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Association of California School Administrators
Association of California School Administrators
CTC: New teachers will need layers of support
Collaborative group makes recommendations on how to support new teachers
March 1, 2021
The February 2021 meeting of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing was attended by ACSA CTC Liaison Doug Gephart, who filed the following report.
COVID restrictions have prevented teacher candidates from having the benefit of in-person teaching, thereby creating substantial gaps in their teaching preparation development. To address this issue, the Commission on Teaching Credentialing staff convened a collaborative group representing the commission, teacher preparation programs, induction program leaders, ACSA and CTA to develop guidelines to address the myriad of issues facing new teachers beyond the scope of the CTC. Following multiple meetings over several months, the collaborative group has initiated the following recommendations, which were presented to the CTC at its February meeting, to ensure new teachers have the essential support to ensure their success.
Teacher candidates and their program providers jointly develop an Individual Development Plan, identifying areas of completion and gaps within the required elements to earn a preliminary credential, which then leads to the development of an Individual Learning Plan. The Individual Development Plan has taken on increased importance in the current environment and will play an essential role in the teacher candidate’s professional development as they enter the teaching profession. The candidate should provide a copy of the Individual Development Plan to the employer after the candidate has been offered and accepted a teaching position in order for the district to have insight on how best to support the new teacher.
The Individual Development Plan is important for induction and employers as it provides critical information that is used to design each candidate’s individualized induction experience and is documented on the Individual Learning Plan. The information taken from the Individual Development Plan can then be merged with district and site initiatives, as well as each candidate’s self-identified areas for growth to guide their induction program.
Shared responsibility: The program leaders, employers and employee representatives agree that the current situation impacting teacher preparation candidates is beyond anyone’s control, but that California’s community of educators are working hard to ensure that all candidates are well prepared to enter the workforce. In order to address these critical needs, it will take all stakeholders — preliminary programs, induction programs, employers, site administrators, human resource personnel and mentor and other veteran teachers to ensure that these new teachers are supported and successful. The issue of partnerships and collaboration has become even more essential for the preparation and success of new educators.
Three key levels of support already exist within the education community: employers and the on-boarding process, induction support providers and school site administrators. Each level of support will play an essential role in the success of new teachers.
On-boarding process (Role of district human resources): Human resources personnel play an essential role for new teacher candidates after the interview and selection process as they employ and place new teachers in their new assignments for the 2021-22 school year. In support of these new teachers, it is recommended that HR personnel implement the following guidelines to ensure successful pathways into the teaching profession.
Employers are strongly encouraged to consider the unique needs of these new teachers and adopt strategies to address candidate needs and ensuring their success. Each teacher candidate will have an Individual Development Plan they created in conjunction with their program provider. This plan shall remain confidential until after the candidate has been offered and accepted an employment contract with their employer.
  • When offering a contract to a program completer, the employer is advised to request that the Individual Development Plan be provided as part of the on-boarding process, not as part of the application process to provide insight to the candidate’s needs as they enter the teaching profession.
  • Employers should be made aware of specific additional requirements their new teacher may have to complete, as well as the timeline for doing so that includes, but is not limited to, passage of coursework and assessments such as Teacher Performance Assessment, CBEST and RICA.
  • Employers should ensure that school site administrators are fully informed that their new teachers may not have had a traditional in-person student teaching experience and advise them the new teachers will require additional support in the classroom.
  • Employers should ensure each new teacher candidate has an onsite mentor (not necessarily formal) and be thoughtful when developing class lists or assigning new teachers to a class already formulated.
  • Employers will want to ensure new teacher candidates have time and assistance to set up their classroom and provide guidance to site administrators to provide essential support to new teachers as they develop their lesson plans and organize their instruction program to start the school year.
  • District administrators should plan regular check-ins with the principal and the new teachers to assess if the level of support being provided is meeting the needs of the new teacher and determine whether adjustments are required to more completely meet the teacher’s needs.
  • District administrators should ensure new teachers and their mentors have appropriate time to meet to ensure high quality targeted assistance.
  • Ensure that new teacher candidates and their mentors have scheduled time to discuss strategies on how to create and maintain effective learning environments for student learning as well as addressing routine school site activities like recess duty and interacting across grade levels.
Role of school site administrators: Teachers completing preparation in 2021 will require more targeted support and assistance determined by the depth, or lack of, classroom experiences and student interactions associated with online teaching and absence of in-class experiences with students. School site administrators will be challenged to take on a greater role in the placement and support of new teachers to ensure they have the support and assistance not only of the induction process and mentors but also with the support and assistance of grade level and subject matter teachers. Site administrators can best support new teachers with the implementation of the following recommendations:
  • Principals meet with new teachers prior to the start of the school year to review the teacher’s Individual Development Plans and to map out an initial level of support.
  • Utilize the Individual Plan to further develop new teacher knowledge, skill set and areas of professional development.
  • Principals should know whether or not the new teacher has experience setting up a classroom as part of their fieldwork and provide the requisite level of support and guidance in concert with their induction mentor.
  • Identify mentors (formal or informal) at each school site to serve as a resource and support for new teachers.
  • Establish regular meetings with new teachers to review their role and responsibility and identify areas of needed support.
  • School principals are advised to develop a schedule of regular informal classroom visits to observe and support new teachers within the guidelines of the collective bargaining agreement.
  • Meet with new teachers and their mentors to discuss how best to assess student learning and strategies for remediation as appropriate.
The critical role of induction: The focus of induction is on coaching, providing support, and individualizing the coaching and support to the new educator’s needs. Induction can provide new teachers with support and coaching, including a focus on teaching in a classroom. Induction is the appropriate place to support the new teachers as they transition from candidates to in-service teachers. It will be important that all CTC-approved teacher induction programs as well as employers have an understanding of how the 2021 program completers were prepared, their areas of strength, and the areas where additional support will be needed.
