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Superintendent's News

Posted: October 28, 2022

Keep on Learning: A Message From Supt. Elder

In his weekly message, Superintendent Scott Elder encourages employees to take advantage of learning opportunities.

Some of our principals are currently going through professional training to help them become "transformational change agents." These school leaders, many veteran educators, are being challenged to "rethink, reignite, and refocus" the way they run their schools.

And while principals are working to improve their leadership skills, many of our teachers and support staff are also learning new approaches to their professions: 

  • Like elementary school teachers, who, through LETRS training, are reviewing the fundamentals of reading instruction.
  • And math teachers attending workshops that familiarize them with resources to build student-centered math communities. 
  • And educational assistants taking courses to help improve their connections with English language learners.
  • And custodians going to classes to become site supervisors. 
  • And so many more.

On any given day in Albuquerque Public Schools, employees attend in-person and online classes, workshops, and conferences – often after hours, on weekends, and during breaks – to gain new skills and knowledge.

They're learning to be better at their jobs. And when they are better at their jobs, our students are the beneficiaries. To help our students learn, we also need to keep learning.

Today's public education careers don't look like they did when I entered the profession. Heck, they don't look like they did when some of my former students entered the profession just a few years ago. Like so much in the world around us, the field of education is evolving fast, and many of the techniques, skills, and technologies we learned in school quickly become obsolete.

Continuous learning isn't a luxury. It has become a necessity. We're here to help.

APS and its partners offer many learning opportunities for employees throughout the year. Much of it is free, and financial aid is often available when it's not. While they will require your time, which is at a premium these days, it's worth the effort to improve your ability to do your job and possibly opens career doors. Check with your supervisor for learning options.  

Speaking of career opportunities, I want to take a moment to mention a few programs designed to help us fill staffing gaps. 

Special Education Teacher Training 

For several years now, we have worked with CNM and the Albuquerque Teachers Federation on an alternative pathway to becoming a special education teacher. Individuals with a bachelor's degree in any subject can become a licensed special education teachers in 15 months through the Special Education Teacher Training (SETT) program. This program pays teacher candidates as they take classes and co-teach alongside seasoned educators.

EAs To Teachers

CNM also has a scholarship that supports EAs who want to become teachers. The Grow Your Own Teachers Scholarship covers tuition, fees, and other educational-related expenses for students employed as educational assistants in public schools. 

Our own APS Education Foundation also offers a scholarship in partnership with Nusenda to help EAs who aspire to be teachers. The application opens in February.

Aspiring Principals

And each spring, we invite Level III teachers with a master's degree and a minimum of five years of experience working in APS to become part of our Aspiring Principals Program.  

These are just a sampling of the many internal and external learning opportunities offered to our public educators.

I certainly have done my share of professional development during my career, and I continue to take advantage of learning opportunities. I know so many of you are, too. Thanks for taking the time and effort to keep learning. Our students and community are all the better for it.