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Roundup Post: Changing Teacher Prep

By guest blogger Leanne Link, communications assistant at the Center for Teaching Quality

This month's bloggers shared many ideas about how to improve teacher preparation programs. Looking for a quick recap? Below are some of the top suggestions that came out of the Roundtable discussion:

Increase Field Experience: The sooner preservice teachers can start teaching, the better, writes Megan Allen. And Dan Brown, Anna Martin, Kate Mulcahy, and Ilana Garon agree that preservice teachers need at least a year in the field before they take charge of their own classrooms.

Emphasize Mentoring: Never underestimate the power of one-on-one relationships, says Dan Brown. Ilana Garon notes that the most useful part of her teacher training was the six weeks she spent with her mentor teacher.

Don't Sugarcoat It: Kate Mulcahy and Megan Allen stress the importance of preparing preservice teachers for education's tough realities, and teaching them to learn from mistakes.

Add More Hybrid Roles: Linda Yaron, Anna Martin, and Megan Allen call for more hybrid roles allowing teachers to spend part of their days mentoring new teachers.

Be Yourself: Ilana Garon learned the hard way that each teacher must develop a "teaching identity" that remains true to her own personality.

Understand the Community: Ariel Sacks thinks that new teachers need to learn more about the communities, schools, and neighborhoods they'll be working in.

Attract Top Candidates: Linda Yaron suggests raising starting teacher salaries to $100,000; Megan Allen wants to make sure that teaching candidates have the passion and perseverance that will allow them to thrive in the classroom.

Don't want the conversation to end? Add your comments to the bloggers' posts, and make sure to watch out for our February discussion on technology in the classroom.

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