Georgia’s future teachers will have to jump through more hoops before stepping into a classroom. The goal is to create more qualified educators with fewer turnovers.
Candidates will continue to show they’ve mastered the content by taking a certain number of courses and tests, but a new feature will evaluate if they can actually teach what they know to school kids.
Hubert Middle School teacher Shirmira Hill has a lot to celebrate. Not only is school out but she has her first year under her belt.
“I saw all of my students just flourish this year and it was just so amazing as a first year teacher how they started out at the beginning and then to see how passionate they were about what they were doing in the end,” said Hill.
The art teacher says the transition from college to the classroom was a bit of a challenge.
“Having to get them prepared and preparing lessons and trying to figure out how to teach what I had learned in the college setting and break it down to where 6th-8th grade students could understand it,” said Hill.
Starting this fall, prospective teachers in Georgia will spend their senior year in a school, showing they can teach their area of expertise.
“They start videotaping every time they teach anything like a small group or classroom and then they take snippets from that and show that they know how to do all of those things that are necessary in a classroom like classroom management, planning, do you know how to differentiate instruction for a child,” said the Executive Director of the GA Association of College of Education Deans Dr. Cindi Chance.
Dr. Cindi Chance, The Executive Director of the GA Association of College of Education Deans, says this type of training is important to a teacher’s success– and longevity. The turnover rate for new teachers is highest in the first three years.
“The school system and the university partner together to support teachers for the first three years and help them understand where they are, the differences in their background and their social expectations and those of the children they are working with,” said Dr. Chance.
Hill said having a mentor makes a big difference.
“I’ve had a very supportive mentor this year and I think that’s the great thing about being a first year teacher is you’re not just thrown in there,” said Hill.
This new assessment known as edTPA won’t just impact prospective teachers. College teaching programs will also be evaluated based on the success of its graduates.