This month’s bloggers shared many ideas about how to improve teacher preparation programs. Looking for a quick recap? Below are some of the top suggestions that came out of the Roundtable discussion:
- Increase Field Experience: The sooner preservice teachers can start teaching, the better, writes Megan Allen. And Dan Brown, Anna Martin, Kate Mulcahy, and Ilana Garon agree that preservice teachers need at least a year in the field before they take charge of their own classrooms.
- Emphasize Mentoring: Never underestimate the power of one-on-one relationships, says Dan Brown. Ilana Garon notes that the most useful part of her teacher training was the six weeks she spent with her mentor teacher.
- Don’t Sugarcoat It: Kate Mulcahy and Megan Allen stress the importance of preparing preservice teachers for education’s tough realities, and teaching them to learn from mistakes.
- Add More Hybrid Roles: Linda Yaron, Anna Martin, and Megan Allen call for more hybrid roles allowing teachers to spend part of their days mentoring new teachers.
- Be Yourself: Ilana Garon learned the hard way that each teacher must develop a “teaching identity” that remains true to her own personality.
- Understand the Community: Ariel Sacks thinks that new teachers need to learn more about the communities, schools, and neighborhoods they’ll be working in.
- Attract Top Candidates: Linda Yaron suggests raising starting teacher salaries to $100,000; Megan Allen wants to make sure that teaching candidates have the passion and perseverance that will allow them to thrive in the classroom.
The opinions expressed in Teaching Ahead: A Roundtable are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.