Job Title: Program Director
Education: BA in English, Swarthmore College M.Ed., Harvard University
Previous Experience: I worked as a public school teacher in California. I also supervised student teachers and taught a course to undergrad teacher education candidates as part of my current doctoral studies.
Job Tasks: I direct an undergraduate teacher education program. My job includes recruitment of candidates from the general college program. This means advertising the program both electronically and in person. I shepherd students through the application process, including helping them to determine whether teaching is right for them. This involves frequent meetings, as well as academic advising.
I pair all candidates with a full-time student teaching placement, work to create a good partnership between the program, the mentor, and the student teacher, and support this relationship throughout the student teaching experience. I provide ongoing support to teaching candidates. I collaborate with other program directors in order to evaluate our programs on an ongoing basis, assuring that we are providing the best education possible to future teachers.
There is no typical day in my job, which I like. However, it might include tracking candidates' progress through contact with their mentors, meeting with a prospective program participant or two, or meeting with other teacher education program directors. While much of my work is done via electronic communication, the face-to-face time is the most valuable in building relationships with students. It is these relationships that help us to partner over their tenure in the program.
This job also involves frequent networking with others involved in teacher education. I attend conferences of programs focused on educating future urban teachers, best practices in teacher education, etc. The collegial exchange at these meetings is beneficial and helps me to revise my program so as best to fit the current needs of teachers in today's schools.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: My job is flexible, allowing me to do some work from home, which is great because I have a child. I also get to visit many schools as part of it, which I love.
Worst part is the administrative/paperwork stuff, particularly related to state guidelines.
1. For this job it is important to be passionate about growing good teachers.
2. One must also have a commitment to all children having access to a quality education and helping future teachers to work towards this goal.
3. At the same time, you must be open-minded and provide support to learners in a variety of ways.
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