As we look toward fall 2020, it is clear that PK-12 schools will continue to use some blend of online and face-to-face learning as they deal with social distancing requirements and a possible resurge of COVID-19 cases. Teaching effectively with technology is now an essential competency for all educators.
This summer provides a window of opportunity to deepen teacher candidates’ ability to effectively use technology to support learning. But that shift will not happen through checklists or tool training alone. Educators need explicit strategies and peer support. They also need professional learning experiences that will count towards their ongoing career development and continuing education credits.
To address these issues, AACTE is proud to team up with the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) to launch a Summer Learning Academy designed to prepare K-12 educators and teacher candidates for teaching in online and blended learning settings this fall.
This fun 3-week summer learning experience will provide the online teaching support educators have been asking for in a flexible format that meets their needs. Educators who successfully complete the program earn continuing education units (CEUs) and graduate-level credit.
Like many educators, I experienced a crash course in teaching via Zoom during 2020. More than another technological tool, videoconferencing has helped me rethink and refine my pedagogical practice—for both online and face-to-face settings.
In my typical class sessions, we jump into instruction and activities to model “on-task” productivity. However, Zoom has reminded me that giving attention to procedures and expectations is time well spent.
In a videoconference setting, these “norms” often relate to technical set up—microphones, chatroom, camera, etc. Such issues relate to all sorts of teaching environments. How can students use phones or other devices? What should they write down or record? When and how do they talk with one another and the instructor? These are all important questions, and answering them at the start establishes expectations for successful learning (Finley, 2013).
I am currently seeking contributing authors for a book with IGI Global, for release in 2021, titled Empowering Formal and Informal Leadership While Maintaining Teacher Identity. This publication will add to the body of scholarship on teacher leadership and further help to define the opportunities and challenges for school districts to consider to promote teacher leadership in their settings. The edited book will provide a wide and broad perspective of the topic which can be used in university settings and practitioner settings related to teacher education and teacher development.
Education researchers and practitioners are invited to submit a 1,000 to 2,000 word chapter proposal by July 9, 2020.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, teacher preparation programs are faced with the difficulty of how to support and evaluate candidates in the field. Here in Washington state, we already face a shortage of willing mentors to host our candidates. A recent study by Western Washington University and my colleagues at the University of Washington estimated that only 3-4% of teachers serve as mentors any given year. According to the findings of a state workgroup in which I participated, this trend is even more pronounced among rural and remote school districts. As a result, programs throughout our state are looking for effective ways to further support our candidates in the field, particularly in rural and remote areas.
One solution that is effective and can support efforts to maintain teacher certifications, including during the pandemic, is the use of online observations. We began using Edthena in 2015, and over the last 5 years, we have witnessed tremendous success and accessibility, especially for candidates in rural and remote school districts. We utilize Edthena’s platform as part of multiple measures to assess candidates in field placements. Field supervisors can use the online video tool in conjunction with traditional in-person observations, providing a nice mixture of evidence for our program to assess our candidates’ readiness towards licensure. Here are some of the highlights of our experience using online video observations.
COVID-19 has forced educators to say goodbye to their classrooms and embrace adapting their pedagogy to online formats overnight. They have learned new technology, found creative ways to engage students remotely, and most importantly, kept education moving forward. The current public health crisis has placed a well-deserved spotlight on teachers. As parents struggle to balance work, supervise virtual classrooms, and co-educate their children, a new awareness and appreciation for the influence, power, and value of great teachers has emerged.
We have all read headlines about COVID-19’s drastic impact on the education system. We have seen firsthand the pandemic’s sweeping effect on our education institutions and students. And we have all been challenged to find remote learning opportunities that ensure teacher candidates are well-prepared to enter their own classrooms—whether in-person, hybrid, or virtual. While the hurdles we face are multidimensional, overcoming them is essential. To quote Linda Darling-Hammond, “If you don’t have a strong supply of well-prepared teachers, nothing else in education can work.”
