PreK-12 Public Education Resources Teaching Profession

Becoming a Teacher

Teachers work in an exciting and fast-paced environment where they are required to make quick decisions throughout the day; deliver effective instruction; cultivate a rigorous and nurturing climate for learning; and foster the academic, social, and emotional growth of their students. If you are interested in a personally fulfilling career helping children realize their dreams, improving our society and advancing social justice, find out why becoming a teacher is the right choice for you.

Peer Assistance and Review: Pathways to Growth

More than three decades since the beginning of PAR, there is clear evidence that PAR programs are successful. Today, there are many different versions and iterations, but across the country districts with PAR praise the successes and improvements they have seen in their teachers and students. The AFT has sought to understand how some districts have been able to develop and sustain these programs and what other districts can do to move beyond the barriers and toward a system of teacher-led growth and support. (March 2016)

Moving Beyond Compliance: Lessons Learned from Teacher Development and Evaluation

This report captures lessons learned from working with educators in the field for the past five years: labor-management collaboration is essential for comprehensive, systemic success, including for the creation of teacher development and evaluation frameworks for continuous improvement; teaching standards are helpful for training and empowering teachers as well as for identifying effective instructional areas and those that need improvement; teacher development and evaluations systems that use multiple measures provide a fuller picture of teaching quality and effective learning; evaluators need to be continuously trained; educators need to receive timely feedback and get professional development tailored to meet teacher needs; and a differentiated evaluation process enables districts to focus their resources on teachers who need the most support and can empower effective teachers to take charge of their own professional growth.

Teacher Leaders Program: Teachers Affecting Policy

This brochure describes the AFT Teacher Leaders Program (TLP), which brings together a select group of teachers throughout the school year to learn how to take active leadership roles in their schools, unions and communities. Participants in the TLP help to strengthen the union and its connection to the community building greater support and understanding of public schools. (2014)

Raising the Bar: Aligning and Elevating Teacher Preparation and the Teaching Profession

This report, issued by the AFT Teacher Preparation Task Force, urged a move toward a systemic approach to preparing teachers and a more rigorous threshold to ensure that every teacher is ready to teach. The report reflects the AFT's continuing efforts to improve the teaching profession, teaching and learning. It complements the work the AFT has been doing to develop and promote comprehensive teacher development and evaluation systems, end the testing fixation, and ensure that educators have the resources, tools, time and trust they need to be successful. (2013)

2007 Survey and Analysis of Teacher Salary Trends

The average salary for traditional public school teachers increased 4.5 percent in 2006-07 to $51,009, according to the AFT's latest teacher salary survey, marking the first time average teacher pay exceeded $50,000 and the first time since 2003 that teacher salaries surpassed the annual rate of inflation. The AFT report also includes never-before-released salary data for charter school teachers in 29 states-of the 40 that have charter schools-where the news was not as positive. The average charter school teacher salary was $41,106-nearly $10,000 less than that for traditional public school teachers.

Principles for Professional Development

The AFT prepared a set of guidelines to help its affiliates review, evaluate, improve, and design professional development programs. Among the central themes the guidelines highlight are the need for professional development that helps teachers gain deep knowledge of the subjects they teach; reflects current research on teaching and learning; is aligned with the curriculum and standards they use; leads teachers to be intellectually engaged with their colleagues; is job-embedded; and provides teachers sufficient time, support, and resources to master new content and pedagogy. (Reprinted Sept. 2008)

Teaching Reading IS Rocket Science: What Expert Teachers of Reading Should Know and Be Able To Do

Thanks to new scientific research—plus a long-awaited scientific and political consensus around reading research—the knowledge exists to teach all but a handful of severely disabled children to read well. This report discusses the current state of teacher preparation in reading. It reviews the relevant research and describes the knowledge base that is essential for teacher candidates and practicing teachers to master if they are to be successful in teaching all children to read well. (June 1999/Reprinted March 2004)

What Is Lesson Study?

Lesson study is the primary form of professional development for Japanese teachers. Its goal is continual improvement of teaching so that children will learn more. Its primary focus is how students think and learn. This paper defines the lesson study process, includes a question-and-answer section, and provides a list of resources for those interested in learning more about the lesson study approach. (2004)

Peer Assistance and Peer Review: An AFT/NEA Handbook

Prepared for the AFT/NEA joint conference on teacher quality, this handbook is designed to assist affiliates interested in developing peer assistance and/or peer review programs in their local sites. Highlights include: how to develop support for the program; features that must be addressed in developing a program; and contract language consideration as affiliates negotiate to develop such programs. (1998)

Ordering Information

Pricing is for single copies for non-members. Send a check payable to the American Federation of Teachers to: AFT Order Department, 555 New Jersey Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001. Shipping and handling costs are included. Please include the item number (if available) and publication name.