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How CEUs Can Keep Teachers in the Classroom

03 Aug 2016 by Rebecca Freedman

“Nearly half of all beginning teachers will leave their classrooms within five years, only to be replaced by another fresh-faced educator.”

LA Johnson/NPR

Teacher turnover is a huge problem with costly effects. There are many reasons why retaining teachers is tough: low wages, lack of time and support to plan and individualize instruction, and a growing need for ongoing professional development (just to name a few). As the former director of a large university-based early child care center and a consultant to Head Start and Early Head Start programs throughout the Southeast United States, I had the opportunity to observe this revolving door of early childhood educators one too many times. I saw teachers enter their classrooms with the best of intentions and a high need for support.  

 

Take for instance Ms. Jackie, a first year pre-K teacher at a child care center in South Florida. Jackie started the year excited and eager. She had always loved working with young children. Within the first few weeks of her school year, Jackie quickly realized the many requirements expected of her. Jackie was immersed in learning new curriculum and assessment tools. She had home visits to complete, Individualized Education Plans to work on, and children and families’ expectations to meet. On top of it all, Jackie knew the state required her to complete a minimum of 10-clock-hours or one Continuing Education Unit (CEU) annually.  

Every morning as she entered her classroom, she was faced with 18 active children who didn’t sit the way she thought they would or participate as expected for her well-intentioned lesson plans. She did not realize the amount of time and and difficulty it takes to transition a group of 4-year-olds from one activity to another. As the days pass, Jackie is starting to feel more and more overwhelmed by her new job and begins to doubt her own abilities. She wants information and support around effective teaching practices.

Just like Jackie, teachers are in need of and deserve high quality continuing education programs. Adult learning research tells us that successful professional development programs are those that are anchored in teachers’ actual practice and use research-based principles linked to outcomes. It is for this reason that I am so excited about Teachstone’s announcement of our partnership with IACET. This partnership gives Teachstone the newfound ability to offer teachers CEUs for our research-based programs that help teachers understand, identify, and learn strategies around effective classroom interactions that lead to improved child outcomes.

So...why is this announcement so exciting?

  • We know that teachers need high-quality support and professional development that is embedded in their actual classroom practice
  • We know interactions matter -- and high quality interactions among teachers and students lead to social and academic gains in children
  • We want to support teachers in gaining concrete strategies to provide meaningful social and instructional interactions in their classrooms

And...how can these CEUs help retain quality educators? Quite simply, when teachers feel more supported and successful in their classrooms, they are more likely to stay in them!



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