August 2, 2022 — As the new CEO of NCTR, I’m excited to lead such an amazing and impactful organization. During the last 60 days, I’ve met with the NCTR staff, board members, and partners as a way to learn more about the strategies and engagements that are working and how NCTR can continue to support and uplift our Network partners as we work towards ensuring all students have access to effective, diverse, culturally responsive educators. It is my belief that before we can continue to elevate, educate, and expand our understanding of teacher residencies, we must first listen. So, I’ve done just that. I’ve listened and asked questions to learn more about people’s perspectives and began to identify the commonalities and differences in the conversations. I appreciate everyone’s willingness to share their thoughts and ideas with me so that together we can ensure quality teacher preparation encompasses culturally affirming practices that prepare residents for today’s classrooms.
In a sense, coming to NCTR is returning home for me. As a former NCTR program director, my return has brought me back to working towards our shared purpose to disrupt educational inequities by advancing the teacher residency movement to ensure ALL children, especially those from historically marginalized backgrounds and low-income areas, have access to quality diverse teachers. Quite simply, every student should see themselves represented throughout their K-12 experience. And we know it matters. According to the recent report on our Black Educators Initiative, not only did we see an increase in the recruitment and hiring of Black residents, but there was a strong connection between the intentional use of culturally affirming practices in teacher residencies and the creation of safe and supportive environments for teacher residents. This report, which was supported by the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, has helped to confirm what we knew from our internal data and amplify the impact teacher residencies can have on diversifying teacher preparation writ large.
For our Network partners, we are excited to host you at our annual Symposium from September 14-16, 2022, in Chicago, providing opportunities to engage, reflect, and celebrate your commitment and contributions toward advancing the national teacher residency movement. I’m looking forward to seeing many of you and hearing from our inspirational guest speaker, Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz. For those unable to attend, I look forward to meeting and getting to know even more of you and participating in thoughtful conversations about the impact and progress of teacher residencies.
Kathlene H. Campbell, Ph.D.