Teacher Appreciation Week: May 3-7, 2021
Each year, the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA), in partnership with Office Depot and Office Max, celebrates educators. The theme, #ThankATeacher, invites all Americans to take time to honor the service teachers provide. Now more than ever, it is critical to recognize the difficult and sometimes at-risk work teachers face in the classroom during the health pandemic. Schools across the country face teacher shortages so this week’s celebration conveys an important message that teachers matter.This year’s #ThankATeacher activities include collecting imagery for scrapbooking to encourage students and parents to remember all the good from educators this year. The National PTA asks participants to share on social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, hashtags and resources from the toolkit available on their website. All of the resources within the toolkit are available in English and Spanish.
This article originally appeared in the Morehead State University news webpage and is reprinted with permission.
Since its founding, Morehead State University has always prioritized training teachers and serving the Appalachian region. Both priorities have come together in the development of the Appalachian Future Educators (AFE) Scholars program.
Created by Dr. Antony Norman, dean of the Ernst and Sara Lane Volgenau College of Education, the AFE Scholars program encourages qualified students from MSU’s 22-county service region to enter the education profession through scholarship, support, and mentorship. The program will enhance the pipeline of qualified educators and educational leaders by strengthening partnerships with school districts in identifying, recruiting and mentoring students to return and give back to their home communities as rural educational leaders.
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.
If your head is spinning with President Biden’s massive proposals for new investments in education, you are not alone! In addition to the recently enacted American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), two more proposals are on the table. And these are in addition to the annual appropriations process yet to unfold. This could be a banner and historic year for education investments; but there is a long road ahead and advocacy is a must.
Be a part of the AACTE 74th Annual Meeting. Submit a proposal or be a reviewer and join us in New Orleans, LA, March 4-6, 2022, as we prepare to “Rethink, Reshape, Reimagine, Revolutionize: Growing the Profession Post Pandemic.”
Call for Reviewers
May 14 is the deadline for submitting a reviewer application. Peer reviewers serve an important role in ensuring that exemplary learning opportunities are selected from the proposals submitted. Only current AACTE member institutions may serve as reviewers. Applicants must commit to evaluating up to 10 session proposals during June and July of 2021. You are still eligible to serve as a reviewer, even if you are submitting a proposal!
Call for Proposals
May 28 is the deadline for submitting session proposals. Proposals must align with the conference theme, “Rethink, Reshape, Reimagine, Revolutionize: Growing the Profession Post Pandemic,” and focus on one of the four strands listed below:
The AACTE Book Award recognizes exemplary books that make a significate contribution to the knowledge base of educator preparation or of teaching and learning with implications for educator preparation. Now is your chance to nominate an author’s book for one of AACTE’s prestigious awards. Applications for AACTE’s 2022 Outstanding Book Award are being accepted in our online submission system now through May 14, 2021.
This award is reviewed by the AACTE Committee on Research and Dissemination. The award-winning book and its author/editor(s) will receive special recognition at AACTE’s 74th Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, March 4-6, 2022.
The Tennessee Department of Education is offering Grow Your Own grants to educator preparation programs (EPPs) who work with the state’s school districts. The $2 million grants are available to help remove barriers and increase access to the education field for prospective teachers in Tennessee. The May 7 application deadline is quickly approaching! Application requirements and additional information are available here.
The Grown Your Own initiative supports partnerships between EPPs and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to provide innovative, no-cost pathways to the teaching profession by increasing EPP enrollment and growing the supply of qualified teachers to serve the state’s diverse student population. It provides no-cost access to a pathway to teaching to meet the need for increased diversity as well as to address the state’s teacher shortage. The second round of grants will provide 20 EPPs with $100,000 for their programs.
AACTE is excited to welcome the inaugural Holmes Scholars at Indiana University Bloomington. The cohort of nine students are pursuing doctorate degrees in education with concentrations in teacher education, higher education and curriculum studies, and special education. Led by Carl Darnell, associate dean of diversity, equity and inclusion, and Alexander Cuenca, assistant professor, the IU Holmes Program demonstrates IU’s commitment to supporting racially diverse students in higher education.
Below are excerpts from the Indiana University Bloomington School of Education website.
Loukisha Anderson is a doctoral student studying higher education and student affairs at IU. She received her master’s degree in educational psychology, with a concentration in human development from Ball State University. She is currently an associate instructor, supporting the student development and retention of Hudson & Holland Scholars. Some of Anderson’s research interest include traditionally underrepresented students’ retention, persistence, and success, mentoring experiences of Black women in higher education, and wellness experiences of Black women pursuing higher education at predominantly white institutions (PWIs).
