How You Can Help

To accomplish the crucial first steps described in this report, stakeholders must prioritize the following actions.

Priorities for Everyone

Clinical practice

Each aspiring teacher must participate in a carefully designed, year-long clinical experience in the classroom of an excellent/accomplished teacher who was trained for the role of clinical practitioner and works effectively with adult learners, mentoring and fostering the professional growth of peers. Financial support should be provided to aspiring teachers, particularly during their clinical practice year.

Professional standards of practice

Stakeholders, led by PreK-12 teachers, should establish clear expectations/standards for knowledge and skills needed for initial licensure and for full professional licensure. This collaborative, profession-led group should translate this work into the development and implementation of performance assessments used to determine who meets the expectations for various phases of the profession. These standards should be part of a coherent system that culminates with a profession-defined demonstration of accomplished practice (e.g., National Board Certification).

Authentic demonstration of practice

As a culmination of the teacher preparation program (TPP) the aspiring teacher must demonstrate the necessary knowledge and skills through the profession-developed performance assessment. Teachers moving from “emerging” to “professional” phase should demonstrate knowledge and skills (determined by representative members of the profession) through performance assessment activities.

Professional induction and support

Each Emerging Teacher must participate in a multi-year extensive induction program that includes working with a qualified and trained mentor and peer coach who is afforded the necessary time to fulfill their duties. The professional duties of the emerging teacher are also modified to allow time to participate in mentoring and to engage in the additional time required for a novice to plan for instruction, assessment, and reflection on practice.

Continuous personal growth

Each teacher, regardless of career phase, must be afforded the opportunity to collaborate with peers to development and implement their professional learning plan with the autonomy to match that plan to their individual needs, strengths, and interests.

Effective design
All professional learning should be planned and implemented according to sound design principles outlined in Learning Forward, including sufficient focus over extended time for research, coaching and practice, and reflection. Adequate time must be provided within the professional work day to accomplish these activities.

Accomplished practice

Each teacher must be provided the opportunity and encouraged to participate in professional learning communities focused on improved practice in the areas of NBPTS’s Five Core Principles. Collaborative groups should facilitate both the ongoing professional growth of National Board Certified teachers and those pursuing such measures of accomplished practice.

Professional evaluation

Formative and summative evaluation of professional practice should be aligned with and support the professional learning plan for each teacher and should be facilitated by a trusted teacher-led system of peer review.

Teacher leadership

Teacher leaders (at least 20 percent of teachers in each setting) should be intentionally developed to meet the systemic demands for persons to serve in the many roles for teacher leaders including, but not limited to: clinical facilitators, mentors, peer coaches, peer reviewers, professional learning community facilitators, advocates, and professional organization leaders.

Priorities for Teachers

  • Participate actively in the development, implementation, and ongoing monitoring of profession-driven national standards and performance assessments for the profession of teaching.
  • Participate actively in the development, implementation, and ongoing monitoring of individual and school professional development to ensure they offer individual autonomy, collaborative strategies, ongoing focused effort over time, and peer coaching and reflection on practice.
  • Actively pursue continuous professional learning and improved practice including: achieving National Board Certification, engaging in action research on teaching and learning, developing leadership skills to meet the needs of the profession, infusing their professional work with culturally responsive practices, and caring for each student.
  • Become a passionate advocate for PreK-12 students and citizens of their profession through involvement in the values and work of the teachers’ union.
  • Model a passion for teaching and encourage promising students to pursue a career in teaching.

See what else teachers can do to support other teachers throughout their careers

Priorities for NEA Members & Affiliates

  • Lead in bringing together a coalition to establish standards for initial teacher licensure (profession readiness) and full professional licensure.
  • Lead the coalition in developing, implementing, and monitoring performance assessment system for initial licensure and a system of performance demonstrations (portfolio) to attain full licensure.
  • Actively support, in collaboration with schools/districts, the development of teacher leaders to meet the need for cooperating teachers, mentors, peer assistants/reviewers, professional learning community facilitators, organizational leaders, and community advocates for PreK-12 schools.
  • Collaborate with communities, schools, and districts to design and implement strategies to help all teachers deepen their understanding of race, culture, and social justice and to strengthen their skills in working with students, parents, and communities in culturally responsive ways.

See what else NEA members and affiliates can do to support teachers throughout their careers

Priorities for Teacher Preparation Programs

  • Apply the standards for initial licensure and professional licensure developed by the teacher-led coalition of stakeholders along with NBPTS’ Five Core Propositions as a guide for developing teacher preparation programs.
  • Require that all pathways for teacher preparation include a minimum of a full year of clinical practice with a well-trained, carefully matched, qualified professional/accomplished teacher (collaboratively selected and trained along with the host school/district). Field experiences should be infused throughout coursework prior to the clinical practice year.
  • Support candidate academic skill development through culturally responsive authentic project learning. Support candidate development of cultural competency through collaboratively developed, extensive and intensive interactions with diverse PreK-12 students, fellow teacher candidates, and TPP faculty.

See what else TPPs can do to support teachers throughout their careers

Priorities for Schools & Districts

  • Develop and implement (in collaboration with teacher unions and community) an induction program including at least two years of support with a trained mentor.
  • Develop and implement (in collaboration with teacher union) professional growth structures for all teachers that provide individual autonomy; peer collaboration for establishing building and district goals for professional development; experiences to foster deeper understanding of culture, race, and culturally responsive teaching; and peer coaching over extended periods of time for application of all new knowledge and skills.
  • Develop and implement (in collaboration with teacher union) a practitioner-led system of peer assistance and peer review.
  • Develop and implement (in collaboration with teacher union) structures that promote teacher leadership and a culture of collaboration.

See what else schools and districts can do to support teachers throughout their careers

Priorities for Partners & Communities

  • Partner with teacher unions, schools/districts, and TPPs to develop and implement induction experiences that help aspiring and emerging teachers develop positive community connections; a deeper appreciation for, and skills in working with, cultures within the community; and a shared sense of mission for social justice and opportunities for all students.
  • Partner with teacher unions, schools, and districts to develop and implement authentic, community-based learning opportunities that allow students to explore meaningful topics of interest that develop.
  • Partner with teacher unions, schools, and districts, to advocate for/ensure availability of resources, policies, and positive school environments so that each student has access to a great public school education.

See what else partners and communities can do to support teachers throughout their careers

Priorities for Policymakers

  • Enact policies that require all TPPs to provide a full year of clinical practice and be nationally accredited through CAEP.
  • Provide resources needed for TPPs to institute programs culminating with year-long clinical practice and provide stipends to support candidates as they complete their preparation programs.
  • Use profession-established standards for both initial licensure and for movement to full professional licensure; use profession-developed and -administered performance assessments/measures as the primary factors in granting licenses.
  • Recognize successful completion of NBC’s performance assessment process as the benchmark for accomplished practice.
  • Remove entry barriers to those wishing to pursue teacher preparation, and require that TPPs provide significant supports to develop the academic foundation and cultural competence of each candidate to ensure “profession readiness” upon program completion.
  • Provide resources needed so teachers, schools, districts, and communities can provide quality, career-long professional learning for educators; experiences to build positive cultural understanding among teachers and communities; and access to a great public school education for every student.

See what else policymakers can do to support teachers throughout their careers

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