Arkansas Teacher Corps has been featured in a recently published book, COVID-19 and the Classroom: How Schools Navigated the Great Disruption, for our work with novice teachers at the beginning of the pandemic! Chapter 12 “How an Alternative Licensure Program Pivoted during the Pandemic” details how our team shifted to a virtual institute model in summer 2020 and the impact it had on our fellows and staff. This article builds off of a report of preliminary findings from Dr. David Marshall and doctoral student Deja Trammell to explore how alternative teacher preparation pathways specifically navigated COVID-19.
Highlight from the chapter: “When we interviewed the director of Summer Institute, he candidly shared that he initially was not sure how the summer program was going to turn out. They had been planning for an in-person Summer Institute, like previous years, before they had to pivot to train preservice and novice teachers exclusively through remote means. Although the summer of 2020 looked much different from previous ATC Summer Institutes, they were able to effectively create cohort cohesion, develop lessons, and practice delivering instruction, and fellows entered the following school year better equipped to handle the range of learning modalities than new and novice teachers who had not participated in such an experience. As Dave Matthews (1994) once sang, ‘If nothing can be done, we’ll make the best of what’s around.’ Our fieldwork with ATC suggests they managed to do just that.”
About the book: COVID-19 and the Classroom: How Schools Navigated the Great Disruption presents social science research that explores how schools navigated the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic from March 2020 through the 2020-21 school year. This book also serves as a history book, documenting what this period was like for those involved in the enterprise of educating children. The book is divided into three sections, allowing for an in-depth exploration of the pandemic’s impact: part one examines how teachers, parents, and school leaders experienced the pandemic, including what this looked like when schools first closed for in-person instruction; part two explores how schools reopened, both in the United States and abroad, and discusses the trade-offs associated with these decisions; and part three looks at how a range of teacher preparation programs continued their work in uncertain times.