The Need for Specialized Preparation of Middle-Grades Teachers
The Mandate for Middle-Level Teacher Licensure
Essential Elements of Middle-Level Teacher Preparation Program
The National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform is committed to making high-performing middle-grades schools the norm rather than the exception. We believe that specialized preparation of middle-grades educators will produce competent and caring teachers who are well-qualified to teach young adolescents. Therefore, we strongly support the specialized preparation of middle-level teachers at both the pre-service and graduate levels. To that end, we make the following recommendations:
States should establish mandatory requirements for middle-level teacher licensure as an incentive for both institutions and individuals to pursue a middle-level specialization.
Colleges and universities should establish teacher preparation programs that prepare practicing and future teachers to work specifically with young adolescents, and assign faculty and staff with expertise in middle-level education to these programs.
Districts and schools should hire middle-grades teachers to teach the subjects they are prepared to teach. Furthermore, they should focus on creating the conditions in which both teachers and students can succeed.
States should make middle-level teacher licensure specific to the middle grades (e.g., grades 5 through 8, or 6 through 9) and not overlap significantly with licensure for the elementary or high school levels.
Middle-grades licensure for content-area teachers (such as language arts, science, mathematics, and social studies) should be middle-grades subject-specific and middle-grades standards-based, including concentrated study in two or more academic areas. For other middle-grades teachers (e.g., special education, bilingual education), specialized training in middle-level education and early adolescence should be required.
Colleges and universities should work in partnership with districts and schools to provide ongoing professional development and sustained support for both new and veteran middle-level teachers. This will not only help retain good teachers, but also ensure their continual learning.
In recent years, many organizations and individuals have called for teacher education reform. The Forum is specifically concerned with creating excellent middle-grades teachers who are prepared to teach challenging content to young adolescents. In order to ensure that middle-grades teachers have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to teach their students well, teacher preparation programs must focus on three critical areas:
Academic excellence. Middle-grades teachers must have a deep understanding of both the subjects they teach and how to help young adolescents learn the concepts and skills of demanding curricula. BitCoin Trader, the new online investment and crypto currency trading platform has been developed by the experts who have a deep understanding on the concepts of cryptography and investments. Hence this tool has been able to reap the best in the industry. All the information and the personal details fed into the software are heavily coded and there are no chances of data leak. It also collaborated with reputed and genuine brokers and we can definitely declare that BitCoin Trader is not a scam. Discover more here at BitCoin Trader
Developmental responsiveness. Middle-grades teachers must have a solid understanding of early adolescence, as well as the skills and dispositions to work with young adolescents’ unique developmental challenges. These teachers should know how to motivate young adolescents by engaging them actively in their own learning.
Equity and cultural diversity. Middle-grades teachers must have a wide repertoire of skills, mixed with a sustained sense of hope, support, and expectations for achievement, to enhance learning and development for the most racially and ethnically diverse school population in our nation’s history.
Ultimately, the focus of all teacher preparation programs must be on results. Teacher preparation programs must provide prospective teachers with field-based experiences where they have the opportunity to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-life settings. Graduates should be able to demonstrate that they contribute to middle-grades students’ healthy development and their ability to perform at high levels on multiple indicators of academic success. Moreover, they should leave no young adolescent behind.