edTPA

edTPA Data Help Ensure Readiness to Teach

Dr. Diana Lys, Director of the Office of Assessment and Accreditation

I recently had the pleasure and honor of delivering the keynote address for the 2015 edTPA Mid-Atlantic Implementation Conference in Towson, Maryland. As a longtime supporter and champion of observation- and performance-based educator preparation and assessment, I was eager to share with peers from across the nation who are at different places on their journey with edTPA.

First, I wanted to commend each person for being there. By the virtue of their attendance and leadership, participants were helping shift the negative tone of dialogue around teacher preparation by highlighting innovative practices and committing to positive change. At the core of the narrative is a shared rallying call to ensure each teacher candidate enters tomorrow’s classroom ready to teach.

Quality teacher preparation matters, and too much external criticism of teacher preparation exists for the field to be fighting against itself. As a field, we have a moral obligation to prepare the best possible beginning teachers for school children; to ensure each graduate is ready for his or her first day of school. edTPA is a positive, uniting step forward.

For example, teacher educators are practically drowning in data. Yet what are we doing with it? In a program without actionable teacher candidate performance data, program improvement efforts often lack momentum or direction. At East Carolina University, our faculty were convinced our students were well prepared, but we couldn’t prove it. Something was missing. That something was a shared, validated summative assessment confirming the program’s outcomes.

Common Data Get Oars “Rowing in Unison”

Today, we use edTPA data to plan our program-improvement journey. By using a common performance assessment, all of the institution’s oars begin rowing in unison. The educative nature of edTPA helps programs to identify strengths and gaps and offers direction for improvements.

edTPA data help to build a culture of inquiry; again, the educative nature of edTPA has a uniting power for faculty, bringing them together to examine candidate portfolios and to assess their programs at a deeper level. In many ways, edTPA helped to break down the tall, isolating silos in teacher education.

edTPA is one improvement that launched others. We are developing new embedded signature assessments as formative metrics prior to edTPA. We are reconceptualizing our clinical practice through a 2:1 coteaching model, and early data and partner feedback are very positive.

As director of assessment and accreditation, I can’t underscore enough the power and value of edTPA in our accreditation process for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation—a process that builds like a wave. edTPA was an essential uniting factor across our educator preparation programs, allowing us to surf that wave rather than letting it pummel us into the sand. With the right leadership, edTPA:

  • Provides valid and reliable candidate performance data
  • Fosters a culture of evidence in your teacher preparation program
  • Informs evidence-based program improvement

Let’s Not Waste Our Time

In a recent commencement speech to her son’s graduating class, ABC news correspondent Martha Raddatz said, “Don’t waste your time on those who don’t bring out the best in you.”

Similarly, let’s not waste our time on assessments that don’t bring out the best in our candidates and our programs. Let’s not waste our time on assessments that don’t inform our program improvement efforts and that fail to drive our programs in a positive direction.

Let’s focus the energy of our people, our program improvement efforts, and our analysis on data that are valid, reliable, and content and context specific.

And finally, let’s not be silent about what is best—what matters for the field. Make our voices heard as we endeavor to expand our reach with edTPA—blog, tweet, post, share your stories.

This article was also published to the EdPrepMatters blog at http://edprepmatters.net/2015/06/member-voices-edtpa-data-help-ensure-readiness-to-teach/

Delilah Jackson

Dr. Delilah Jackson, 3-time Alumna, Named Superintendent of Washington County Schools

Dr. Delilah Jackson has been a long-time Pirate, earning her BS in Elementary Education, MAEd in Educational Leadership, and EdD in Educational Leadership all in the College of Education at East Carolina University.

Since earning her teaching license, she has served the children and parents of Pitt county, as a teacher,  assistant principal, principal, and finally worked her way up to Assistant Superintendent. “Pitt County Schools has been my teacher for 25 years,” Jackson said in a news release. “I am thankful for all who have been a part of my journey. I will miss each and every person that has had an impact on my life as educator in this school system.”

After 25 years, she is going to step out of Pitt county to move into the role of Superintendent of Washington County Schools. “My new role as superintendent of Washington County Schools will allow me to expand my impact on the lives of children,” Dr. Jackson said. “I am excited about my new opportunity, and I am looking forward to serving the students, parents, and community of Washington County.”

Nikki Manning

Partnership East Made it Possible for Nikki Manning to Become a Teacher

The moment you walk into Nikki Manning’s first grade classroom, you get the feeling something exciting is going to happen.  Nikki teaches at Benvenue Elementary School in Rocky Mount, NC.  She landed a job with Nash-Rocky Mount schools immediately after graduating from East Carolina University in December, 2012 and she says she loves the classroom.  Her kids love her too!  According to Denise, one of the first graders I met while visiting the school, “Ms. Manning makes us so happy!  She is the best teacher I’ve ever had.”

