The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
Teacher education is entering an exciting era. Scholars and practitioners alike are calling for teachers to be educated differently (AACTE, 2010; CCSSO, 2015; NCATE, 2010), which means that the way we prepare teachers and the way we support teachers’ ongoing professional development must change. In lieu of one-size-fits-all, “sit and get” training sessions, teachers’ professional development must be ongoing, differentiated, sustained, and rooted in issues that they face on a daily basis. Such is the experience for the teachers of Mort Elementary School in Hillsborough County Public Schools (the 8th largest school district in the United States) who participate in the Mort Teacher Leader Academy (MTLA).
Joelle Tutela, President, NJACTE
Teacher quality and professional practice in New Jersey just got an enthusiastic shot in the arm, thanks to a new coalition of the state’s teacher educators, teachers’ unions, and other education groups.
Leaders of this coalition, the Garden State Alliance for Strengthening Education, held a high-profile symposium “Taking Back the Profession” September 27 to release a report chock-full of ideas to improve the continuum of teacher development in the state. The event was attended by several key state education officials and featured nationally known speakers including Stephanie Hirsch of Learning Forward, Marilyn Cochran-Smith of Boston College (MA), and Susan Headden of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. In addition, the report was featured at a press conference October 2 and will be the subject of a state hearing later this month.
Last week, members of the Teacher Leader program at the College of Charleston’s School of Education, Health, and Human Performance (SC) visited Washington, DC, and met with government and nonprofit agencies and associations, including AACTE, as well as leaders from educational think tanks and policy makers.
How does the profession support teachers’ development over time? Addressing that question from a collaborative approach, a new report was released yesterday by the National Network of State Teachers of the Year in partnership with the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders at American Institutes for Research and five other national education organizations, including AACTE. The Council of Chief State School Officers hosted a release event featuring a panel discussion by teacher leaders, researchers, and policy makers about the report’s findings.
Insights in the report, From Good to Great: Exemplary Teachers Share Perspectives on Increasing Teacher Effectiveness Across the Career Continuum, are based on an exploratory survey of more than 300 former national and state teachers of the year. This research identifies valuable professional experiences and supports that were essential to these exemplar teachers’ professional growth and effectiveness throughout various stages of their career. Teachers responded to survey questions relevant to four stages of the teacher career continuum, identified as the preservice, novice, career, and teacher leader stages.
On December 12, the National Network of State Teachers of the Year (NNSTOY) and Pearson’s Center for Educator Effectiveness released a research report at an interactive launch event at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.
At the event, a panel of several former teachers of the year joined American Enterprise Institute Resident Scholar Frederick Hess to discuss the conditions necessary to develop sustainable career pathways that might make teaching a more attractive career option for a new generation of educators. The panel also discussed the benefits of teacher preparation resources such as edTPA and the role of educator preparation programs in enhancing teacher leadership roles.