The Significance of Effective Teacher Training
A good teacher is very important to a student’s performance. A teacher is trained to become great just like any other specialized profession. It is mandatory for teachers to train before teaching in the classroom, and they have to continuously equip themselves while still working in the classroom. Teachers are continuously trained all through their career, from college with certification coursework to student teaching and then professional development.
All this training helps to maintain old teachers as they see new problems in education, and it also gives new teachers the biggest chances of succeeding in their profession. When teachers do not undergo this training, there is a higher probability that they won’t stay long in the teaching profession, and also, students tend to suffer when their teachers are ill-equipped.
1. College Teacher Preparation Programs
Many teachers go to colleges to get their first education training. At these colleges, they take courses that meet the local or state certification teaching demands. These preparation courses are planned to empower prospective teachers with the basic information they will need in the classroom. Coursework that tests educational initiatives like IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act), NCLB (No Child Left Behind) and ESSA ( Every Student Succeeds Act) are all included in teacher preparation programs. Apart from these initiatives, there is coursework that will enlighten new teachers on educational terms like English Learner (EL), response to intervention (RTI) and Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Typically, academic subject-specific training is coordinated by grade level. For early childhood and elementary school coursework, the focus is laid on literacy and numeracy. On the other hand, teachers interested in teaching in secondary or middle school will be intensively trained in specific academic subjects. All teacher programs teach classroom management techniques. It also teaches different learning styles and cognitive development of students. The coursework may not be completed after four years. Once teachers have been in the classroom for many years, most states demand advanced degrees in education or a certain subject.
2. Student Teaching
A student teaching internship is an aspect of teacher training that is a part of college coursework. The duration of this training depends on the state and school demands. Student teaching is usually supervised by a trained instructor and it follows the gradual discharge of responsibility model. This training enables the student teacher to have a knowledge of the duty of a teacher as they prepare lesson notes and various assessments that examine student learning. Student teachers are able to do the following: correct homework and performance-based examinations and they can also help to boost the school-home connection by speaking to families. Allowing student teachers in the classroom gives them practical training in classroom management and dynamics.
This training is also very important as it exposes the student teachers to a wide network of professionals, and they can get recommendations from these professionals for job applications. Student teachers are usually not paid during their internship, although some schools employ their student teachers. But the practical lessons and experience attained during this period are invaluable. The success of this internship depends on the teaching program’s systematic procedures. These are used to assess the readiness of the student teachers to move to a higher level in the program and begin their teaching careers.
3. Professional Development
When teachers are hired by a school system, they acquire more training in the form of PD (Professional Development). In the ideal world, professional development is meant to be continuous, applicable and cooperative with a chance for reflection or feedback. This type of training comes in a different form, starting with state-mandated safety training down to subject-specific training based on grade level. Most regions provide professional development many times in a year. Also, PD is used by some districts to meet education initiatives. For instance, a junior high school 1:1 laptop initiative will need PD to train teachers to be informed about digital programs and platforms.
Other regions may require teachers to organize PD baserd on data. For instance, if the data from a middle school student indicates that the child is having issues with numeracy, then PD can be arranged to teach teachers on how to handle this problem. Some districts require their teachers to establish their own PD program by working with other instructors online or by reading and meditating on a book. However, peer to peer PD is rapidly increasing as districts are drawing from the reservoir of talents among their staffs. For instance, a teacher who is very skilled in performing data analysis of student scores using an Excel spreadsheet can share this knowledge with other teachers.
4. Alternative Certification
Some states do not have enough teachers, especially in subjects like mathematics and science and some of these states deal with this issue by speeding up the process of getting a teacher certification for skilled and experienced individuals brought to them directly from the workforce. Teachers are certainly lacking for subjects like Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). So, these individuals that are candidates for alternative certification already have academic degrees in specific disciplines and all they need is training in classroom management and educational law.
John Hattie, an educational researcher, places microteaching in his book Visible Learning for Teacher, as one of the top five influences on student learning and success. Microteaching is a thoughtful process during which a class is assessed either by recording or by peers in order to review the teacher’s performance in the classroom.
One of the ways of doing this is by reviewing the video footage of your previous class for the purpose of self-evaluation. This method helps teachers to identify the strategies that worked and the one that didn’t help much by recognizing weak points. The other way of doing this is by getting feedback from your colleagues without worrying about being assessed. An important quality to possess as a participant in microteaching is the ability to receive and give constructive criticism.
All those participating in this training, both the teachers and the on-lookers are expected to be open-minded in order to achieve teaching-learning goals. This type of training will be beneficial during the student teaching experience. Student teachers can teach a small group of students and afterward, engage them in a conversation about how the lesson was delivered. According to Hattie, microteaching is a technique that has observable truths. Its advantages can promote teachers’ boldness and work to build a collaborative environment of support with compassion and composure.
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