5 Reasons Why Future Teachers Should Attend Teaching and Learning 2015

March 11, 2015

Editor’s Note: Coming to Teaching & Learning? Check out John at his In-The-Classroom Workshop on Friday at 2:30 p.m. in Room 156 on Making the Standards Real in Early Childhood. He will discuss what accomplished teaching looks like to support child development in early childhood classrooms. This blog was also published on the Center for Teaching Quality blog and is reprinted with permission.
One of the most important questions I ask my teacher preparation candidates to consider is “Who benefits?”
There is so much in education that has become convoluted in terms of benefits. Who does does testing benefit? Students? Teacher? Testing companies? Do students really benefit when teachers look like they are learning or when they are actually learning? Is it more important for a class to look well behaved when students walk down the hall, to move down the hall quickly so that learning can start in the classroom sooner or, is walking in the hall time better spent participating in active learning, even if it looks disorderly?
This is the type of thinking I hope to produce in my teacher preparation course.
When I look at an opportunity like the Teaching & Learning Conference and I ask, “Who benefits?” It is easy for me to see how teacher candidates would benefit from attending the conference. Here is a short list:
  • Teacher candidates can build networks with professionals up and down the educational endeavor from policy to classroom;
  • Teacher candidates become introduced to the most salient issues in education from a participant instead of historical point of view
  • From Bill Gates supporting teacher leadership to the counter narratives of Jose Vilson and Pedro Noguera teacher candidates realize that there are a myriad of views on education and they need to make their own decisions about what they believe
  • Teacher candidates get to see accomplished teachers leading the profession from the classroom:

Noah Zeichner

Jennifer Barnett

David Bosso

Valeria Brown

Brianna Crowley

Gyasi Daniel

Jose Vilson

Possibly most important, teacher candidates have the opportunity that there are thousands of people out there who care just as much about making a difference for kids as they do! I have put together a session called, "Making the Standards Real in Early Childhood" in which I hope to introduce folks to what it looks like to be a student in my classroom. I did this by giving my 3 year-old students my camera and helping them to record me teaching them.

John Holland, NBCT

John M. Holland, Ph.D. has dedicated his career to serving the neediest and youngest school children as a National Board Certified Teacher of three- and four-year-olds in Richmond, Virginia’s toughest neighborhoods. He writes about pre-K issues on the CTQ blog “The Learning Studio” and his personal blog Emergent Learner. John is an adjunct professor at Virginia Commonwealth University specializing in teacher preparation for the 21st century. His research interests include urban education, teacher leadership, and 21st-century learning. John is a coauthor of Teaching 2030.  Follow John on twitter at @jmholland.