Volume 14, Issue 1 (2019) Innovations in Teacher Preparation

In the previous issue of Northwest Journal of Teacher Education, authors shared their approaches to preparing teachers for the challenging work in K-12 schools. The current issue builds on those ideas and brings forward innovative practices in the education of teachers, from preservice into the first year.

Linda Darling Hammond (2014) refers to the clinical experience as the "holy grail" of teacher preparation, and the NWJTE is thrilled to share contributions on that topic. Volume 14, Issue 1 begins with a contribution from Laurie A. Sharp, Rebekah Piper, and Roberta D. Raymond that analyzes the current preparation practices for literacy teachers and proposes ways to improve the clinical experiences for deepened learning. Dr. Lubna Javeed's manuscript will help readers further reimagine clinical experiences by sharing her work of using rehearsals with teacher candidates. Jamaal R. Young, Jemimah L. Young, Brandon L. Fox, Earl R. Levingston Jr., and Alana Tholen take us into the Math Methods coursework to envision and understand how to use coursework to strengthen candidates' understanding and use of culturally relevant pedagogy in content-specific ways--and then apply those into teaching practice. Raymond A. Dixon, Cassidy Hall, and Farjahan Shawon challenge us to consider ways to support candidates in rural settings by using virtual reality in strong-pedagogical ways. Both the support of rural teachers and using technology in smart and productive ways are critical issues for our field, and these authors have combined both topics in ways that support developing teachers.

Two more articles encourage us to expand our current preparation content to include the nuances of classrooms that our graduates will encounter--but are often left out of preparation curriculum. Brenda L. Barrio, Jane E. Kelley, and Teresa Cardon share their groundbreaking work of using narrative texts featuring characters who experience Autism Spectrum Disorder to build empathy and understanding in preservice teachers and to better prepare candidates to meet the needs of their learners. Karen S. Buchanan and Thomas D. Buchanan provide us with background on the shortcomings of many programs to prepare teachers to work with families and communities in ways that honor the home supports that our K-12 students have in place and recognize their cultural and community assets. In addition, the authors suggest ways that programs can support candidates' to use a strengths-based lens to collaborate with families and communities in the support of learners.

Our final manuscript takes us into the first year of teaching and explores an innovative approach of connecting the preparation program with first-year teachers. Alicia C. Stapp, Laura F. Prior, and Catherine Harmon used university-based mentorship to support teachers during their first year. As the field of K-12 education works to improve retention rates for new teachers, exploring innovative approaches to support retention is key.

As always, we hope you find the articles in the NWJTE informative and inspirational! As the editor of this issue, I feel truly blessed to have spent time with the work of these colleagues. In addition, I am excited to start work with a new group of teacher candidates in June and plan to use some of the ideas these authors have shared to guide my work!

With appreciation,




Field Experiences in Literacy Teacher Preparation: A Snapshot of Current Practices
Laurie A. Sharp, Rebekah Piper, and Roberta D. Raymond


We Would If We Could: Examining Culturally Responsive Teaching Self-Efficacy in a Middle School Mathematics Methods Course
Jamaal R. Young, Jemimah L. Young, Brandon L. Fox, Earl R. Levingston Jr., and Alana Tholen