As U.S. schools closed their doors this past spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a little-considered effect was the impact of school closures on the preparation of the next generation of educators. Teacher and leader candidates all over the country had their field experiences abruptly cut short, and educator preparation programs (EPPs)-in partnership with school districts and state education agencies-had to adapt quickly to ensure candidates continued to receive high-quality preparation and were able to complete their licensure requirements.
This fall, EPPs are building off of lessons learned from the spring as they engage candidates in equity-centered, deeper learning preparation. LPI has been in discussion with members of EdPrepLab-a network of programs working to continuously improve and share their practices-to better understand how they’re responding to this unusual time.
Three themes have emerged as guiding their strategy and practices moving forward:
- Focusing on core program strengths
- Shifting from crisis mode toward innovation
- Capitalizing on innovations to strengthen educator preparation after COVID-19