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EQUITY & IMPROVEMENT

Novice teachers need safe spaces to learn and grow

By Val Brown
February 2023
When I was a first-year teacher, my assistant principal came to my classroom one afternoon and handed me a letter to distribute to my students. The letter notified them and their caregivers that I was not a “highly qualified teacher,” as defined by the state department of education. I had passed two subject area tests that granted me a temporary teaching license and was enrolled in a master’s degree program, but I had not majored in education and still had to take several graduate-level courses to attain a professional certificate. The assistant principal assured me my temporary status was insignificant, but the hundred pieces of paper I held in my hands felt weighty. Embarrassed, I buried them under other papers to be dealt with later

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Val brown profile

Val Brown (vbrown@carnegiefoundation.org) is director, future of learning at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.


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