Nikki’s mother cared for children in her home while Nikki was young.  Many of her clients were teachers, which gave Nikki the opportunity to help out in classrooms at an early age.  While completing an internship in high school, she decided that she, too, wanted to be a teacher.

She found SECU Partnership East to be exactly what she needed to complete her degree while working two jobs.  Nikki says attending Nash Community College and then completing junior and senior coursework at ECU gave her the flexibility she needed to pursue her dream of teaching.  “I highly recommend Partnership East to everyone I can.  It is truly a great program and I feel that it more than prepared me as an educator.  The great instructors, advisors, and supervisors surely made the process that much more enjoyable, too!”

COE Seal - Feature Image

Faculty in Elementary Mathematics Education Sought

The Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education is seeking applications and nominations for a nine-month, full-time, fixed-term faculty position in the College of Education, East Carolina University to begin August 12, 2015.

Job Description: Teaching Faculty in Elementary Mathematics Education.

Rank/Salary: Commensurate with qualifications.

Application Due Date: June 29, 2015

Responsibilities of the position include: Teaching multiple sections of undergraduate elementary mathematics methods courses, developing ongoing partnerships with principals and teachers to coordinate field experiences, curriculum development and planning with other faculty, attending cross-curricular meetings in the elementary education program, assisting other faculty with recruitment and retention, and evaluation of mathematics degrees and concentration programs.

Minimum Qualifications:

  1. Masters degree in Mathematics Education or Related Field with a minimum of 18 graduate semester hours in mathematics education
  2. Demonstrated record of excellence in teaching and leadership in mathematics education
  3. North Carolina teaching license

Preference given to candidates with (optional):

  1. Three or more years experience teaching preK-6 mathematics
  2. Experience with designing and providing professional development in elementary mathematics teaching or in teaching mathematics/mathematics education courses for prospective elementary school teachers
  3. Active participation in NCCTM affiliates
  4. Program evaluation experience

Special Instructions to Applicants: Candidates must submit the following documents online at www.jobs.ecu.edu (1) a letter of application describing academic background, specific skills, and experiences relevant to the position, including professional development with teachers; and, (2) a current vita. Candidates also must submit a copy of all official transcripts and arrange to have three current letters of reference sent directly to: Dr. Katie Schwartz, MATE Search Chair, Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education, College of Education, Flanagan 352, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858. Finalists will be asked to teach a class session of an elementary mathematics methods course and should be prepared to discuss their experiences and philosophy of teaching. Screening will begin June 29, 2015 and continue until position is filled. Official transcripts required upon employment.

Department Homepage: www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/msite/

ECU Statement: East Carolina University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action University that accommodates individuals with disabilities.

Individuals requesting accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact the Department for Disability Support Services at (252) 737-1016 (Voice/TTY).

Proper documentation of identity and employability is required at the time of employment.

Teaching Faculty in Elementary Mathematics Advertisement

SECU Partnership East Group Picture

SECU Partnership East Welcomes New Cohorts from across the State

On Saturday, June 6, 2015, the College of Education welcomed four cohorts who will be joining State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Partnership East this summer and fall. Students spent the day in Speight Building learning about their new majors in elementary and special education from College of Education advisors and faculty members. In addition, these new teacher education students toured the Teaching Resource Center in Joyner Library as well as spent time getting to know their new advisors and fellow cohort members.

SECU Partnership East students will begin their degree programs this summer or in the fall where they will take courses online with East Carolina University faculty. Intrusive advising and field placements in the students’ home-counties are incorporated into the SECU Partnership East degree completion programs. The goal of SECU Partnership East is to grow teachers close to home to provide access to teacher education degrees in rural areas. This year marks the 13th year of Partnership East which has graduated 655 teachers since its inception in 2002. Students in the new cohorts live primarily in rural eastern North Carolina but this newest crop of future teachers also includes individuals from the piedmont and mountain regions of North Carolina.

The new cohort orientation offered participants an opportunity to interact with their advisor and fellow students with whom they will learn in a variety of virtual platforms over the next few years. One participant shared, “I love the energy today. I’m so excited to get started and I’m glad I chose ECU! I feel better being able to meet everyone…it will make it easier for when we are online.” Students were also provided with detailed information about resources at East Carolina to include financial aid, library resources, and other academic support systems for distance education students.

