Sheila Baker, TxATE President
With the many changes occurring in education today, one thing remains constant. Our charge, as teacher educators, is to train outstanding teachers who enter practice empowered with the knowledge and skills to educate and prepare students to achieve at their highest levels. I am honored to be a member of an organization with so many teacher educators who prepare quality teachers with the utmost integrity.
In our practice as teacher educators, we serve as models for exemplary teaching. Exemplary practice is the result of sharp instincts, understanding and applying evidence-based best practices, and collaborating with colleagues to identify and apply the methods of instruction and assessment that are most likely to facilitate deep learning and professional evolution.
Quality teaching and collaboration is a focus throughout teacher preparation organizations and associations. TxATE serves as a major voice in the promotion of teacher education goals through advocacy and leadership across the state, nation, and world. CSOTTE, as an organization, is a prime example of a partnership that strengthens teacher preparation and teaching in the state of Texas; ATE, the founding member of The National Coalition of Educators, brings together groups from across the nation in the spirit of collaboration and cooperation that allows reciprocity and advocates for teacher educators at the political level; and WFATE focuses on building global communities of teacher educators and promotes trans-national collaboration.
Partnerships can serve as the driving force for change and improvement in teaching. As leaders in our field, TxATE members are positioned to impact teachers’ knowledge of the collective expertise of all educators within school and community settings. The power of collaborative partnership holds the potential to impact the development of innovative teaching and learning experiences beyond the confines of an isolated classroom. These experiences forward the development of students to a level involving full collaborations with teachers in special positions within the schools - librarians, counselors, curriculum specialists, technology specialists, and the educational stakeholders beyond the school setting.
Throughout the upcoming year, I ask that you embrace collaborations at all levels - from the individual school campus community to the national level. Consider focusing attention on those innovative practices that give rise to these collaborative experiences. Think about course assignments that involve students in innovative collaborations with 1) pre-service students enrolled in specialized education preparation programs, 2) other campus educators during internships, or 3) those students involved in case, pilot, or full research studies. Consider sharing your work at the TxATE 2020 Teacher Educator conference. Your work this year will serve not only to engage your students in these valuable collaborations and experiences, but also to inform other teacher educators as you share your work with them. Partnerships can serve as the driving force for change and improvement. Go forth and do great things in partnership for teacher education!