Alaska Transition to Teaching (AKT2)

Phase III - Spring Online Pre-service Learning

AKT2 candidates will participate in learning experiences and be provided support from the AKT2 staff from the beginning of the program, through Spring Pre-service Learning, and throughout the first couple of years in the classroom. In order to prepare future teachers for the challenges of the classroom, Spring Pre-service Learning will be rigorous. At the same time, the Spring Pre-service Learning will be designed to provide opportunities for candidates to explore the gratifying benefits of teaching and to develop relationships within their cohort and members of their support team, including AKT2 staff.

Spring Pre-Service Learning

Candidates will begin their Spring Pre-service Learning in January in their home community by participating in a standards-based and research-based curriculum that is comprehensive and flexible. As a candidate, you will enroll in a series of guided online professional development courses designed to introduce you to basic pedagogy and educational skills. Delivery of these topics will be a combination of online learning, electronic media, and membership in a professional learning community (PLC) that will be used throughout your tenure in the AKT2 program. Candidates will also participate in a bi-weekly webinar to reinforce the online content. A stable high-speed internet connection is necessary for participation in the Spring Pre-service Learning.

The foundation of the Spring Pre-service Learning will be Charlotte Danielson's Essentials of Effective Teaching, supported by other online series to introduce candidates to methods of teaching, pedagogy, and best practices. Instruction will be delivered by viewing examples of teachers using best practices in the classroom and delivery of contemporary educational theory by current educational leaders. Learning opportunities will cover topics such as student assessment, cultural respect, and positive learning environments.

While concurrently enrolled in the online coursework, candidates will make ten local classroom observations of classes in their intended content area. The observations will need to be from 45-60 minutes in duration and will focus on a skill or strategy being reviewed by the AKT2 cohort. Substitute teachers and paraprofessional will need to observe during times they are not providing teaching support and mid-career professionals will need to do their observations before/after work or during lunch. These observations will be referenced during the PLC webinar with the AKT2 candidates and AKT2 staff. Through observations, discussion, and real-world reference to their online learning, applicants will be preparing to move towards working with students in the next phase of the program.

During Phase III candidates must also pass as least one Praxis II test in a core academic subject which will lead to establishing a Highly Qualified designation.

The following are designated core academic subjects: English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science (biology, chemistry, earth science, general science, and physics), foreign languages, civics and government, economics, music, theater, art, social studies, history, and geography.

When choosing which Praxis II tests to take, candidates should consider all of the following: Which tests they are likely to be able to pass, which subjects will make them more marketable to partner districts, and which subjects they would actually be comfortable teaching.

Test scores must be sent to the teacher certification office directly from Education Testing Services (ETS) using code 7027.

For further information regarding the Praxis II, please contact Education Testing Service (ETS) online or at 609-771-7395.

During the Spring Pre-service Learning, candidates will apply to school districts for employment as a teacher for the next school year. At this point, candidates will have opportunities to interview with school district personnel for jobs in participating school districts with the possibility of starting a new job in the fall. Although it is not mandatory, candidates are encouraged to attend the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) Anchorage Job Fair in April. The AKT2 staff will work with the candidates and partner school districts to fill high-needs positions. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the candidate to find employment.

Candidates that successfully complete the Spring Pre-Service Learning and pass a Praxis II test in a core academic subject are eligible to move into Phase IV.