COVID-19 challenges all of us in teacher education to reimagine how to prepare our candidates for the complexity of teaching when they cannot be placed in authentic classroom contexts. Our responses to this challenge will likely require us to stretch the “approximations of practice” that Grossman et al. (2009) described. One strategy that might offer us a means for executing this stretch is video analysis. However, for video analysis to be a meaningful approximation of practice, teacher educators need both useful video case resources and the tools to support candidates’ exploration of these cases.
A group of science teacher educators from across the country has been using the ATLAS library as our main video case resource and the Framework for Analyzing Video in Science Teacher Education (FAVSTE) as our tool for maximizing the learning from these cases. ATLAS has videos (generally 15 -20 minutes in duration) submitted by teachers applying for National Board certification, along with the commentary (Instructional Context, Planning, Analysis, Reflection) associated with the videos. This allows teacher candidates to both see the action occurring in actual classrooms and then read about the thinking of the teacher before and after the lesson that produced that action.
AACTE congratulates 2020 National Teacher of the Year Tabatha Rosproy and AACTE member institution Fort Hays State University for preparing her for a distinguished teaching career. Rosproy, a 10-year veteran Kansas teacher, is the first early childhood educator to be named National Teacher of the Year by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).
Rosproy teaches preschool at Winfield Early Learning Center in Winfield, Kansas, which is housed in a local retirement community and nursing home. Her classroom is an inclusive inter-generational program that provides preschoolers and residents with multiple daily interactions and serves special education and typically developing preschoolers in a full-day setting. As the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of school buildings across the country, Rosproy served as a co-chair of the educator task force that helped compile Kansas’s continuous learning guidance.
AACTE Responds to COVID-19
This article original appeared on the University of Washington website and is reprinted with permission.
For future teachers, the beginning of their preparation program is marked by trepidation in the best of times. Even as teacher candidates learn the skills of effective teaching, how to attend to the overall wellbeing of students and much more, many are getting their first real experience leading a classroom.
When the COVID-19 pandemic precipitated the closing of all schools across Washington state in early March, that trepidation became even more acute for teacher candidates starting their studies in the University of Washington College of Education’s Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP) later that month.
STEP Director Anne Beitlers said the first priority for the program was creating a sense of community.
Check out a recent JTE Insider blog interview by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team. This blog is available to the public, and AACTE members have free access to the articles in the JTE online archives—just log in with your AACTE profile.
This interview features insights from Rachel Roegman and Joni S. Kolman, co-authors of the JTE article “Cascading, Colliding, and Mediating: How Teacher Preparation and K-12 Education Contexts Influence Mentor Teachers’ Work.” You may read the full article in the January/February 2020 issue of JTE.
Article Abstract: In this conceptual article, we present a theoretical framework designed to illustrate the many contexts and factors that interact and shape the work of mentor teachers. Drawing on the literature on K-12 teaching and on teacher preparation, we argue for greater acknowledgment of the complex work of mentor teachers as they navigate multiple contexts. We conclude by considering how this framework helps us to better understand the work of mentor teachers and by offering suggestions for teacher preparation programs and K-12 schools to better support mentor teachers and best prepare teacher candidates.
You, like many AACTE members, are likely facing pauses and interruptions to the clinical practice partnerships in your educator preparation program due to COVID-19. AACTE wants to provide you with solutions, and as such, I am excited to announce our collaboration with Mursion to provide our members access to virtual reality classrooms. This technology enables teacher candidates to receive experiential learning to continue their career development in virtual settings. View the complete details at aacte.org/vrclassrooms.
Please take a few minutes to watch the video and learn more about this special member-only benefit and other ways to engage with your Association this month. Stay positive and rest assured that AACTE is here to support you through this difficult time.
