In the teachers’ domain, career planning includes the creation of a professional development plan that will set the teacher apart as a professional who moves beyond traditional training. Participation in summer internships, teaching fellows programs and other achievements are an integral part of preparing for the challenges of working in an education system that increasingly holds teachers accountable for the performance of their students.
It takes a little RESPECT
There is a new movement within the education profession to uplift and transform the teaching profession. An article on ED.gov titled, “Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching (RESPECT),” outlined seven components of this program. Chief among these components is the need to develop more effective teachers.
According to the article, “Preparation should include significant clinical opportunities that involve highly effective teachers or principals to oversee, mentor, and evaluate aspiring educators (preferably in the school environments in which the candidates will ultimately work).”
Not only are teachers expected to have strong knowledge of their content, they are expected to be skilled in using a variety of instructional strategies, be continuous learners themselves and excel at planning and analyzing student learning outcomes.
How can an aspiring teacher fulfill the many requirements for career preparation? Teaching fellowships can help new teachers to work and learn in an environment that encourages continuous improvement. Two such programs are The New Teacher’s Project’s (TNTP) Teaching Fellows and the TNTP Academy. Created in 2000, TNTP has trained more than 26,000 teachers in what has been called by Education Week, “one of the best alternative teacher-preparation routes out there today.”
The program is active in more than 25 cities including Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, New York, and Phoenix. Of its programs TNTP says, “Working in collaboration with urban districts, TNTP prepares new teachers to make a profound, long-term contribution to the district and its students. Each of TNTP’s 14 programs trains teachers to meet district needs in key subjects, such as math, science and Special Education.”
If you are interested in participating in a TNTP training program check out the links to the various programs located across the US.
Be a pioneer
Another organization with a mission to develop high performance teachers is EducationPioneers.org, which offers two types of fellowships:
- The Graduate Fellowship: graduate students of business, law, policy and education can choose either a 10-week summer placement or a 12-month placement.
- Analyst Fellowship: this 10-month consulting assignment places professionals who possess strong analytical skills in an assignment for a data-driven education project where they will have access to successful leaders and have the opportunity to make an impact on education.
Applications for 2013 fellowships have closed, but those who are interested can join a mailing list to stay updated on events and information.
STEM needs you
For those who wish to teach in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships offer the opportunity for eligible applicants to earn a master’s degree, prepare for teacher certification, receive a stipend, and benefit from support and mentoring throughout a three-year teaching commitment. Programs are located in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and New Jersey. The application process is explained on the organization’s web site.
The best way to build your skills in any profession, especially teaching, is through personal experience. An education internship will give you a chance to immerse yourself in the classroom teaching experience. Go to TeachForAmerica.org to explore the many possibilities including internships, campus-based programs, and summer programs.
Teaching internships include Idealist.org, the Interfaith Youth Core and the Breakthrough Collaborative. Repeatedly named a Princeton Review Top Ten Internship, Breakthrough Collaborative teacher positions are located in 25 US cities and Hong Kong.
Summer workshops and other adventures
If you’re still looking for ways to fill your summer schedule, you’ll want to read Meris Stansbury’s May 15, 2013 article for eSchoolnews.com titled, “32 summer professional development opportunities.”
Stansbury provides descriptions and links to summer programs that are sure to build your skills and enhance your CV. Programs listed include:
- Conference on Teaching Excellence in National Harbor, MD June 28-30
- Language workshops by the Foreign Language Resource Center
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Next Generation Instruction Summit in Denver, CO June 26
- Museum Institute for Teaching Sciences is offering STEM courses throughout Massachusetts
- Vernier Software & Technology offers 25 training institutes throughout the US this summer to help science teachers integrate data-collection technology into their science curriculum
The teaching profession is faced with challenges as never before. Those who embrace the teaching profession will need every resource available to help them prepare for these challenges and meet the expectations that are placed on them.