This article originally appeared in Diverse Issues in Higher Education and is reprinted with permission.
The COVID-19 pandemic shed a harsh light on the systemic inequities in schools and communities. If we believe schools are the epicenter to dismantle racism and inequities, then we must examine our role as teacher educators to address these issues of inequality. How can we use this inflection point to positively and substantively change educator preparation?
Both at the system level and on individual campuses, colleges of education must ensure that programs prepare graduates to enter the teaching profession ready to advocate for and implement racial and social justice and advance the transformation of inequitable structures in schools. The pandemic has opened a window into the complexities of the teaching and learning process, which has resulted in greater collaboration among educators and families. As we move forward, we must ensure that candidates’ dispositions reflect and respect the importance of collaboration with students, families, and educational colleagues.
On behalf of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement on President Biden’s American Families Plan:
“President Biden today released the American Families Plan, which includes a transformative investment in our nation’s education system from early childhood through higher education. In addition to calling for free community college and free, universal pre-K for all 3- and 4-year-olds, the plan targets a $9 billion investment in teacher education and support.
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) today officially launched its new online community, AACTE Connect360, the premier connection circle for engaging and collaborating to advance educator preparation. The virtual platform enables teacher educators, candidates, and partners to engage in meaningful discussions, exchange ideas and resources, and share best practices on real-time issues impacting the profession. With user-friendly features, AACTE Connect360 enables the Association’s members to easily access their professional community for the support they need during these unprecedented times in education.
“AACTE members are committed to advancing educator preparation through cutting edge research and innovative practice and offer a wealth of knowledge on best practices in preparing high-quality teachers. AACTE developed the Connect360 online community to enhance the exchange of knowledge and provide access on-demand to solutions that address the rising challenges in education today,” said Matthew J. Wales, AACTE vice president, member services and events. “AACTE Connect360 gives members a place to connect virtually, which is especially critical while not able to convene in-person meetings and events due to COVID-19. This interactive platform brings together AACTE’s community in an exciting and engaging way.”
AACTE has extended the deadline for interested participants to apply to attend the Simulations for Secondary Science Teacher Conference. The extended deadline is May 5, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
In partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF), AACTE will convene the Simulations for Secondary Science Teachers Conference, June 8-10, 2021, to address the critical need for well-qualified science educators who can teach effectively in a variety of face-to-face and virtual school settings and meet the needs of diverse learners. AACTE received funding from the NSF Discovery Research PreK-12 grant to virtually convene members and strategic partners to advance the use of simulation in science education teacher preparation.
The purpose of this conference is to convene experts across the country to
- identify significant gaps in the clinical preparation of science educators;
- ideate on virtual environments that help address those gaps; and
- develop scenarios through design thinking for EPPs to implement within their programs.
Time is running out to register for AACTE’s upcoming webinar, “Leaning in and Leading Through Crisis,” on April 29 at 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Join Education Deans Gaëtane Jean-Marie, Kimberly White-Smith, and Marcie Wycoff-Horn in a deeper dive about how to thrive while navigating the COVID-19 and racial and social justice crises, which have impacted institutions across the nation. As equity-minded leaders, these deans will address ways to meet faculty and students’ needs by starting with empathy and ending with action.
The University of Tampa (UT) announced a partnership last month with Pasco County Schools that will provide Pasco educators interested in taking leadership roles a path to pursue either a certification in educational leadership or a master’s degree in educational leadership.
According to the agreement, the partnership is intended to “increase the supply of effective school leaders in public schools in Florida, and to produce school leaders who are prepared to lead the state’s diverse student population in meeting high standards for academic achievement.”
Kennesaw State University computer science professor Dan Lo and mathematics education associate professor Brian R. Lawler have been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to help meet the increasing demand for computer science teachers in grades 6-12.
The College of Computing and Software Engineering will partner with the Bagwell College of Education, as well as with the Georgia Department of Education and local school districts, to create multiple programs to train teachers in computer science. The one-year, $75,000 NSF grant has a stated goal to “create a metro Atlanta hub for computer science teacher education at KSU.”
The COVID-19 pandemic made a profound impact our nation’s education system. In most states, educational policies have been implemented to promote the wearing of face coverings, physical distancing, virtual instruction, and intermittent school closures based on the rise of positive COVID-19 cases reported in local communities. Despite the many challenges educators face during this unprecedented time, there are lessons learned and a call for transformation that make this the best of times to pursue a teaching career. Here are some reasons why.