California Educator

December 2014

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FOR TEACHERS, BY TEACHERS Do you think this report outlines and promotes a more comprehensive approach to teacher education? QUINTANAR: CTA's approach includes teacher preparation and different path- ways into teacher education, alterna- tive certification, teacher residencies, early and continuous career support, and issues in credentialing policy. Is it ambitious? Yes! As educational experts, we realize that piecemeal ap- proaches are not the answer to the many facets of teaching. AGUILAR: The report makes the bold statement that teachers unions should be in- volved in the cultiva- tion and support of new teachers. Educa- tor voices should be included and should be at the forefront of building a new teacher workforce, with our teachers unions leading the charge. It's time we take charge of our own profession, rather than ceding the responsibility to those who have no relevant experience or contextual understanding about class- room dynamics and classroom environ- ments. CTA is advocating that those who are closest to the students — the ones who are in the classroom teach- ing every day, the ones with the most teaching experience — be the ones that shape our profession of teaching. LITTMAN: It takes time to develop the skills necessary to be a successful classroom teacher, and each step of the preparation pipeline builds on the previous steps. Instead of treating each step separately, this report discusses all stages of becoming a teacher as one continual process. BRICKER: This is one of the first steps taken by CTA that is guided by the long-term Strategic Plan that State Council adopted last year. This report empowers teachers. Instead of waiting for policymakers to create and set the state's educational path, this report provides a decisive path constructed by teachers for teachers. In your opinion, what is the new or more unusual part of the report? AGUILAR: The boldest idea reflected in the report is the notion of profes- sional capital. Instead of focusing on individual teachers, the report asserts that we should be focused on building and cultivating the teaching profes- sion as a whole. Improving teaching and learning by advocating for a col- lective approach to teacher develop- ment is something new and demands the inclusion and active participation of practitioners. BRICKER: The idea of residency is not often seen in California. The concept is that veteran teachers truly support and guide new teachers through a mutually beneficial partnership between teacher education pro- grams, practicing teachers, schools and districts, and teachers unions. Residencies have three com- ponents: partnerships, integration and intensive support. QUINTANAR: Teachers as the driving force in setting policy for the edu- cation of our children. CTA is built upon teachers' expertise — but we are going a step further. This is a call for teachers to lead, not behind the C T A ' S T E A C H E R E V A L U A T I O N W O R K G R O U P has been examining the best preparation practices for the next generation of California's teachers. In last month's "Teacher pipeline" series we reported the release of the workgroup's report "Teacher Preparation and Early Career Support." We asked members of the workgroup to share their take on where CTA is heading in supporting tomorrow's educators. Here are the comments of Leslie Littman, CTA Board member, Hart District Teachers Association; Jesse Aguilar, Kern High School Teachers Association vice president; Bev Bricker, Palm Springs Teachers Association; and Rosalinda Quintanar, California Faculty Association, San Jose State University. Preparing the next generation of teachers Education policy Advocacy 32

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