Candidates emerging from preliminary programs in 2020 and 2021 have unique needs and support for induction programs themselves will be critical so they can be prepared to successfully support these candidates. Two-year job embedded individualized induction support program focuses on extensive support and mentoring to new teachers in their first and second year of teaching. The nature of induction is focused on support and growth of the new teacher and is distinct from the evaluation process for employment.
  • The initial priority should be supporting new candidates in getting settled in their assignments and providing daily just-in-time supports.
  • Utilizing the candidate’s unique strengths and needs may serve as a starting point for the induction process.
  • Assist new candidates with the development of their Individual Learning Plans to ensure the candidates’ needs are appropriately addressed.
  • Provide support in creating and maintaining effective environments for student learning and establishing a safe environment in person, rather than through technology.
  • Meet with new teacher candidates and their mentors to discuss and develop strategies to ensure students are appropriately supported in their developmental learning needs and social engagement.
  • Discuss with new teachers and their mentors strategies to create and maintain healthy environments for social and emotional development.
Governor’s proposed CTC 2021-22 budget
Gov. Gavin Newsom has placed a high priority on education funding since taking office. This year he proposes an additional $125 million in one-time funds to help support teacher recruitment with proposed expansion of the Teacher Residency and the Classified School Employee Credentialing program. The governor continued to support the growth of existing educators by proposing over $315 million in funds for educator professional development and also proposed $100 million in additional funding to the Golden State Teacher grant administered by the California Student Aid Commission. Additionally, the governor has continued to put a high priority on addressing needs in early learning as well as in education data.
His proposal includes funding for the following CTC-administered grants: Teacher Residency Programs — $100 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Fund to expand the Teacher Residency Program, which supports locally sponsored, one-year intensive, mentored, clinical teacher preparation programs dedicated to preparing and retaining teachers in high-need subject areas in high-need communities.
California Classified School Employees Credentialing Program — $25 million in one-time Proposition 98 General Fund to expand the California Classified School Employees Credentialing Program, which provides grants to K-12 local educational agencies to recruit non-certificated school employees to become certificated classroom teachers.
Bilingual program standards and TPEs
The bilingual authorization is an additional authorization that may be added to a prerequisite teaching credential, Multiple Subject, Single Subject and Education Specialist or the equivalent and authorizes the holder to provide instruction in the language of the authorization within the content area of the prerequisite credential. Teachers seeking a bilingual authorization have three options for obtaining the authorization:
  • Completion of a commission-approved program,
  • Taking and passing the three subtests of the California Subject Matter Examination for Teachers for target language proficiency (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), bilingual methodology, and culture, or
  • Successfully completing a combination of CTC-approved program coursework and passage of exam subtest(s).
Commissioner David Simmons, assistant superintendent of Goleta Unified School District, questions the need for additional clinical practice for a teacher who already possesses a California teaching credential and has completed clinical practice for their existing credentials.
Requiring additional clinical practice for a bilingual authorization will continue to create a roadblock for candidates to obtain the bilingual teaching authorization. Adding a clinical practice requirement for candidates who earn a bilingual authorization through the examination route or for those who are earning a bilingual authorization subsequent to earning their teaching credential would clearly add a requirement for these individuals and this could decrease the number of new bilingual teachers.
Questions for the commission to consider:
  1. Should candidates for a bilingual authorization be required to complete clinical practice in their language of emphasis?
  2. If clinical practice is required for bilingual authorization candidates, should this requirement apply to all candidates or only candidates completing a bilingual program?
  3. If the commission supports the recommendation to require clinical practice for bilingual authorization candidates, should this be a minimum number of hours or left to the program to determine whether the candidate has demonstrated the Bilingual Teaching Performance Expectations?
Commission staff will continue to work with the bilingual panel to address the issue of clinical practice requirements for current credential holders.
Child Development Permit
Commission staff has been working collaboratively with the field to implement on a statewide basis the provisions of the Preschool Development Grant-Renewal. These implementation activities represent a paradigm shift in the preparation and licensure of the early childhood workforce. This shift will move from reliance on seat time and course titles serving as the basis for issuing a Child Development Permit toward a CTC-adopted permit licensure system based on demonstrated candidate competencies and preparation program quality standards as the guiding principles for preparation and permitting in this field. This shift in focus for the permit is consistent with changes made by the commission in other credential areas and supports the need to develop a workable framework for a new, revitalized and feasible system of program quality review and approval for ECE preparation programs in the future.
The governor has established a coalition to develop a master plan for early childhood education. Currently, the master plan has identified four policy goals that set high standards, create cohesion, fill gaps, and foster sustainability:
  1. Streamline requirements for birth through age 3 programs, providing access to care and learning for all 3-year-olds experiencing poverty, and providing universal preschool access to all 4-year-olds.
  2. Support children’s learning and development by enhancing educator competencies, incentivizing, and funding career pathways, and implementing supportive program standards.
  3. Adopt a new reimbursement and rate model that brings all types of care and learning support into one structure.
  4. Streamline early childhood governance and administration to improve equity.
For each of these objectives, the master plan provides a detailed roadmap of implementation steps and agency responsibilities throughout the ECE system.
Commission staff will be moving the following work in the area of ECE forward during 2021:
  1. Implementing ECE Pilots to help participating institutions/programs working to integrate the TPEs within ECE preparation programs coursework and fieldwork;
  2. Establishing the Program Guidelines as the indicator of program quality and effectiveness;
  3. Developing a program quality peer review process for ECE preparation programs that will both validate the quality of the preparation being provided to candidates and allow programs to directly recommend candidates for the permit; and
  4. Developing, piloting, and validating a formative assessment tool embedded within ECE preparation programs.