Last month, the AACTE Board of Directors approved the Association’s new strategic priorities. Along with our new vision, mission, and core values, these priorities will guide AACTE’s work. Our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion; inquiry and innovation; and quality and impact will permeate all of our initiatives. Please take a few minutes to watch the video (or read the transcript) to learn more.
AACTE collaborates with its members and partners to revolutionize education for all learners. Learn more at aacte.org. And stay tuned for our November Board of Directors elections!
P.S. Secure your spot for AACTE’s 2020 Annual Meeting at the early bird rate by October 30!
This article and photo originally appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch and are reprinted with permission.
Calvin Sorrell was the only black male teacher Rodney Robinson had.
He taught in King William County for three dozen years and remembers Robinson as knowledgeable, caring and talented. Robinson was shy, though, lacking many teachers who looked like him.
“The potential was there; he just had to come out a little bit,” Sorrell said. “I knew he always had the ability.”
Robinson looked up to the one black male teacher he did have, who taught him how to play the trombone, baritone and tuba. He became a teacher to give students the teacher he had only once, among other reasons.
“Kids need positive role models,” Sorrell said of being a black male teacher. “It gives them someone to look up to, and he was no exception.”
It surprised him when Robinson became a teacher, but knowing Robinson now, a man driven to improve teacher diversity while getting to know his students, Sorrell was not shocked to find out last week that Robinson is the National Teacher of the Year.
A majority of the nation’s public school students are students of color, but less than 20% of teachers are teachers of color—and only 2% are Black men. While more teachers of color are entering the classroom, data reveal that educators of color are also leaving at higher rates than their peers. To show the root cause of this problem and to identify solutions, The Education Trust and Teach Plus today jointly released new research that examines the challenges teachers of color face and documents the experiences of staff in schools that deliberately work to retain faculty of color.
If You Listen, We Will Stay: Why Teachers of Color Leave and How to Disrupt Teacher Turnover comprises authentic narratives of teachers of color and successful school leaders. For this report, researchers conducted focus groups with teachers who identify as Black or Latino who talked about their experiences in the workforce and what schools, districts, and states could do to keep them in the field. Researchers also conducted case studies in schools and districts that were selected for their intentionality around retaining teachers of color.
In the focus groups, five themes emerged, highlighting the challenges that teachers of color face in the workforce and the reasons many of them fall out of teaching: (1) experiencing an antagonistic school culture; (2) feeling undervalued; (3) being deprived of agency and autonomy; (4) navigating unfavorable working conditions; and (5) bearing the high cost of being a teacher of color.
This article and photo originally appeared on the Engage TU-Towson University blog and are reprinted with permission.
The Towson Univerity (TU) Teacher Scholars Summer Institute premiered this summer (July 15–18) in an effort to recruit high school students into teaching. This was also an effort to work more closely with our Teacher Academy of Maryland (TAM) program.
One of our main goals was to assist in recruiting more underrepresented students into the field of education, which is predominantly composed of white females across the nation. Conversely, about half of K–12 students are from diverse backgrounds and/or are male. We are also facing a critical shortage of teachers in the U.S., and Maryland is facing the same issues. In fact, all 24 counties in Maryland are experiencing a shortage of teachers based on the last Maryland State Department of Education Staffing Report. In addition, enrollments at TU and across the nation have been declining in education programs. Therefore, we were piloting this program to help create a pipeline of more teachers, as well as more diversity among teachers.
The excerpt below is taken from an article originally published on the American Indian College Fund website and is reprinted with permission.
When it comes to STEM, it may be the roots that hold us in the field, the classroom, and in our love for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
As Native Americans, there has been a complicated history and relationship with formalized education. Beginning with boarding schools and day schools that mandated assimilation and rejection of Indigenous community languages and wisdom, the disruption has spanned for well over a century, with the abusive boarding school era coming to a close as late as the 1970s. Each generation since these boarding schools struggles with the false dichotomy that one can either be Indigenous or do well in school.
America is a country of immigrants. Through each wave of immigration, our public schools incorporate immigrant children into the fabric of our country. Our public schools serve as a cultural incubator to aid and nurture acceptance of diversity. Our local classrooms should be a microcosm of a global demographic. We, as educators, need to harness that belief for our teachers and the students they teach and guide.
How do America’s immigration challenges impact schools?
The challenge is that there are undocumented students entering U.S. schools, colleges, and universities who were not given the option to decide for themselves whether they wanted to come to this country. They have been incorporated into society, but are affected by current practices that impact their safety and security. It is projected that by the year 2040, one in every three children in the United States will grow up in an immigrant household (Suárez-Orozco, Suárez-Orozco, & Todorova, 2008). It begs the question: How do we work with those students?
Educators, school support staff, and service providers are often the first individuals in whom a student and/or family confides and reveals that they are undocumented. Recent efforts to identify undocumented parents and children in the United States challenge public schools in their efforts to meet the needs of all children residing within their school districts. Public schools are often embroiled in politically and legally sensitive situations, in which they must balance their responsibilities to serve immigrant and undocumented children, while meeting the expectations of local authorities to identify undocumented individuals.
What role do educators play in supporting immigrant children and their families?
This article and photo originally appeared in EdSurge and are reprinted with permission.
Two percent. That figure may seem insignificant, until you understand the context. Despite students of color representing more than half the student population, Black males make up only two percent of the teacher workforce. So as it happens, that statistic is very significant as this lack of diversity has negative implications for all students.
For years, Black males have been underrepresented in PK-12 education. While there have been many efforts to diversify classrooms by adding more Black male educators, there are still obstacles preventing us from successfully reaching this goal. Now these educators are speaking up and their voices are sounding the alarm for education diversity.
For years, Black males have been underrepresented in PK-12 education.
The annual Best Practice Award in Support of Multicultural Education and Diversity honors members for their outstanding work infusing diversity throughout all components of a school, college, or department of education (SCDE) as critical to quality teacher preparation and professional development. This award, sponsored by the Committee on Global Diversity, represents one of the nine categories of the annual AACTE Award Program that recognizes excellence in educator preparation.
This video features the 2018 Best Practice Award in Support of Multicultural Education and Diversity recipient, University of Colorado (UC) Denver School of Education and Human Development (SEHD). The Committee selected this program for it outstanding efforts in preparing teacher candidates from diverse, multicultural backgrounds to gain the foundational knowledge and experiences necessary to advocate for the educational equity for all children.
Educators and students are facing unprecedented times. The challenges both students and their teachers confront today vastly affects the efficacy of even the best educator’s efforts to create and foster students’ zeal for learning and to contribute to the society they will one day shape. Yet, educators must stay committed to fulfilling their social responsibility now more than ever before.
What Should Social Responsibility Look Like in the Teaching Profession?
This varies from educator to educator, so the answer to this question is complicated and multi-faceted.
Education is about opening minds, creating new knowledge. It is an expansive endeavor. In theory, education should provide us with the understanding and capacity of what it means to be a citizen of this nation and the world. Our nation’s founders understood the importance of an educated citizenry. Today, I believe that we need educators to support both a students’ academic development and citizen development.
In the fall of 2019, educational leaders of AACTE will have another opportunity to access and join a meaningful Topical Action Group (TAG). The Urban Education TAG is brand new and serves as a special work group committed to establishing a storehouse of information with reliable resources to bolster and practically support urban educators. Additionally, exciting programming is already underway in the form of webinars, podcasts, research dissemination, and professional networking opportunities.
The timing of the group’s formation is significant. The TAG is launching during a period in our profession wherein education is rife with concerns. It is no secret that within our field there is growing inequality experienced by