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What Counts as a Good Job in Teaching?

Becoming a Teacher as We Race to the Top

Colleen Gilrane and Kristin Rearden

Teacher evaluation in the U.S. is in flux as states increase and intensify their attention to it to qualify for Race to the Top Funds, and as accountability for teacher quality becomes more focused. This book describes a successful approach to preservice teacher education that is designed to help prospective teachers develop the habits of mind for teaching for deeper understanding even as their lived experiences as novice teachers conspire to encourage them to study for the test of the next day’s evaluation rubric.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 180Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-3469-7 • Hardback • June 2015 • $79.00 • (£52.95)
978-1-4422-3470-3 • Paperback • June 2015 • $37.00 • (£24.95)
978-1-4422-3471-0 • eBook • June 2015 • $36.99 • (£24.95)
Colleen P. Gilrane is a faculty member in the Theory and Practice in Teacher Education Department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She works with preservice and inservice teachers as well as advanced graduate students in literacy and in elementary education, and serves as Chair of the Institutional Review Board. Her teaching and research interests focus on working with teachers to create communities in which all learners have access to literacy that is rich, powerful, and joyful.
Kristin T. Rearden is a clinical associate professor at the University of Tennessee, where she has focused on pre-service teacher preparation and elementary science education for over fifteen years. She received the University of Tennessee Alumni Association’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 2010 and was the Tennessee Science Teacher Association’s Science Educator of the Year for Higher Education in 2012.
Hannah Louderback graduated from the University of Tennessee with a BS in Psychology and an MS in Elementary Education. During her graduate studies, Hannah completed her internship in a 2nd grade classroom and did research on the use of technology by students to self-assess their reading expression. After completing her degrees, Hannah was hired to teach 4th grade at a multicultural, Title I school in east Tennessee. This teaching experience enabled her to learn how to teach in a cooperative, one-to-one technology and arts integrated environment. After teaching 4th grade, Hannah was hired by the University of Tennessee at the Early Learning Center for Research and Practice. She is the lead kindergarten teacher, while also conducting research and mentoring undergraduate teacher candidates.
Jessica Covington has completed a baccalaureate and master's degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is licensed to teach Modified and Comprehensive Special Education grades K-12 and Elementary Education grades K-6. In her internship year she gained experience teaching in a Comprehensive Development Classroom for grade K-5, a 4th grade class, and a high school Resource class teaching English and World History. While completing her internship, she researched technology-based writing intervention for students with Intellectual Disability. She has been hired to teach in a Comprehensive Development Classroom-Activity Based and is looking forward to helping her students develop the skills necessary to achieve their goals.
Prelude:The Current State of U. S. Teacher Evaluation
Situating Preservice Teacher Education in the Chaos
Part I:The Undergraduate Pre-Internship Minor
Colleen P. Gilrane
Chapter 1:Overview
The Spring Block: Practicum and Teaching Methods
Planning the New and Improved Spring Block
Getting Feedback and Fine-Tuning
Did the Four Essential Questions Fit the Rubrics?
Course Design
Implementing the Plan
Course Organization
Models of Effective Teaching (2 weeks)
Who Are My Students? What Do I Want Them to Learn? (2 weeks)
Assessment: What Would Count as a Good Job? (2 weeks)
What Resources Are Available to Me? How Do I Organize Them to Support Learning? (3 weeks)
Designing Your Learning Plans (5 weeks of Workshop Time)
Final Evaluation Conferences
Chapter 2:Question #1: Who Are My Students?
Who Are My Students: Candidates as Colleen's Kids
What Do My Candidates Care About?
What Kinds of Help Do My Candidates Need?
Classroom/Course Structures
Specific Strategies
Responses My Candidates Need From Me
How Do My Candidates Want/Need to Assessed? To Be Taught?
Who Are My Students: Candidates Watching
Their Kids
Addressing Diversity in our Friday Classes
Conferences Addressing Diversity During Workshop Time
Class Session Addressing Diversity as a Stand-Alone Topic
Who Are My Students: What Did Candidates Learn?
List of Readings Used for Diversity Class Session
Chapter 3:Question #2: What Do I Want Them to Learn?
Specific Supports for Thinking About Content
Class Session Addressing Content as a Stand-Alone Topic
The Understanding by Design Framework
What Do I Want Them to Learn: What Did Candidates Learn?
Connecting Students to Content
