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Bilingual Teacher Of The Year Essays On Education

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and Interested Parties:


The California Department of Education (CDE) Professional Learning Support Division is pleased to announce that the Request for Applications (RFA) for the Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program (BTPDP) is now available. This program funds projects that provide professional learning opportunities to teams of eligible teachers, principals, and paraprofessionals to increase the number of teachers who obtain a bilingual authorization as a result of participation in the program and to increase the number of teachers with a bilingual authorization who return to teaching in a bilingual or multilingual setting.The BTPDP RFA is available on the CDE Teaching and Leading Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/pd/ps/teachingleading.asp.

Eligible local educational agencies (including county offices of education, school districts, charter schools, or a consortia of multiple local educational agencies) can apply for state funds to provide professional learning opportunities. BTPDP applicants are encouraged to partner with at least one school or department of education within a public or private nonprofit four-year institution of higher education that prepares teachers or other regional providers that are actively implementing a Commision on Teacher Credentialing ApprovedBilingual Authorization program that is in good standing (https://www.ctc.ca.gov/commission/reports/data/app-approved-program). All applicants must be actively providing educational services within the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association region where the application originates from (http://ccsesa.org/members/region-map/).


The program is authorized under AB 99, Chapter 15, and Section 54. Article 5 (commencing with Section 52200) added to Chapter 7 of Part 28 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code. The bill appropriated $5,000,000 from the General Fund to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) to be available through the 2019–20 fiscal year for the BTPDP.

Application for Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program

The department shall allocate grant funding to eligible local educational agencies, including county offices of education, school districts, charter schools, or a consortia of local educational agencies. The official applicant will:

  • Write a proposal that reflects the unique aspects of the regional and local context the partnership represents.
  • Provide evidence demonstrating the commitment, capability, and experience to fully prepare teachers to obtain bilingual authorizations and to improve or update a teacher’s knowledge and skills relating to biliteracy, English language acquisition, English language development, pupil assessment in English and other languages, and instruction in the components of a high-quality bilingual or multilingual education program.
  • Clearly indicate how the applicant(s) plan to increase the number of teachers who obtain a bilingual authorization as a result of participation in the program and the number of teachers with a bilingual authorization who return to teaching in a bilingual or multilingual setting.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to conduct an evaluation of a professional development program offered by the applicant(s) for the purpose of identifying areas of strength, areas requiring improvement, and recommendations for making improvement.
  • Agree to share information about their policies and practices and evidence regarding the effectiveness of those policies and practices in increasing the number of teachers who obtain a bilingual authorization as a result of participation in the program and the number of teachers with a bilingual authorization who will teach in a bilingual or multilingual setting with other entities within their regions and across the state.
  • Agree to report to the CDE, by January 1, 2021, the number of participants who were issued bilingual authorizations, the number of previously authorized teachers who have participated in the program and subsequently returned to bilingual teaching assignments, and the number of teachers who are still working at least 50 percent of the time in a bilingual setting.

Interested applicants are required to submit the Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program Intent to Submit an Application Form to the CDE Educator Excellence Office by 5 p.m. on September 15, 2017. Submitting this form does not require an organization to submit an application; however, an application will not be accepted unless the form is submitted and received by the CDE on time.

All applicants must submit a complete application, including all required components, to the Educator Excellence Office by 5 p.m. on October 13, 2017. Incomplete, late, or incorrectly formatted applications will not be scored or considered for approval. Applicants are urged to use express, certified, or registered mail. Transmissions by electronic mail (e-mail) or facsimile (fax) will not be accepted.

A technical assistance Webinar in regards to the BTPDP RFA, letter of intent, and other program requirements will take place on September 8, 2017. For additional information, please see the CDE Teaching and Leading Web page located at http://www.cde.ca.gov/pd/ps/teachingleading.asp.

If you have any questions regarding this RFA, please contact either Marcia Trott, Education Programs Consultant, Educator Excellence Office, by phone at 916-323-8901 or by e-mail at mtrott@cde.ca.gov; or Angie Ford, Education Programs Consultant, Educator Excellence Office, by phone at 916-319-0780 or by e-mail at aford@cde.ca.gov.




