How can we advocate for better teacher prep programs?

December 10, 2021
How can we advocate for better teacher prep programs?

Hi Literacy Lovers,

As 2021 comes to a close, we acknowledge the heroic efforts of all educators during this unprecedented, challenging time. We recently came across this article: North Carolina's new reading mandate makes weary teachers spend long hours learning. This quote stood out to us: "A lot of educators feel like it is burdensome to ask them to give of their family time in a year where our teachers are overwhelmed already with the increased amount of responsibilities that have been asked of them…”

Why did this resonate with us? As two educators who worked full time and completed Masters and Advanced Leadership programs, we feel this with our entire being. Ask Lori about how she spent her Friday and Saturday nights for almost a year during her Advanced Leadership program, and she’d say “I started work after Presley went to bed at 7:00pm, stayed up until 1:00am writing papers, reading articles, or responding to classmates’ blog posts, then woke up and finished what I hadn’t the night before.” Sound familiar? 

Why are teachers required to do this extra training instead of learning these essentials in their undergraduate or graduate programs? How can higher education shift so educators are prepared with evidence-based knowledge of how to teach students to read as they ENTER the classroom? Looking forward to 2022 with hopeful hearts! We’re so glad you’re here to learn with us. 

Listen to This

Hanna Putman

In our recent podcast episode, Getting Districts and Teacher Prep on the Same Page, we talk with National Council on Teacher Quality’s Hannah Putman, Managing Director/Research, who penned a blog post: Getting districts and teacher prep on the same age on reading pays off. This research from CALDER sparked Hannah’s piece. She shares there is a disconnect in what teachers are learning in preparation programs and evidence-based literacy practices used in schools. If you’re an educator who has felt slighted by your schooling, you’re not alone! 

Click on This 

Hannah isn’t the first to write about the research showing the lack of reading science in teacher prep. Check out this piece, aptly titled Will the Science of Reading Catch On in Teacher Prep? This quote shook us: 

Advocate with This

If you’re looking to learn more about what states, districts, and schools can do to support a revamp of quality teacher prep programming, check out these accessible Action Guides from NCTQ.