The Process of Identifying Content Worth Learning
The Importance of Depth Over Coverage
Chapter 4:Question #3: What Would Count as Evidence of Learning?
Learning About Assessment by Being Assessed
Formative Assessment of My Candidates
Summative Assessment of My Candidates
Grades for the Friday portion of 422
Friday Class Sessions Devoted to Assessment as a Stand-Alone Topic
Performance Assessment
Formative Assessment
Designing Assessments for Learning Plans
What Would Count As Evidence: What Did Candidates Learn?
Assessment Beyond Worksheets and Tests
Bringing a Critical Lens to Current Practice
Bringing Student Experiences to Bear on Designing Assessments as Teachers
Chapter 5:Question #4: How Do I Get There?
Selecting Instructional Materials
Selecting Personnel Resources and Instructional Strategies
Making Decisions About Time, Space, Environment, and Pulling It All Together
How Do I Get There: What Did Candidates Learn?
Expanded Awareness of Resources
Time as a Resource
Personnel as Resources
Interlude: Voices of Candidates
Chapter 6:Hannah's Reflection
Hannah Louderback
Transitioning to Internship
First Year Teaching After Internship
Teaching Science: Erosion Unit
Teaching Math: Problems with Missing or Extra Information
Final Reflections
Chapter 7:Jessica's Reflection
Jessica Covington
"Understanding" Across Differing Teaching Contexts
Using Knowledge of Students to Set Goals and Evaluate Learning
Setting Learning Goals
Evaluating Learning
What Worked for Me: The W.H.E.R.E.T.O. Strategy
Rethink and Revise
Final Reflections
Part II:The Graduate Internship Year
Kristin T. Rearden
Chapter 8:Getting Started: Orienting and Building Relationships
Preparing for the Field Experience: Setting up the Seminar Class
Physical Design of the Seminar Classroom
The Opening Class Session
Preparing to Enter the Schools: First Impressions
The Field Experience
The Spectrum of Classroom Environments
Focal Point One: School Culture
Focal Point Two: The Classroom Environment
Focal Point Three: The Planning Process
Focal Point Four: Instructional Strategies
Focal Point Five: Assessment
Final Reflections
Chapter 9:Fall Semester: Overlaying Good Teaching with TEAM Rubrics
Initial Weeks of the Internship
Physical Space Considerations
Establishing a Presence
Assuming Responsibility for Planning, Teaching and Assessing
Developing Planning Skills
Lesson Plans: Novice and Veteran Approaches
Questions: At the Heart of Learning to Plan
Preparing for Formal Evaluations
The “Dry Run” Evaluation
The Lesson Plan: Intended Versus Implemented
Areas to Improve and Areas of Strength
Assessment Data
Analyzing the Lesson with Evaluation Rubrics
The Initial Evaluation for State Licensure
Chapter 10: Spring Semester: Overlaying Good Teaching with edTPA Rubrics
Growing into their Roles as Teachers
Leading, Not Soloing
Viewing Themselves as Teachers
Recognizing Beliefs About the Importance of Education
Theory into Practice: Action Research and Problem-Based Research Review
Blending the edTPA into Our Teacher Preparation Program
Supporting the Interns During the edTPA Process
Changes to the Program
Evidence of Success
Coda:The Importance of an Inquiry-Based Approach
How Did Candidates Respond?
TEAM Results
edTPA Results
Task 1 Planning
Task 2 Instruction
Task 3 Assessment
edTPA Total Score and Cutoff
Candidates' Reflections
Rising above the current discord and relentless cacophony associated with teacher evaluation nationwide, the authors of this text detail the elementary education teacher preparation program at one Tennessee university. Faculty at this university have orchestrated a program aligned with the state teacher evaluation system highlighting the significance of deep understanding, significant documentation, and insightful articulation. This text features the voices of teacher educators, teacher candidates, and classroom teachers contributing to the harmonious composition supporting the sustainability of professionals throughout their life-long careers.
Nancy P. Gallavan, PhD, University of Central Arkansas, Professor of Teacher Education, Department of Teaching and Learning, 2013-2014 President, Association of Teacher Educations (ATE)

If you are interested in the preparation of effective elementary school teachers then this new volume by Gilrane and Reardon should be on your reading list. They offer an interesting and entertaining account of teacher education enhanced by a wide range of reflections by the University of Tennessee teacher education candidates. Practical while scholarly, this book documents the complexity of teacher education as well as the joy creating effective teachers.
Richard A. Allington, professor of education, University of Tennessee

What Counts is an important book for teacher educators. As the field struggles with how to evaluate teachers and teacher candidates, this book focuses on preparing teachers for any evaluation system. It is about preparing teachers to plan and teach for deep understanding, and there is nothing more important than that.
Ellen McIntyre, dean and professor, College of Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte