This section introduces the authors of this handbook and their driving purpose in creating these resource materials. Their commitment to teacher preparation program improvement in partnership with P-12 schools is defined and connections to program accreditation standards is identified.
The materials in this handbook can serve as both guides and tools for this important joint work between teacher preparation programs and P-12 schools.
Teacher effectiveness and teacher preparation program improvement
NExT is a consortium of teacher preparation programs at 14 universities in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The initiative is sponsored by the Bush Foundation. Together with P-12 partner school districts, we are transforming teacher preparation and building strong talent pipelines to better serve all students.
The Network for Excellence in Teaching (NExT)
Purpose of this handbook
As teacher educators consider how to best prepare teachers for the demands of today’s classrooms and schools, we are concerned with questions about how well our candidates are prepared to meet these challenges while thriving as beginning teachers. The resources in this handbook assist teacher preparation programs and their school partners in deepening their understanding of what teacher effectiveness can mean, supporting beginning teachers, and engaging together to support the preparation of effective teachers.
We propose to define and describe measures of beginning teacher effectiveness for developmental purposes—that is, to improve our teacher preparation programs and to ensure success among the teachers we prepare. We rely on multiple measures of beginning teacher effectiveness to provide a fair and well-rounded picture of a teacher’s strengths and to identify areas that need improvement.
We also stand by the idea and practice that we are in this work together. We recognize that defining and measuring beginning teacher effectiveness are both the work of teacher preparation programs and of P-12 schools working together to create seamless learning and development opportunities. We embark on this work in a spirit of partnership, collaborating with the P-12 community, and we hold as our ultimate aim to improve P-12 student learning and growth.
Measures of beginning teacher effectiveness must therefore include both teaching quality and student impact indicators and also require that feedback from P-12 schools flows smoothly between schools and teacher preparation programs in order to support continuous improvement of teacher preparation and school supports for teacher learning. Sharing knowledge and best practices regarding the ways we prepare and support beginning teachers across institutions is fundamental to systemic improvement.