Last Reviewed: Wednesday, September 6, 2017

January 19, 2017

ASU grad ready to advocate for profession and spread the word about early literacy

Arizona’s Teacher of the Year for 2017 has been in the classroom for 23 years but is still learning the job.

Michelle Doherty, a first-grade teacher at Encanto Elementary School in central Phoenix, is a graduate of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University.

“You can’t ever master the craft because it’s always evolving,” said Doherty. “When I’ve had interns come in, I’ve learned something new. I’ve had student teachers—I’ve learned something new. I’m constantly reading, I’m constantly doing professional development and taking classes. That has never stopped.

“I’m always learning myself.”

Doherty won the Arizona Teacher of the Year honor recently from the Arizona Educational Foundation, a nonprofit group that advocates for excellence in preschool and K-12 public education. It’s considered the most prestigious honor a public school teacher in Arizona can receive, and Doherty will be in the competition for the national teacher of the year.

In addition to receiving a cash prize and professional development classes, the Teacher of the Year honoree travels to the White House, meeting the winners from other states, and around Arizona advocating for the teaching profession.

Video by Ken Fagan/ASU Now

Doherty wants to get the message out about early literacy.

“I’ve taught kindergarten, first, second and third grades, and in the early years, literacy opens up understanding of other subjects,” she said.

Doherty teaches in the dual-language program at Encanto, which is in the Osborn Elementary School District. Students learn half the day in English and the other half in Spanish.

“Our focus is for them to be bilingual, biliterate and bicultural,” she said. “Being part of this program since 1998, I’ve had kids in seventh or eighth grade just come up to me and start talking to me in Spanish. Sometimes I cry because I saw where they came from, struggling with it.

“The power of another language is amazing.”

With Encanto’s immersion model, Doherty teaches two classes with a partner teacher — a total of 52 first-graders. On a recent morning, her group was lively, focused and enthusiastic.

“Get into your learning positions, friends!” Doherty told them as they began a lesson on weather. A few minutes later, one first-grader correctly described cause and effect — a rainy day will require the use of an umbrella.

“Bingo! Kiss your brain!” Doherty exclaimed, as the little girl smiled, kissed her fingertips and then tapped her forehead.

It’s an action that reinforces retention, Doherty explained later.

“It’s a way to solidify their understanding. It’s difficult for kids to truly understand some things, but when they have that motion, that contact, it does something and they’ll remember it much easier,” she said.

Doherty earned her bachelor’s degree from ASU in 1994 and her master’s degree five years later. That was before the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College offered the iTeachAZ residency program, in which teacher candidates spend a full academic year as a student teacher, taking their ASU classes at their schools.

“Having more on-the-job training time betters prepares you,” she said. “When I see the new teachers coming through, I think ‘I wish I had that opportunity to do that.’ ”

The first-graders realize that their teacher has been honored.

“I had them autograph my luncheon program. So now whenever I’m in the news they ask if I want their autograph again,” she said.

“I tell them, ‘I’m Teacher of the Year because of you.’ ”

Doherty is starting her year in the spotlight just as there has been heightened focus on the teaching profession in Arizona. Teachers are leaving the profession, and many schools have open positions. Teacher compensation has been an issue, with Gov. Doug Ducey using his “State of the State” address to declare, “It’s time for a raise for Arizona’s teachers.”

Doherty agrees.

“I’ve heard people say you don’t go into the field to make money. And that’s right. That’s not why we’re doing this. I’ve always felt that this was a calling,” she said.

“But I also pay for professional development out of my pocket to make myself the best I can be for the students. So some compensation would be wonderful, and pay raises would be great. There were eight years I didn’t have a pay raise. It’s not why I do the job, but it would be showing appreciation for what we do.

“Because what we do matters.”

Top photo: Michelle Doherty works with first-grader Nyiah Gomez on a lesson about weather at Encanto Elementary School in Phoenix. Doherty, an alumna of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, has been named the 2017 Teacher of the Year by the Arizona Educational Foundation. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Arizona ImpactMary Lou Fulton Teachers CollegeEducationCommunityAlumni

First-grade teacher Michelle Doherty congratulates one of her students during a lesson on weather. Doherty plans to address the importance of early literacy during her time as Arizona Teacher of the Year. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

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