The Beginning Teacher Network (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.
Through collaboration, teachers will enhance their understanding of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and their specific disciplines.
Teachers will strengthen knowledge, develop skills, and learn strategies to improve classroom instruction and student learning.
The Beginning Teacher Network (BTN) sparks active engagement with public education policy and fosters professional growth, collaboration, and advocacy among a network of beginning North Carolina teachers. The BTN premiered across Wake County in the spring of 2015 and is operating for its first full year in 2015-16. The BTN is currently recruiting teachers in Mecklenburg and Union counties to begin new cohorts in January 2016.
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).
Face-to-Face Forums and Digital Reflection/Networking. The core program will consist of monthly sessions, 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.
Eligibility Criteria and Application
Eligible participants (North Carolina traditional and charter public school teachers in their first three years of experience) can 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 for three years, regardless of when they enter the program.
“I’ve enjoyed participating in the spring pilot of the BTN program. The opportunity to hear and meet with key players in the education arena in North Carolina as well as getting to know other beginning teachers has been invaluable. Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of this program. I look forward to attending the BTN full-year pilot program, 2015-2016.”Bonnie Martin
“I am so glad this forum was put together for us. I am enjoying the opportunity immensely. It has given me the chance to learn so much about policies that impact me as a teacher and to meet policy makers that you don’t get to meet everyday.”Taura Simmons
“This five month pilot gave me the amount of information some would get in a year. I really enjoyed networking and collaborating with the other teachers.”Seth Sosebee