EdConnection

EdConnection

Understanding Each Child, Our Future: Excellent Educators and Instructional Practices (Strategies 1-3)

1/22/2019

Each Child, Our Future is Ohio’s five-year strategic plan to ensure each student enjoys a bright future thanks to an excellent preK-12 education experience. More than 150 Ohio-based partners helped develop the plan, along with feedback from 1,200 Ohio parents, caregivers, preK-12 and postsecondary educators, employers, business leaders, community members, state legislators and students.

This is the seventh in an 11-part series that walks EdConnection readers through the plan. Last week, we briefly introduced and provided an overview of the 10 priority strategies in Each Child, Our Future. This week, we take a closer look at strategies 1-3, which focus on ensuring excellent educators and instructional practices. Find these strategies on pages 14-16 of the plan, which is available in its entirety by clicking here.

Strategy 1: Increase the supply of highly effective teachers and leaders and provide supports to ensure they are effective or highly effective.

Priority strategy 1 contains three initiatives:

  • Growing and attracting excellent teachers and school leaders: Ohio will work with educator stakeholder groups to attract more high-quality individuals to the teaching profession, with a special emphasis on equity and diversity in the educator profession.
  • Strengthening and refining teacher preparation: Ohio will work with colleges of education and other teacher preparation programs to improve preservice training and support for individuals. An example includes working with preparation programs to better address differentiation, instructional practices, cultural relevancy and student supports. Ohio’s Resident Educator Program already provides additional early career supports to teachers who want to seek full licensure.
  • Leveraging alternative preparation programs: Ohio will look to state- and federally-approved alternative teacher preparation programs that can help draw talent to the classroom from outside the teaching profession. The state also will look at its annual educator performance report to inform teacher preparation practices.

Strategy 2: Support every principal to be highly effective—especially principals of schools serving the neediest children.

Three initiatives form priority strategy 2:

  • Finalizing new principal standards and refining the preparation process: The revised standards will drive improvements to principal preparation programs and the state’s principal evaluation system.
  • Supporting school leaders: The state should provide additional technical assistance to help working principals hone their skills. Ohio already has increased its support for principal mentorship programs that pair new and seasoned principals.
  • Supporting leader recruitment: The state can work with educational service centers to offer technical assistance that helps schools and districts identify good principal candidates.

Strategy 3: Improve targeted supports and professional learning so teachers can deliver excellent instruction today, tomorrow and throughout their careers.

  • Our educators need the skills and support to implement teaching practices that maximize students’ knowledge and skills in the four learning domains. These practices include personalized, culturally relevant teaching that directly engages students in their learning.
  • Educators also must know how to individualize instruction to meet the learning needs of students with disabilities, students of all cultures, English learners and gifted students. We will offer teachers this knowledge and support through a coordinated effort to share best teaching practices statewide. It may include offering schools curriculum, instructional approaches and materials that are informed by research, the school’s individual needs, local community standards, student composition and teachers’ current skills.
  • Educators also should be offered options for delivering the best digital and personalized learning, such as project- and case-based learning, STEM and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math) or similar instructional techniques that challenge students to solve problems creatively through an integrated approach.

Next week’s EdConnection will explore strategies 4-6, which focus on standards, assessments and accountability.