This article originally appeared on the University of Arkansas website and is reprinted with permission.
Three University of Arkansas teacher candidates recently surprised their public school mentor teachers with banners lauding them as a Mentor Teacher of the Year for 2018-19.
U of A students in the teacher-education program spend either a full semester or year as interns in public schools across Northwest Arkansas for hands-on training before they have their own classrooms to manage.
“The internship is the most crucial aspect of our teacher preparation programs and mentor teachers are the lifeblood of the experience,” said Jake Ayo, director of field placement for the Office of Teacher Education in the College of Education and Health Professions. “They go above and beyond in an already demanding profession as they pour their time and energy into crafting our interns into teacher leaders.”
Being paired with a great mentor educator in local schools is vital to a student teacher’s success. Every year, public school teachers are named Mentor Teacher of the Year and are chosen based on their U of A intern’s nomination. The university recognizes the teachers who demonstrate a positive impact on teacher candidates’ development and P-12 student learning and development.
AACTE joins the Data Quality Campaign (DQC) in celebrating Teacher Data Literacy Week, April 29 – May 3. The initiative is to elevate the importance of teacher data literacy, including why it is critical to ensure students and states meet their education and workforce goals, and the different actors who are involved in making it possible.
DQC will co-host with the National Parent Teacher Association and Teach Plus a Twitter chat using #TDLMatters at 3:00pm EDT on Thursday, May 2. The discussion will address the many barriers teachers face to being data literate, what teacher data literacy looks like in action, and what policymakers can do to support teacher data literacy.
For more information about Teacher Data Literacy Week, https://dataqualitycampaign.org/topic/strong-teachers-and-leaders/.
AACTE joins its fellow members of the Learning First Alliance (LFA) in celebrating Public Schools Week, March 25-29. The initiative is supported by national education groups representing teachers, principals, superintendents, parents and school board members to honor the achievements our public schools are making and the significant contributions public school educators and education advocates bring every day to public schools and their communities.
LFA members are hosting the second annual Public Schools Week on Capitol Hill in Washington and in communities large and small across the U.S. During Public Schools Week, groups representing LFA are inviting community members, lawmakers, parents and others into schools to see firsthand the wide array of programs and policies available to students that will showcase excellence in teaching and learning.
As the school year nears its end, teachers everywhere are contending with mounting time pressures, waning resources and energy reserves, maybe even an epidemic of spring fever. For some teachers, though, the frenzy and frustrations seem to last all year–and they may feel isolated, underappreciated, and powerless to change the situation. AACTE President/CEO Lynn M. Gangone has this message to encourage them to strengthen their capacity to both support students and thrive as successful members of the professional community.
As a teacher, you’re focused on helping students. You draw from your content knowledge, determine appropriate pedagogy for the particular child and context, and forge connections with resources to support each learner’s growth. What’s more, these practices benefit more than just the young people in your care–teachers, too, thrive with a rich support network in their community and tailored opportunities to learn and grow as professionals.
AACTE joins the National Education Association (NEA) and the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) in celebrating excellent teachers during National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 7-11, and National Teacher Day, May 8.
The NEA and National PTA invite you to get involved by thanking a teacher in the following ways:
Thank a Teacher on Social Media May 7-11
The 2018 National Teacher of the Year was announced today on CBS This Morning: Mandy Manning, a National Board Certified Teacher of high school English and math in Spokane, Washington, has been named to the honor, following the announcement of four finalists earlier this year.
Manning began her teaching career almost two decades ago working with the Peace Corps in Armenia. Since then, she has taught in Japan and in classrooms throughout the United States. Manning’s global perspective has been instrumental in her current classroom in the Newcomer Center at Ferris High School in Spokane, a place where immigrant and refugee students are provided the opportunity to study English, foundational reading skills, mathematics, and computers.
The National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) requests proposals for workshops and other interactive sessions to be presented at its 2018 National Teacher Leadership Conference, July 8-11 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Proposals are due by February 5.
The 4-day conference will convene state and national teachers of the year (and finalists from the states) to “engage with national education leaders, administrators, policy makers, the business community, and colleagues to dynamically teach and learn in order to impact students, schools, and the profession.” Themed Teaching Tomorrow’s Leaders, the conference will offer sessions focused on four urgent problems of practice identified through a membership survey by NNSTOY:
An online Education Talk Radio program last month featured AACTE members in a discussion of how their educator preparation programs contribute to high teacher quality. Host Larry Jacobs interviewed guests Rebecca West Burns, assistant professor at the University of South Florida, and D. Mark Meyers, director of the Educational Administration Program at Xavier University (OH).
The show began with discussion around the continuum of teacher development, from preservice preparation through stages of leadership, both formal and informal. Burns explained that teacher leaders include those who are instructional coaches or mentors as well as those acting less formally as leaders from within their classroom. Teachers can work collaboratively to share knowledge and help each other make progressive changes in their school. Meyers added that leadership principles applied by teacher leaders and administrators are often the same, although they may be implemented differently.
Everyone likes a great investment, a sure thing, a great return for the money. In education, as in the markets, trying to figure out where to invest for the best results is challenging. Still, solid research can point us in the right direction, which is why I couldn’t wait for the results of the latest study in the “Good to Great” series by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY): Investing in What It Takes to Move From Good to Great: Exemplary Educators Identify Their Most Important Learning Experiences.
AACTE congratulates 2017 National Teacher of the Year Sydney Chaffee, who teaches 9th-grade humanities at Codman Academy Charter Public School in Boston, Massachusetts. (See AACTE’s press release issued today.)
Chaffee, who has been a teacher for a decade, earned her bachelor’s degree in women’s history and writing from Sarah Lawrence College (NY) and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Lesley University (MA).