Research and teacher experience has demonstrated that teacher preparation programs are not preparing teachers to be classroom-ready on day one of their teaching career. Since teacher effectiveness in the first few years of teaching is a strong indicator of long term teacher effectiveness, our students are not being served. Research also indicates that the most novice and ineffective teachers are working with the highest needs students. In order to improve outcomes for these students we need to better prepare their teachers.
Since Massachusetts is in the process of making a policy decision regarding teacher preparation and the Federal Government also recently released their own draft guidelines for teacher preparation, we feel this is the perfect time for teacher leaders to influence change. We are a group of current teachers in the Boston Area, who are also Teach Plus Policy Fellows. We will provide key policy makers with research-based solutions for improving teacher preparation across the state. Additionally we will help other teachers to voice their ideas about how to improve teacher preparation.
We have written a policy brief, have testified in front of the Mass. Board of Education, and conducted various surveys of educators. As participants, we will design our strategy for advocating on behalf of our recommendations. If the state adopts some of our proposals teacher preparation programs will begin to prepare teachers to be effective on day one of school.