Great semester for TLINC!

December 17, 2009

The Fall 2009 semester was a great success for TLINC! Here is a quick recap of highlights!

1. TLINC began its partnership with Pearson. Pearson is working to develop an online platform that meets the needs of our mentoring groups!

2. Mentors met with their student teachers throughout the semester to provide support and encouragement during their student teaching.

3. Pressing issues that student teachers are facing were identified through analysis of the transcripts of their online meetings.

4. Memphis TLINC is being revamped based on the research findings and feedback received during this amazing semester.

We are looking forward to TLINC Spring 2010!!


Online Social Networking Breaking the Culture of Professional Isolation: The World’s Largest English Department

October 6, 2009

-Teacher Magazine; October 1, 2009

This spring, 10 days after completing her bachelor’s degree in secondary English education from the University of Tampa, Laura Abercrombie was hired to teach 8th grade language arts. Anxious about what might be awaiting her in the fall, Abercrombie did what any self-respecting digital native would do: She took her troubles to the Web. She searched “language arts” and stumbled upon The English Companion Ning, whose tag line read, “where English teachers meet to help each other.”

Having created a Ning network in ed school, Abercrombie was familiar with the social networking platform and excited by the materials and ideas on the site. “I saw all these amazing YA literature resources, which I needed to know for my job,” says Abercrombie, referring to books for the young adult market. But staring at pages of groups, forums, curricula, and multimedia resources, she also started to panic. Without the benefit of any guidance, it was like being dropped in a foreign country without a map. “I didn’t know who to talk to or who could help me,” she explains.

To read the full article, click here.

TLINC Mentor quoted in Commercial Appeal

August 27, 2009

TLINC Mentor Denise Winsor was quoted in a story in the August 26th Commercial Appeal.

Rule ends retention in Pre-K through 3rd grade

By Jane Roberts (Contact), Memphis Commercial Appeal
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

As Memphis City Schools administrators install a new no-flunk policy for children in the earliest grades, community criticism is ringing in their ears.

To read the article, click here.

Opinion: Finding the Elusive Best Teacher

August 27, 2009

-Orlando Sentinel; August 24, 2009

As another school year starts, and students get to know their new teachers, two major national studies remind us that the single most important factor in a student’s achievement is the quality of his or her teacher. Reports by The National Council on Teacher Quality (“Increasing the Odds,” 2005) and The New Teacher Project (“The Widget Effect,” 2009) agree with this finding, which probably surprises no one.

Who does not remember a teacher who transformed his attitude about school and, in the process, his life?

So how do we find these teachers? Authors of “The Widget Effect” write that, except for word of mouth, no one can tell you. A survey of 15,000 teachers and 1,300 school administrators by The New Teacher Project found, “A teacher’s effectiveness — the most important factor for schools in improving student achievement — is not measured, recorded or used to inform decision-making in any meaningful way.”

What are these reports telling us — that the public education system in this country has no rational process for measuring teacher effectiveness and provides insufficient, if any, mentoring programs to facilitate teacher success and thus the students’ success? Unfortunately, the answer appears to be a resounding “yes.”

Schools rarely collect data on effective teachers, and even when they do, that data is not used to help struggling teachers improve or reward those who are making a difference in student learning.

Beginning teachers, and therefore the students of beginning teachers, seem to suffer most. They receive little or no guidance in their initial years in the classroom, and yet, The New Teacher Project study concludes, these beginning years are the most crucial in the development of teachers.

The evidence is also increasingly clear that ineffective teachers — those who don’t make a difference in student achievement — are rarely told so. The National Council on Teacher Quality observed, “More than 99 percent of teachers receive the satisfactory rating.” And “at least half of the districts studied have not dismissed a single nonprobationary teacher for poor performance in the past five years.”

Both of these important studies debunk a number of other myths about teacher effectiveness.

To view the full article, click here.

Memphis TLINC 09-10: Ready, Set, Go!

August 25, 2009

School is back in session and it looks like it will be a great year for the Memphis TLINC Project.

-Fall semester, 23 mentors will be serving over 120 student teachers.

-Project Manager, Carmen Weaver, will be presenting at two conferences.

-Three articles for publication are being written.

-Many College of Education Faculty will be using TLINC with their classes.

There are many more exciting things on the horizon this year! Check this site often for updates.

New NCTAF Report – Learning Teams: Creating What’s Next

April 14, 2009

WASHINGTON – April 7, 2009 – The nation stands to lose half of its teachers to retirement over the next decade, but states and districts have an opportunity to avert the crisis, according to a report released today by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF). The report – Learning Teams: Creating What’s Next – finds that over 50 percent of the nation’s teachers and principals are Baby Boomers. During the next four years our nation’s schools could lose a third of their most accomplished educators to retirement. The wave of departures will peak during the 2010-11 school year, when over one hundred thousand veteran teachers could leave. In less than a decade, more than half of today’s teachers – 1.72 million – could be gone. The report also urges the development and adoption of a new approach to teacher deployment that mobilizes learning teams comprised of new teachers, teacher mentors, and teacher retirees in new roles to better prepare today’s students for college, the workforce and citizenship.

Read the full report here.

A snapshot of state-by-state teacher demographics.

To share your thoughts and ideas on the report visit:

Media Coverage:

New York Times; Report Envisions Shortage of Teachers as Retirements Escalate

USA Today; A ‘Tsunami’ of Boomer Teacher Retirements Is on the Horizon

The Plain Dealer; National Wave of Teacher Retirements May Be Slower in Ohio
CBS Evening News With Katie Couric (video); Mass Exodus of Teachers

Detroit Free Press; Nation’s Teachers Getting Older, Study Finds; Intergenerational Learning Teams to Revitalize Education

Annapolis Capital; State Addresses Teacher Shortage Trends
Memphis Commercial Appeal; Aging Teachers Hear Retirement Bell

United Press International; ‘Tsunami’ of Teacher Retirements Coming
Washington, D.C. Examiner; Baby Boomer Teacher Retirements a Concern

WBZTV; Schools Faced with Mass Teacher Retirements

Did You Know?

April 7, 2009

The statistics are staggering. More than half our nation’s teaching workforce is quickly approaching retirement age. Will this be a crisis or an opportunity?

Watch the video: Did you know?