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*Updated* Pre-Service Teacher Chat With @VictoriaTheTech & @TechySewell

Guest Post by Victoria Thompson and Alicia Sewell

In a very special event, my friend and colleague Alicia Sewell and I hosted a Pre-Service Teacher Chat on Tuesday, 4/13 at 4 PM PST/6 PM CST/7 PM EST.

When Alicia and I first connected, we were genuinely curious as to how our teacher preparation programs gave us insight into the profession and opportunities for technology integration, equity concerns, and educational leadership. We (unfortunately) found that those concepts were severely lacking. These conversations then turned into further collaboration and discussion about what can be done to address this. For example, we know that the way that some pre-service teachers are taught to teach math can be outdated at times, but what can colleges and universities actually do to address that? What kind of supports are in place for teachers who want to learn more about teaching, resources, and professional organizations that can help them grow? And, how can we have more conversations to make people more aware of these issues?

All About the Pre-Service Teacher Chat Update

Alicia Sewell and Victoria Thompson

On Tuesday, April 13th, Alicia Sewell and Victoria Thompson hosted a chat for pre-service teachers, people interested in the education profession and people who wanted to discuss the state of the profession. Most of the discussion was based on what people who were already in the profession of education knew before they entered, as well as giving advice to people who were already enrolled in an education program. 

We spoke with participants about what they wish they knew before they started teaching, what they wish they knew as first year teachers, and what they wish they knew about technology integration. There was a general consensus that teacher preparation programs are lacking in most of these areas and that, during the first year of teaching, it was a welcome shock to see what the profession was actually like. Additionally, we shared resources (embedded in the agenda) to help participants on their journey of growth in these topics.

One of the major takeaways was that there are a lot of “hidden rules” of education such as lesson planning, classroom management, school bureaucracy, and staying current within the profession that preservice teachers are often unaware of or unsure about. By speaking openly about these hidden rules and expectations, we can better prepare our pre-service teachers. Also, organizations that expand beyond college (such as educator certifications and professional organizations) can be extremely helpful to preservice teachers in continuing their professional journey.

We enjoyed having this chat and look forward to having another one! To indicate interest, please complete this form. Stay tuned for the date and time of the next chat this summer!

About The Authors

Victoria Thompson is a STEM Integration Transformation Coach at Technology Access Foundation–a nonprofit leader redefining STEM education in public schools–a consultant for Ignite EdTech, and a learning specialist for NCCE. She has been in education for five years and began her journey teaching fifth and sixth grade math and science in Summerville, SC. After completing her masters degree in curriculum and instruction she moved to the Seattle, WA area in 2018, where her career has pivoted to focusing on STEM integration in schools, K-12 mathematics instruction with research on decolonizing mathematics curriculum for teachers and learners, creating inclusive math environments, and using technology to bridge equity gaps in math education. She has presented at ISTE, ImpactEducation, CUE, and DigCitSummit on topics such as creating inclusive math classrooms, culturally responsive STEM education, and equity in educational technology.

Alicia Sewell is a Professional Development Specialist with Five Star Technology Solutions. Before joining Five Star, Alicia was an Instructional Technology Specialist and Instructional Technology Coach for Tuscaloosa CIty Schools. Alicia has also taught grades Kindergarten, first, and PreKindergarten within five years for Tuscaloosa City Schools. 

Alicia recently earned her Educational Specialist degree in Educational Technology from Boise State University where she will begin her doctoral journey in August. Currently, Alicia is earning her Social-Emotional Learning and Character Education in Leadership certification from St. Elizabeth and Rutgers University. She has a Bachelors and Masters in Elementary Education with a certification in Early Childhood Education. 

Alicia has presented at many conferences on technology integration including ISTE and AETC. She is passionate about social-emotional learning, mental health, racial and social justice, and technology integration.

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