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Teach Plus Teachers Address Indiana’s Teacher Talent Challenges in New Research Report

December 13, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Today, Teach Plus Indiana teachers released their newest education policy research report, We’re In This Together: How Schools, Districts, and Preparation Programs Must Collaborate to Prepare New Teachers. To improve the development of new teachers, the Teach Plus teachers made the following recommendations: 

 

1. Expand experience in classrooms before becoming full time teachers
2. Strengthen data-sharing relationships between preparation programs and school districts
3. Improve the quality of special needs education for non-special needs teachers.
4. Build a better support network for ongoing support of early career teachers
 
“Even in my thirteenth year of teaching, I still remember what it was like in my first classroom,” said Washington Irving Elementary teacher and Teach Plus alumnus Melissa Scherle Collins. “Every year, I know of promising early career teachers who leave because they weren’t prepared for their first year with students. Our report lays out some of the steps preparation programs and school districts can take to ensure more great teachers are ready on day one.”
 
The report is built on focus groups of college students preparing to become teachers, and teachers in their first and second years. It also includes interviews from principals, assistant principals, college professors, and teacher coaches. The findings section, which drove the creation of the recommendations, presents many direct quotes from those who participated in the report. 
 
“A lot has been written about teacher preparation, and the teacher talent challenges more broadly,” said Teach Plus Indiana Director of Policy Patrick McAlister. “Teach Plus teachers wanted to hear directly from those currently in the field – the novice educators being trained, and the professors, administrators, and coaches who support them. Some recommendations are for preparation programs, others are for school districts. What’s clear, though, is that stronger collaboration between preparation programs and districts can create a support system that ensures promising early career educators have the support they need to thrive.” 
 
Teach Plus is a national nonprofit that empowers excellent, experienced teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students' success. www.teachplus.org.