AACTE Responds to COVID-19
AACTE members across the country are seeking novel ways to approach clinical practice, observation hours, and practicum expectations for their teacher candidates in order to address the nation’s need for an excellent teaching workforce in our PK-12 schools during COVID-19. AACTE and CEEDAR will co-host a second Lunch and Learn focused on strategies for leveraging partnerships in innovative ways to facilitate new opportunities to learn May 1, 2020, 1:00-1:30 p.m. ET.
Education leaders from Ohio, including our AACTE Board Member and associate dean of Bowling Green State University (BGSU), Mary Murray, will provide examples of educator preparation faculty and district partnerships that are adapting instructional modalities for students with the help of teacher candidates. From early childhood to secondary content areas, including special education, candidates are supporting their district partners through the development of lessons, online tutoring, supporting parents in their navigation of distance learning, and direct instruction online.
Join us to learn how you might apply these practices in your own context. Register now for Just-in-Time Strategies for Leveraging EPP-LEA Partnerships.
The morning of March 12, 2020 at the school where I had just started student teaching, teachers were directed to prepare 10 days’ worth of learning material for students in anticipation of the schools being closed for a period of two weeks due to the coronavirus. This was initially hoped to be a brief interlude—like an extended spring break—and while it was expected that students might or might not complete their learning activities at home, any minor losses in progress would surely be made up when the students returned to school in early April.
As time went on and it was clear that school could not resume as planned, decisions had to be made about remote learning—what it would look like, what expectations could be placed on students, and many other big and small decisions. In special education, these decisions have the legal considerations of students’ IEPs. Compliance with IEPs is evidenced in data collection and benchmark assessments, and the procedures to collect data and administer assessments must be consistent for validity.
During the AACTE 2020 Annual Meeting in Atlanta, I had the pleasure of serving on the panel of the “Disruptive Deans” Deeper Dive Session along with three fellow deans. Our challenges are disrupting the one-teacher one-classroom model, closing the uneven admissions pathways between community colleges and 4-year institutions, breaking the traditional mindsets of hiring practices, and questioning the biases of traditional learning environments. These are no small tasks.
During the Disruptive Deans Deeper Dive session, the panel covered the following topics:
- “Building the next education workforce”—(I presented this topic.)
- “Designing a clear transfer model in the state of Oregon for community college transfer and increasing the number of teachers of color and bilingual students,” presented by Cecilia Monto, dean, Education and Humanities, Chemeketa Community College.
- “Hiring and retaining faculty of color,” presented by Don Pope-Davis, dean, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University
- “Promoting understanding of the social justice imperative of educating teachers to educate all learners including those who are neuro-divergent,” presented by Kimberly White-Smith, dean, LaFetra College of Education, University of La Verne
Our moderator, (also a disruptor) Wanda J. Blanchett, dean, Rutgers University, has led a distinguished career promoting equity and inclusion for all.
In response to the need to support teachers in their rapid shift to online instruction, the University of Florida Literacy Institute has created online resources to help ease that transition. UFLI realized that they could take their extensive body of research, successful data-driven interventions, and carefully vetted resources, and create virtual versions of the face-to-face work they have always done.
The outcome? Two new online “resource hubs”: one for parents to learn more about how to support their children’s literacy development, and one for teachers to discover effective, easy-to-use methods for providing reading instruction and intervention in an online delivery model.
We developed our Dyslexia Resource Hub in the fall and had plans to create additional resource hubs for parents and for teachers, but this situation gave us the impetus to push fast forward and get it done very quickly. UFLI faculty, staff, and graduate students worked tirelessly to make both hubs launch-ready as school closures made them more necessary than ever.
AACTE continues to seek opportunities to support its members in navigating through the unprecedented educational challenges the coronavirus has caused. It is exciting to discover how AACTE members are exploring innovative pathways and solutions to the complex problems and are eager to share with the educator preparation community. Next week, AACTE and Old Dominion University will co-sponsor a 60-minute webinar featuring education faculty advising world nations on COVID-19, Wednesday, April 15 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. The webinar is open to all AACTE members.