SECU Partnership East involves a partnership between East Carolina University, North Carolina community colleges, and public school systems. Students can pursue degrees in elementary education and special education general curriculum. Beginning in 2016, middle grades education with language arts and social studies concentration will be offered. The degrees are offered in a part-time format for all 3 degrees with full-time options available for elementary education. To qualify, students must have prerequisite coursework from a North Carolina community college as well as meet testing and grade requirements. For more information about SECU Partnership East, interested individuals are encouraged to visit: www.ecu.edu/pe or contact Dr. Laura Bilbro-Berry at bilbroberryl@ecu.edu or 252-328-1123.

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College of Education Alumni lead the pack of East Carolina University Alumni on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has ventured into the higher education world in a way that allows institutions to connect not only with alumni and current students but with prospective students as well. It has gathered data from all profiles where education has been associated with East Carolina University and allowed the data to be searchable. If you go to ECU’s Higher Education LinkedIn page you will see that COE grads are on top of the list for where they work and what they doECU LinkedIn profile

Stalls

MAEd-MIDG Student, Jennifer Stalls, Selected for Kenan Fellows Program

Jennifer StallsJennifer Stalls, sixth-grade science teacher at C. M. Eppes Middle School in Pitt County, is among 40 educators from across the state who have been selected as 2015-16 Kenan Fellows. Earlier this year, she was presented the NC Science Teachers Association’s District One Outstanding Science Teacher Award. A graduate of East Carolina University, Stalls is currently earning her Masters of Education-Middle Grades Education degree in ECU’s College of Education with a concentration in science.

Beginning in June, the new Kenan Fellows will spend five weeks of their summer learning and gaining experience from local experts in nanotechnology, financial education, renewable energy, genetics research, energy, and other science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.

A core goal of the program is to develop outstanding teacher leaders who serve as advocates for excellence in education. The year-long fellowship begins with the summer internship and culminates with the development and implementation of cutting-edge educational curricula and programs designed by Kenan Fellows. These resources and programs are shared with other educators and used in classrooms, school systems, and communities across the state and beyond.

Educators selected for fellowships demonstrate proven leadership or leadership potential and are awarded a $6,000 stipend that includes travel expenses. Kenan Fellows also receive 80 hours of professional development divided into three professional advancement institutes that focus on leadership skills, community engagement, proven instructional strategies, and education policy. The Biogen Foundation is the premier sponsor of the institutes.

-Source: Pitt County Schools Website http://www.pitt.k12.nc.us

Guilford County Teacher Expo

Guilford County School’s 2015 Teacher Expo Ready to Hire Graduates

Around the country, thousands of college seniors are making their final preparations to enter the workforce as a professional educator. As the third largest school district in North Carolina, Guilford County Schools has many opportunities for new teachers. They seek the most passionate and well-trained teachers. Due to their dedication to hiring and retention, they are hosting a unique comprehensive hiring event on Monday May, 11 staring at 9:00 A.M. at the downtown Marriott in Greensboro, called the “Get in the Game” 2015 Teacher Expo.

This FREE event is specifically for teachers who desire an opportunity to meet face-to-face with over 80 Guilford County principals with available positions. On hand will be representatives from their Benefits, Curriculum and Professional Development departments. There will also be information about their unique Mission Possible program, GCS-ACT and Lateral Entry licensure. Area vendors will also be on hand to provide information about relocation services to Guilford County.

All that is required of graduates is to register and be prepared to be hired on the spot, as Guilford County’s HR staff is prepared to process on site all teachers who receive letters of intent. So please get your resume ready and decide which school in Guilford County you would like to begin your career!

Students can register via this link: http://bit.ly/GCSTeacherExpoReg

SPED_3006

SPED 3006 Students Present at Exceptional Children Directors’ Meeting

On Friday, May 1st, students in SPED 3006 (Augmentative and Alternative Communication for Students with Disabilities) presented their communication projects to the quarterly meeting of Exceptional Children (EC) Directors held at the Sadie Saulter Center in Greenville. Approximately 40 EC directors were in attendance for the day-long meeting. Students worked throughout the semester to create a multimodal communication device for a learner with complex communication needs ranging in age from 4 years to 18 years.

In collaboration with the learner’s teacher or parents, students assessed the learner’s communication needs, and then developed an individualized communication device for them. The communication devices ranged from high tech apps for the iPad to low tech eye gaze boards and a gesture dictionary. All students agreed that a poster presentation of their work to the EC Directors was a good place to demonstrate what they had learned this semester. For their part, the EC Directors were enthusiastic about the students’ work and in the professional demeanor in which the students conducted themselves.

Greene Central High School

Greene Central HS showing their Purple and Gold

On National College Signing Day at Greene Central High School, seniors and faculty celebrated by wearing shirts from the college they attended or would be attending in the fall. Principal Patrick Greene couldn’t resist getting a picture, “I saw so much purple and gold throughout the day. . . Keep sending me Pirate Grads!”