The Mission of the Beginning Teacher Network (BTN) is to spark active engagement with public education policy and foster professional growth, collaboration, and advocacy among a network of beginning North Carolina teachers. The BTN will premier in Wake County in the spring of 2015, operating for its first full year in 2015-16, and will expand to serve additional counties over time. The Wake County pilot was made possible by a generous grant from Golden Corral.
About the BTN: The BTN will take a three-pronged approach to better retain, support, and accelerate the development of beginning teachers, complementing their existing professional development opportunities. BTN meetings will consist of face-to-face forums and digital networking in the areas of education policy and advocacy, cross-curricular collaboration, and professional development
Education Policy and Advocacy: Teachers participating in the network will gain a baseline understanding of key education policy issues and strategies for engaging in policy debates.
Cross-Curricular Collaboration: Through collaboration, teachers will enhance their understanding of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and their specific disciplines.
Professional Development: Teachers will strengthen knowledge, develop skills, and learn strategies to improve classroom instruction and student learning.
BTN Leadership: The BTN is a teacher-led network, with all activities and topics selected by teachers, for teachers. The Public School Forum of North Carolina administers the BTN, in line with its long, rich history of developing and leading programs that enable and empower teachers and education leaders, including the NC Teaching Fellows Program, the Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP), the Institute for Educational Policymakers, and the NC Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP).
Program Components: Face-to-Face Forums and Digital Reflection/Networking. The core program will consist of nine forums, one during each traditional teaching month. Forums will consist of education policy briefings, teacher collaboration sessions, and interactive professional development. In order to encourage reflection on techniques and strategies, and to extend key takeaways into classrooms, other professional learning communities, and policy discussions, monthly forums will be digitally enhanced through online discussion and social media.
The final forum of each school year will be a capstone event involving participants, speakers, special guests, and media, to celebrate the BTN’s work. As appropriate, BTN forums may be held jointly with EPFP meetings and other Public School Forum events, providing opportunities for BTN teachers, EPFP fellows, and other education professionals to network with speakers and one another.
Eligibility Criteria and Application: Eligible participants (North Carolina public school teachers in their first three years of experience working in Wake County) will apply to the program by submitting basic information about their teaching experience and level of curricular and instructional support, and submitting a personal statement describing what they hope to achieve by participating in the network. Participants may remain in the network until the end of their third teaching year.
TO APPLY: Application available online HERE
For more information on the BTN, email BTN@ncforum.org, or contact Joe Ableidinger, the Public School Forum’s Senior Director of Policy and Programs, at 919-781-6833, ext. 112.