National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). 1615 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 800-386-2377; Tel: 703-684-3345; Fax: 800-396-2377; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.naesp.org
Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
When teachers start their first positions, they enter schools armed with what they believe are the most important elements of teaching: lesson plans, teaching strategies, good classroom management, and effective instruction and assessment. They usually feel confident about their content area knowledge and believe that if they follow the methodologies prescribed by their teacher preparation courses and professional development workshops, the other aspects of becoming terrific teachers will fall into place. They often are ill prepared, however, to navigate the cultural and political issues that they quickly encounter. As a result of under preparation and other factors, novice teachers are leaving the profession at higher rates than their more experienced counterparts. How can educators keep the next generation of teachers in the profession and train them to become the expert, culturally and politically savvy communicators they need to be? To contend with this dilemma, educators desperately need multi-dimensional teacher preparation and professional development systems to help novice teachers cultivate cultural competencies, which constitute a big part of the reality of the profession. The author suggests that teachers need to be empowered in order to maneuver culturally complex situations with multidimensional professional development.