Teachers should take time to understand the communities in which they teach. Full of valuable links for further reading and discussion, this brief reflection advocates for new teacher preparation in community collaboration.
At the Teaching Ahead Roundtable this month, seven teacher leaders, including me and fellow CTQ blogger Dan Brown, have shared our suggestions for improvements to teacher preparation in individual posts. I focus my piece on preparing new teachers not only to teach but to become members of their school communities. These thoughts come out of a series of discussions over the last year with Bank Street alum and faculty about the future of teacher preparation. It’s clear that teachers who understand their students and have established identities in their school communities have a leg up on new teachers who come with a blank slate—this reality shouldn’t be ignored by organizations charged with preparing teachers. Gaining knowledge of students and their communities takes time, and the process should start before teachers begin the intense work of daily teaching.
I’ve written about the ideas of my fellow Bank Street alums on entering a school community before, here. In the Teaching Ahead piece, Teacher preparation with strings attached, I emphasize that if we value the knowledge teachers gain about their students and families and their school and neighborhood, then a teacher’s commitment to a particular school becomes more significant. Check out the conversation!
[image credit: fineartamerica.com]