Reflections from NJACTE’s President Dr. Amy Kline

I am so pleased to welcome you to the start of another academic year with NJACTE. I hope everyone had a chance to rest and rejuvenate over the summer. We have a full year of meetings scheduled. As President, I am truly excited to support the great work of our members. Together we have created a collaborative professional community that continues to impress me.

This summer I spent time reflecting on what makes NJACTE so special. We are living in a time when college students are thought of as customers, and our academic programs have been referred to as products to be purchased. This commercialized climate could create a situation where educator preparation programs view each other as fierce competitors, not to be trusted, but in NJACTE this has not been my experience. In fact, I can honestly say that I have been blown away by the collegiality and community among our membership. 

I believe that a spirit of collaboration and sense of purpose is evident across all our committees. One example is our Legislative Tracking Committee, led by Dr. LaChan Hannon and Dr. Amy Ginsberg. This burgeoning committee has been tasked to work with our legislative consultant, the Princeton Public Affairs Group (PPAG), to review pending policy affecting education in New Jersey. This committee will play an important role in helping our members to stay informed, and in communicating concerns to the Executive Committee and PPAG.

With the passage of NJ S896 in December 2022, eliminating the edTPA as the required performance assessment for NJ teacher certification, our members have formed two groups: a policy committee and a working group.  The Performance Assessment Policy Committee, led by Dr. Nora Hyland and Dr. Margaret Renn, has taken up the valuable role of monitoring and communicating messaging from the NJDOE. We also have our Performance Assessment Working Group, led by Dr. Linda Amerigo and Ms. Deborah Snyder. This group has been meeting over the summer to support our members who are working on their own alternative performance assessment, to replace the edTPA. NJ S896 has affected all educator preparation programs in NJ, and it is so helpful to have our members helping us navigate what it means for our educator preparation programs. 

We have many other active committees, too: 

-Day of Assessment Planning Committee
-Distinguished Clinical Intern Award Planning Committee
-Governance Committee
-NJ Convening for Diversifying the Teacher Workforce Planning Committee
-Social Media/Website Committee
-Social Justice Committee

I personally believe one of the best ways to get to know a colleague is by working on a piece of work together. Each of these groups offers an opportunity for our members to form relationships with each other. Through these relationships and shared work, we are helping NJACTE to strengthen its impact. If you have not yet selected a committee to join, I encourage you to do so today. Please know that whether you are new to NJACTE or have been a member for years, you are welcome to contact me anytime. I am here to support our collective work, for the greater good of our future educators – and for all of us as we continue to grow in our professional lives.

Submitted by Amy Kline, Ed.D., Seton Hall University