Washington, D.C. — A new report from the Center for American Progress explores the challenges that inexperienced teachers face when entering the teaching profession, highlights some of the early outcomes of model programs, and proposes an expansion of supported entry programs for prospective and new teachers. CAP’s report also argues that a more supported entry into the profession for teachers would go a long way toward improving student learning.
“Great teaching takes time and practice, but prospective and novice teachers often don’t get enough of either. Students deserve teachers who can provide them with the best possible learning experience, which means we need to consider new ways to improve teachers’ entry into the profession,” said Lisette Partelow, Director of Teacher Policy at CAP and co-author of the report.
“Too many beginning teachers have horror stories to share about their first year in the classroom. Gradual entry programs can help ensure that all teachers—rookie and veteran—are equipped with the skills they need to thrive,” said Annette Konoske-Graf, Policy Analyst with the K-12 Education team at CAP and co-author of the report.
As the report notes, well-designed supported entry programs would overhaul the distressing experience of many teachers’ first years on the job. They would provide new teachers the ability to build skills and habits before they are asked to demonstrate all of their skills concurrently as a lead teacher in their own classrooms. Although there is some variation in how diverse stakeholders define the skills that are essential for new teachers, there is general consensus that educators should have excellent organizational skills; be able to plan comprehensive and thorough lessons; know how to positively manage classroom behavior; be capable of using diverse instructional strategies; know how to check accurately for understanding; and assess student learning on a daily basis. To put such programs into effect, CAP’s report proposes greatly increasing new teachers’ access to high-quality supported entry programs, including extended clinical preparation, induction programs, and residency programs.
Click here to read “Starting Strong: How to Improve Teachers’ Entry into the Profession” by Lisette Partelow and Annette Konoske-Graf.
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