“How do we keep effective teachers in the classroom? How do we make sure that schools have the kind of culture and conditions that reward teachers for their hard work and recognize them as professionals?” – Bill McDiarmid, USA

When it comes to preparing teachers for leadership in their careers, Bill McDiarmid is tough to beat. As the Dean of the School of Education at UNC Chapel Hill and former Boeing Professor of Teacher Education at the University of Washington, he spends most of his time thinking about, talking about, and teaching about how we can improve teacher education.

To continue on our “Teacher Appreciation Month” on the blog, I recently sat down with McDiarmid, who also serves on the board of the Teacher Education Initiative (TEI) – a world-class, hands-on learning experience intended for all School of Education faculty and designed to be dramatically different from other faculty professional development workshops on technology. McDiarmid has been a key subject matter expert for TEI, and has been instrumental in its development (if you haven’t yet, take a look at the blog post with Jim Ptaszynski, who leads the TEI initiative worldwide). During our discussion, McDiarmid and I talked about the trends he is seeing in teacher education today, including the National Teacher Performance Assessment project, how data is being used effectively in teacher evaluations, and the looming teacher shortage. “Roughly half of the teacher force will retire in the next five years,” says McDiarmid.

McDiarmid also shared his views on how we best prepare teachers for the classrooms of the future, especially amid the ever-changing demographics in our schools. As McDiarmid notes, we need to do more to help our teachers adapt to the cultural and linguistic challenges in schools where, for many students, English is second language, while most of our teachers are English speakers. “We’ve been slow in the teacher education world to respond effectively to the dramatic change in the demographics in our schools,” he says.

It’s a pleasure to share today’s Daily Edventure with Bill McDiarmid.

Teacher Education Initiative

The Microsoft Teacher Education Initiative (TEI) is a workshop designed by School of Education faculty for pre-service teachers and their faculty. The workshop consists of a series of modules that have been developed for several content areas (currently math, science, social studies, and English language arts/literacy as well as TPACK). The modules include a variety of activities that provide teachers and teacher education faculty members with content-based technology exemplars that they can use to help them combine technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK). Each module contains the following assets: facilitator’s guide, participant workshop guide, sample files, technology demonstration files, instructor PowerPoint presentation, and videos of module builders presenting the module.

To learn more, go to www.pil-tei.com

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