Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier
Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education
United States Department of Education
BRENDA: As you know the TEAL project was designed to address two important concerns related to teacher effectiveness in adult education, first to improve the amount and quality of evidence based teaching in adult education and second to improve the caliber of writing instruction for the adult learners in our programs. The pervasiveness of writing in daily life underscores the need for adult learners and their instructors to focus on helping adults become flexible, competent writers. This institute marks the culmination of six months worth of comprehensive and intensive coursework for you, the participants representing the twelve TEAL states and I want you to know that you’re really helping OVAE to pilot these materials for adult education teachers and students all across the nation. I want to thank you again for your hard work and your commitment to TEAL and I understand that the six online courses were enriching and intensive, is that true ...
BRENDA: … in addition to your daily teaching responsibilities, your personal endeavors and other daily tasks. I want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to learn how to integrate teaching practices within the content area of writing instruction. The TEAL professional development courses provided you with opportunities to practice new skills, receive feedback from your peers and collaborate and solve problems as you incorporated new ideas into your teaching. We hope that so far this week in Washington at the TEAL Institute has been productive and helpful …
BRENDA: … in assisting you to become better teachers and your learners ultimately will be the beneficiaries to become better writers. In addition, here at the institute you’ve been given the Just Write writing guide which will help you improve writing instruction by using research based and evidence based approaches and strategies. This guide will assist you to write more, think more deeply about the writing you do with your students and consider how to enhance their instruction overall. We are all very proud of the guide and the opportunities it presents to you to help our students collectively develop their college and career readiness knowledge and skills. [SLIDE CHANGE] I want you to know that this work is so important and it is at the core of not only our priorities in OVAE, but simultaneously central to the education reform priorities of Secretary Duncan and the entire Obama administration as well. The education profession has never required more of teachers and leaders or mattered more than it does today. It is essential that we support our teachers and leaders to implement evidence based methods of instruction directed toward four content standards in reading, math and English language proficiency and include the STEM disciplines and technology that higher standards are aligned for college and career readiness enabling our adult students to fully compete in our global economy. As I mentioned earlier OVAE’s second goal is to ensure that all youth and adult students have effective teachers and leaders. A core part of our reauthorization proposal for the workforce investment act, our primary policy level entails making meaningful advances to ensure that our students have highly effective instructors, by professionalizing the field of adult education. [SLIDE CHANGE] As you can see the TEAL online course, the Just Write guide, this week’s TEAL institute and the technical assistance activities to follow have all been designed to support your ongoing professional journey to become more effective teachers for our adult students so that they in turn can become more college and career ready to meet the challenges of the 21st Century work, family and community life. I challenge you to continue on your journey and rest assured that we want to support you in any way that we can for our educational and economic hopes and aspirations for the nation’s adults are shared. I wish you all the best for a rich and productive year as you continue to use and refine the TEAL materials and share them widely with your colleagues. Thank you for your dedicated work on behalf of all of our students. It’s really a privilege and honor for me to be here with all of you. Thank you.
Recorded at the TEAL Summer Institute
August 4, 2011