability can provide great insight into what it takes to successfully implement culturally responsive instruction with both teachers and students.  It also helps us understand why culturally responsive practices are necessary for reaching and embracing the whole learner.

On November 10, 2022 at 1:00 p.m., we will hear from our distinguished panelists, Courtney Teague, Angela Elkordy, and Leigh Ann Erikson, on how they approach culturally responsive practice in their courses and practice. We’ll discuss some of the key findings from the research on culturally responsive practices, where the research gaps are, and the importance of culturally responsive practices in teacher education and K-12 classrooms. Register today for the Learner Variability and Culturally Responsive Practices, hosted by Digital Promise and AACTE.

2022 Mid-Term Elections: What It Means For Educator Preparation

Voters will cast their votes on November 8 for scores of local, state, and federal elections. The election results will likely be felt for years, including in our nation’s classrooms. The results could impact curriculum, civil rights for underrepresented students, educator preparation, and other related issues.  

While election experts predict modest changes in the composition of Congress, even the slightest of changes can have significant effect on our students and educators. 

What does all this mean for AACTE, its members, and the students they work with?

Join me for a discussion on Wednesday, November 9 about the challenges and opportunities we expect over the next two years, including the following:

Join AACTE’s Movement: 75 Days | 75 Ways to Advocate for Education

With the onset of a new academic year, AACTE is optimistic about the future of the profession as there has been positive movement in policies and legislation that addresses the challenges educators and educator preparation programs face. However, to maintain forward momentum, we must continue to advocate at the local, state, and federal levels.
 
As an education leader, your voice matters. That’s why I am asking you to participate in AACTE’s 75 Days | 75 Ways to Advocate for Education campaign. Developed to mark AACTE’s 75th anniversary, the movement centers around raising national awareness of ways to advocate for change that ensures every student has a highly trained and qualified teacher in their classroom and equitable education is available for all learners. 

Innovative Tennessee Teacher Prep Program Aims to Prepare a New Breed of Educators

This article originally appeared on reimaginED, the policy and public affairs communications platform for Step Up For Students and is reprinted with permission.

The Early Learning Residency Program at Austin Peay University proved to be what recent graduate Malachi Johnson was looking for: a college education and a guaranteed job.

In her 20s, Heather Fracker set her sights on becoming a respiratory therapist. But as John Lennon observed, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”

Fast forward two decades, and Fracker, a 43-year-old single mom to two middle schoolers, is pursuing a new dream. In two years, she will be a fully credentialed elementary school teacher thanks to an accelerated program that began in her hometown.

Preparation to Teach in Technology-Rich K-12 Classroom Environments

In today’s schools, the ability to integrate technology into the teaching and learning environment is a necessary and crucial skill. Many K-12 classroom environments are technology-rich, with 1:1 devices, blended learning, and even distance instruction taking place. However, new teachers often enter the classroom unprepared to successfully utilize educational technology and navigate the technology-rich classroom environment. The research study, Preparation to Teach in Technology-Rich K-12 Classroom Environments, examined the preparation of preservice teachers to teach with technology in today’s classrooms and explored the gap between the preparation teachers received in their teacher education program and what they needed to be able to do to be successful as classroom teachers. The study was conducted during the spring of 2022, and a total of 217 K to 12th grade teachers in their first three years of teaching in the United States participated in the survey, with ten participating in an in-depth follow-up interview.

Diana Lys Named President of NC Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

The School’s assistant dean for educator preparation and accreditation will lead state teacher preparation advocacy group until 2024

Diana Lys, Ed.D., assistant dean for educator preparation and accreditation at the UNC School of Education, was named the ninth president of the North Carolina Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NCACTE) on Thursday, Sept. 22, at the organization’s 40th annual Teacher Education Fall Forum held in Raleigh. 

NCACTE is the leading advocacy group for policy issues regarding teacher preparation in North Carolina, and its membership includes private and public educator preparation programs across the state. Lys will serve as NCACTE president until 2024.  

In the role she will have an opportunity to make direct impact on the success of teacher education and preparation in the state — and, ultimately, the success of students, educators, and schools. 

FutureEd Releases Findings on Pandemic Spending Impact on Educators

Teacher shortages dominated education headlines during the summer. The billions of dollars of federal pandemic-relief money states and school districts are pouring into the teaching force—and the funding’s substantial consequences for longstanding policies and practices in the more-than-three-million-member profession—have received far less attention.

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