No Teacher Left Behind

21st Centruy Teacher on the Move

Enhancing 21st Century Teacher Skills

As one strategy for raising student achievement, policy makers have focused on improving the quality of public school teachers (Borko, 2004). Some policy initiatives focus on improving the quality of teachers entering the profession through state certification tests, more stringent degree requirements, and recruitment efforts. At the same time, increased accountability pressure on schools requires learning and change for thousands of teachers already in service, as they are pressed to implement new instructional approaches in order to implement new instructional approaches in order to raise student achievement (Cohen & Hill, 2002). There is great faith among school reformers and education researchers that augmenting the learning opportunities of practicing teachers will enhance teacher performance and lead to improved student outcomes (Borko, 2004).

As a nation, we should provide consistent learning opportunities for teachers through structured professional development activities which includes subject-specific professional development sessions, out-of-school teacher net works, and coursework in Math, English, Racial and Ethnic Studies, Technology, School Law for educators, or other pertinent content area courses. On-the-job learning opportunities where colleagues interact with each other about teaching and learning, instruction, peer observation and feedback, and seeking advice about instruction will enhance consistent learning opportunities for teachers.

All teachers across the country should use certain "best practices" in instruction which will ensure high student academic achievement. Some instructional strategies teachers should use include: taking student readiness into account, defining instructional expectations, providing variety in instructional evaluation and assessment, providing corrective instruction, keeping students on task, maximizing teaching time, providing ample learning time, providing transfer of learning instruction, providing decision-making, prediction and problem-solving instruction, utilizing computerized instruction, and utilizing scaffolding and demonstrations.

The consistent standard that teachers should meet should still require teachers to pass state certification tests and adhere to stringent degree requirements along with possessing technology competencies, teachers modeling effective verbal and nonverbal communication techniques, and possess media communication techniques.

Many teachers are not prepared to use technology in the classroom because numerous courses in teacher education are not preparing teachers t to use technology because specific technology skill needs have not been identified and there is a lack of technology integration modeled by professors in teacher education courses.

elementary teachers' attitudes toward and use of technology play a critical role in preparing tomorrow's workforce in the use of technology. In order to increase the technology proficiency of teachers in k-12 classrooms, training institutions and comprehensive professional development for teachers should increase the level of technology integration. Also, many schools are not equipped with the latest technology, therefore, teachers are unable to use it effectively.

Borko, H. (2004). Professional development and teacher learning: Mapping the terrain. Educational Researcher, 33 (8), 3-15.

Cohen, D. K.,& Hill, H. C. (2002). Learning policy: When state education reform works. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.