10 Things All Teacher Candidates Should Learn in Teacher Prep

February 28, 2020

Too often, teachers leave their teacher training programs feeling unprepared for the realities of the classroom. In a recent survey, 88% of teachers indicated that their training fell short in preparing them to be effective in the classroom. While there aren’t any easy fixes that will make all teachers ready on day one, there are some policy levers that can help. 

Our state Standards of Effective Practice, which define the common set of knowledge and skills all teacher candidates must learn in their preparation programs, should reflect what is most critical in teacher prep, particularly as our teachers are serving an increasingly diverse student body. We surveyed and spoke with more than 50 Minnesota educators (all of whom completed teacher prep), reviewed national research, and explored best practices in other states. From that, we identified 10 key areas all teacher candidates should learn in teacher preparation

  1. Reading Science
  2. Family Engagement
  3. Data and Assessment Literacy
  4. Differentiation and Technology Integration 
  5. Social-Emotional Learning
  6. Classroom Management and Restorative Practices
  7. Teaching English Learners
  8. Teaching Students with Special Needs
  9. Addressing Implicit Biases
  10. Culturally Responsive Instruction 

Our brief describes and provides evidence for why Minnesota should incorporate these 10 areas into the Standards of Effective Practice. By doing so, Minnesota can take an important step toward ensuring future teachers bring the skills and competencies most critical to student success. 

Download the brief here.