Around the Institute

We Can’t Afford To Wait (#myAspenIdea)

April 19, 2013  • Guest Blogger Chris Crouch

This post is part of the #myAspenIdea series, a photo project aimed at taking the best ideas from our community and sharing them in a more visual way.

#myAspenIdea: Bridge the gap between teacher preparation and the classroom.

I’ve been a teacher for 13 years. And I just started to figure out the riddle of instruction that really makes a difference for all students. It has taken 13 years for me to get to this place.  

#myAspenIdea Chris CrouchLearning occurred in my classroom at the beginning of my career, but it was random, often unintentional, and not for every student. I had to deconstruct my knowledge, understanding, and values and rebuild them to meet the needs of my students—and the instructional experiences that would ensure that learning was at the heart of everything I did. Unfortunately my experience is not unique, and is partially due to the disconnect between the preparation teachers are provided and the practical needs of the profession. And yet, we have many new tools, Literacy Design Collaborative and Math Design Collaborative being a few, which are research-based and allow teachers to craft instruction that reflects the shift in rigor demanded by the Common Core education standards.

My Aspen Idea: Why don’t we connect pre-service teachers with veteran teachers who are utilizing these tools in order to shorten the learning curve for those new to the classroom? This type of venture would layer the growth of both pre-service teachers, who would get valuable experience in planning instruction, and veteran teachers, who would facilitate adult learning and becoming teacher leaders. We need to work together for all of our students. We—and they—deserve it.

Chris Crouch is an aspiring “teacherpreneur” and instructional coach at Boone County Schools in Kentucky. Hear more of his ideas on education on his blog, and on Twitter @the_explicator.