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Education Reform

How to Improve Teacher Preparation Programs for Aspiring Urban Educators

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How to Improve Teacher Preparation Programs for Aspiring Urban Educators

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When I first became an educator, I taught secondary Mathematics and Physics to high school students in the largest district in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and in a much smaller school system in the suburbs.  I first worked with low-performing and economically disadvantaged students and later in an environment with all talented and gifted students.  Once I decided to move beyond the classroom and into a role as instructional coach, I began mentoring teachers and delivering professional development training.  With this background as both an urban educator and teacher leader, I had a close-up opportunity to see the problems that are pervasive in K-12 education.  Having served as a District administrator for 9 years, I now have a bird’s eye perspective of those problems as well as potential strategies for success, particularly, in an urban setting.

Education Reform

What is your 21st Century Professional Development Plan?

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What is your 21st Century Professional Development Plan?

The increasingly competitive global workforce of the 21st century has brought on the need for students and teachers to develop new skills and competencies in our educational systems. Given that the modern classroom is characterized by innovation and project-based context, schools should adopt teaching and learning methods that blend creative thinking skills and methods of instruction that integrate learning technologies into real-world contexts (Wan & Gut, 2011).  To this end, educators need to be prepared to serve students in the context of new expectations to meet the demands for a more skilled workforce.  Accordingly, professional development training for teachers should incorporate innovative methods that include relevant technology skills and practical experiences in the new classroom environment.  This suggests that teachers should also learn about innovative curricula that incorporate critical thinking, complex problem solving, creativity and entrepreneurial thinking, communication and collaboration, innovative use of knowledge, and financial literacy.