ALOED is happy to continue in a role of providing financial support for students , networking capabilities and advice to the college, the department and the students. An expanded role of improving networking, communicating and mentoring would be welcomed by the alumni. We feel very strongly that teacher education is an important piece in the mission of Occidental College, and we are happy to facilitate this in any way. While teachers are notoriously not the biggest donors to alumni funds, due to the fact that they are not the highest paid graduates, they are dedicated and loyal, and can be successfully tapped for financial as well as moral support, if approached correctly.
“Networks matter. The New Teachers Network, formed in January 2003 at Barnard College to support new teachers in New York City public schools, provides bi-monthly discussions, new materials, and sharing of ideas (Sacks, 2005). New teachers find strength in these sessions from the collegial relationship with like-minded teachers. There are other New Teachers Networks at Brandeis University in Boston and at the University of Chicago. These networks provide a safe port and supportive environment for new teachers to share with others who have had similar preparation and educational experiences.” (Sacks, p. 194)
We hope that we are presenting an exciting proposal of re-vamping the way teacher education is conducted to bring it into a technologically adapted future. Such a program could be developed gradually over a few years, building on existing programs and opportunities, or it can be given the attention and resources necessary to produce a full-fledged transformation within a short period of time. Hopefully this will align with the College’s strategic planning efforts and the opportunity to do something new and revolutionary that will be spearheaded by a visionary group of educators.