Butler University provides training for non-traditional teachers

INDIANAPOLIS — According to the Department of Education’s website, there is a need for more than 3,000 teachers around the state.

Several pathways have been created to make it easier to become a teacher, but people who pursue the career in a nontraditional manner still must expand their education.

Butler University is trying to bridge that educational need.

“With the number of teachers who are coming to our classrooms through emergency permits, through adjunct licensing, through those alternative credential pathways they also need some just in time real support provided by their colleagues,” Shelly Furuness a professor of education at Butler University said .

That need is what prompted Butler to create the Teacher-Led, Teacher Education program. It was originally launched in 2020.

Now, the program is expanding to offer more targeted training for teachers. It focuses on four areas of child development, lesson planning essentials, classroom management and classroom assessment. These are all areas that the Indiana Teacher’s Association says are essential to teaching.

“What we do know is that when school districts hire using some of the nontraditional pathways — part of what school district then takes on is the training for those folks,” Keith Gambill, the President of the Indiana State Teachers Association said.

The program can be finished in 6-8 hours and provides a crash course of important topics. The Indiana State Teachers Association says this program will work as a temporary fix, but long-term solutions need to be developed

“Even with all of these different pathways we are still at a huge deficit at the start of the school year,” Gambill said.

Regardless butler says kids need education and if they can help by offering A virtual quick option to nontraditional teachers they are happy to do so.

“I think our role is to is to do whatever we can to support those who do answer the call and show up and make sure they have what they need today to do their work today and to stay there and show up again tomorrow,” Furuness said.

According to information sent out by Butler In the 2020–2021 school year in Indiana, there were 4,474 emergency permits, 419 transition to teaching permits, 11,731 substitute teacher permits and 1,251 adjunct teacher licenses issued.

The Teacher-Led, Teacher Education program is available to schools and school districts for a subscription-based model with plans as low as $9,900. The program is a partnership of Butler’s College of Education and its Executive Education department. For more information, teachers and school districts can email Liz Jackson enjackso@butler.edu or call 317-940-9315.

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