For many new teachers, the first year in the classroom can feel like being thrown into the deep end of a pool. New teachers have to manage classrooms, develop lesson plans, master instructional techniques, form meaningful relationships with students and families and meet various administrative demands. But it doesn’t have to be this way–first-year teachers can be prepared to have an immediate impact without feeling overwhelmed.
Teacher Preparation Transformation Centers and their work
For the past two years, five centers–Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA DESE), National Center for Teacher Residencies (NCTR), TeacherSquared, TeachingWorks and University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation (US PREP)–have worked to improve the way teachers are prepared for the classroom. Education First facilitated a community of practice across these centers with the goal of capturing and sharing promising practices with the broader field. Their work focused on providing new teachers with practice opportunities, gathering data and using it to make data-driven decisions, supporting and developing effective teacher educators, and working alongside communities and school districts where new teachers are placed. To learn more about our work with these Centers, please read the learning series in our online library and watch the video below.
The tools and resources for improving teacher preparation
Centers have developed a variety of tools and resources to provide technical assistance to teacher preparation programs in their networks. In close collaboration with Centers, we’ve curated the very best of those tools and resources and sorted them into four toolkits (plus some additional resources), each touching on a core element of improving teacher preparation. The four toolkits are shown below.
How to use these toolkits
These resources and tools can help teacher preparation programs and other audiences improve their programming and offer high-impact learning experiences for teacher candidates. Mentor teachers and teacher educators can use the toolkits to find techniques and materials for providing teacher candidates with practice-based learning opportunities. Take a look, for example, at the Match Mini videos created by Sposato Graduate School of Education (GSE), or the Resource Library developed by TeachingWorks. Directors of teacher preparation programs can access materials to help them build strong, productive partnerships with school districts, including sample protocols and videos of governance meetings developed by US PREP. Policymakers can view and download sample surveys to collect data from teacher prep stakeholders and sample reports to share data with the public. Researchers, program recruitment staff and school district staff can also find helpful resources in these toolkits.
We’ve categorized the contents of each toolkit as shown below:
|This icon denotes tools that can be adapted and customized to meet your specific needs and context||This icon denotes resources that cannot be customized but can provide helpful guidance and reference material|
We invite you to peruse and use these toolkits to support your work in teacher preparation.