President's Message

From the President-Elect, David Cherry

Hello, AILACTE Members,

I am excited to be joining AILACTE as the incoming president for the next 2 years (2019-2021).  The first professional teacher education conference I attended when I began my career (1980) was the AACTE/AILACTE.  I was intimated, challenged, energized, optimistic, and impressed with the professionals attending and leading the annual meeting.  At that time, I was naïve enough to believe the educator preparation problems and challenges set before us were actually solvable.  Much has happened in our profession over the almost 40 years and while some of those challenges have been addressed, I’m uncertain if they were solved.  What I do know, is that progressive, bright, thoughtful, and caring professionals have been continuing to conduct research in our field, engaged in political conversation that impact effective educator preparation, created models of educational excellence, and refined curriculum and changed the way teachers are prepared.  Also, what I have noticed is that challenges in educator preparation keep heading our way, politics and policies keep pressing us, advocacy for students we ultimately serve continues to be essential, realistic professional optimism never hurts, and the students’ social, emotional, and academic learning needs in our nation’s classrooms are becoming more complex and acute.  What remains constant is the need for those of us who prepare educators at independent liberal arts colleges and universities to remain steady where mission and vision ground the work we are to carry out and  continue the work of and advocacy for preparing educators of both mind and heart who are socially-just, inclusive, intellectually curious, active in the school community, sound in methodology, take initiative as teacher leaders whether in the classroom or beyond, and remained focused on the moral dimensions of schooling and education.

Please review the Request for Proposals as we begin preparing for the upcoming 2019 AILACTE conference in Louisville, KY.  The conference theme is, “Urgency, Challenges, and Opportunities in Educator Preparation.” This year, you will notice similarities between the Request for Proposals between AACTE and AILACTE as we have much in common as we progress toward preparing and advocating for those who will teach our nation’s children. While the arena in which we prepare educators is smaller within a Liberal Arts setting, the pushes and pulls we all experience have much in common. For example, both organizations are interested in developing leaders. To this end, the AILACTE Executive Committee is hosting another preconference Leadership Workshop to focus on topics immediately relevant to deans, assistant deans, program chairs, and program faculty. Keep an eye out for additional announcements about the preconference Leadership Workshop. Also, please consider the five strands and associated questions, which are located in the 2019 AILACTE Annual Meeting and Conference Request for Proposals. We look forward to learning of the excellent work you and your colleagues are doing as you prepare the next generation of teachers!