Several years ago, under the leadership of NEA (National Education Association) Executive Committee member Becky Pringle, the Florida Education Association (FEA) facilitated a three-day professional development gig named the Sparks program. Modeled after a very successful similar Washington Education Association (WEA) program, the Sparks program was designed to appeal to newer members of the association by offering much needed professional support new teachers would need in their starting years. Gaining much acclaimed for its success, there are similar programs presently occurring across the country, geared towards training new teachers for the field and/or for the professional development of teachers and school leaders through the funding of various grants, scholarships, and initiatives.
12 new grants totaling to about $50 million were awarded recently by the U.S. Department of Education through the SEED (Supporting Effective Educator Development) program, a program designed to create learning and career growth opportunities for wishful and current educators serving students in high-need schools. “Empowering educators with effective tools and ongoing support is a key part of ensuring every student succeeds in school, their career and their community,” said Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement Nadya Chinoy Dabby. This program is a part of the U.S. Department of Education’s strategy to create more opportunities for educators to take on leadership roles and responsibilities in their schools. All in all, these 12 grantees will reach over 50,000 educators serving over 7.8 million students, which will represent a $270 million federal investment in recruiting and supporting excellent educators over the next three years. This program will be able to remain successful contingent upon future congressional appropriations. A list of the grantees may be found here.
The Georgia Association of Educators Foundation, Inc. is a program through the Georgia Association of Educators that exists with the sole basis of providing improved educational opportunities for every student by preparing, emerging, and authorizing Georgia’s public school educators. Each year, grants and scholarships are awarded by the association to help educators make a difference in the lives of their students, global society, and communities. This past year’s recipients were awarded grants and scholarships in the areas of High School Senior Scholarships, College Junior/Senior Scholarships, Certified Educators Advanced Degree Scholarships, Educational Support Professionals Scholarships, and Best Practice Grants.
The Washington Education Association, WEA, provides ongoing teacher training throughout the year to help professionals realize their goals. With their extensive professional development network, the Washington Education Association offers training for educators in a variety of different areas for educator, teacher, and student enhancement. Areas of training include closing the achievement and opportunity gaps, teacher evaluation, state learning standards, special education, teacher certification and licensure, and advocacy and organizing.
The District of Columbia Public Schools, DCPS, also offers training for teachers and educators. Understanding that educator success means student success, the education system of the nation’s capital is driven towards providing the skills and tools necessary for success as an educator. Provided with constructive and data-based feedback about their performance, school leaders, teachers, and educators are constantly provided with the support needed to increase their effectiveness along with the clear understanding needed to flourish as an educator. You may visit their website for more details about their resources.