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Blog: 3 Videos of Beginning Teachers Show the Promise of Micro-credentials

August 10, 2017


by Dan Brown, NBCT

Based in concrete, research-backed skills, micro-credentials clarify the road to great teaching, which is why Educators Rising stands behind them. However, we know that it takes a certain “boldness” just to get on that road. Today, Educators Rising is delighted to shine a spotlight on three communities that have approached what it takes to navigate the path to powerful classroom teaching in a new way and seized the opportunity to leverage micro-credentials to do so.

When Educators Rising partnered with Digital Promise to launch the “Beginning to Teach” micro-credential stack earlier this year, we had high hopes. The content of each micro-credential reflects solid first steps on the path to great teaching and habits of mind earners need to develop to be effective teachers.

Teachers should be able to show what they know, and rigorous, profession-aligned micro-credentials help beginners start strong on their teaching journeys — regardless of whether they are in high school, in college, or mid-career in alternative certification programs.

But how could we incorporate micro-credentials into existing teacher preparation pathways so that students can engage in them seamlessly? Educators Rising member schools and partner organizations provide a response.

Currently, more than 2,000 high schools that offer “Intro to Teaching” elective courses have joined the Educators Rising national network, and two of them — Washington High School in Phoenix and Smyrna High School in Smyrna, Delaware — agreed to have their experiences with the “Beginning to Teach” micro-credentials documented. The University of Central Florida, a top-tier research university well-regarded for its teacher training program, stepped forward as well. These stories will leave you inspired and optimistic about the future of the teaching profession and the educators who will be leading it. Watch the videos below.

“The first micro-credential I earned was Classroom Culture. I chose that one because I wanted to go from being just an observer in my classroom to being an analytical one. The second micro-credential I earned was Learner Engagement. This was probably my favorite because I got to deliver and plan a lesson… but it’s not just about planning and delivering a lesson. It’s about reflecting.”
Nikole Gomez, Washington High School, 12th-grade student and aspiring educator (Phoenix, AZ)

“We use micro-credentials to track growth and monitor reflective practices with the students to ensure that they’re going to be wonderful teachers in the future.”
Michael Shaner, Smyrna High School, Teacher Academy instructor (Smyrna, DE)

“[Micro-credentials are] a way [for preservice teachers to] show they have put extra effort into honing these particular areas.”
Lee-Anne Spalding, University of Central Florida, assistant lecturer

Learn more about the “Beginning to Teach” micro-credentials.

Dan Brown is a National Board Certified Teacher and Co-Director of Educators Rising.