Teach for Bulgaria’s Chief Executive Officer presented “A New way for new talents in teaching” in Brussels.
“Instead of defining how exactly teachers should be teaching or how they should be trained, we need to have clear expectations for what their role is and what their students’ outcomes should be. We should also have more rigorous criteria for people who go into teaching.”
This is what Teach For Bulgaria’s Chief Executive Officer, Evgenia Peeva-Kirova stated during the First European Education Summit in Brussels. The summit took place on January 25. and was attended by Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport, Krasimir Valchev, Minister of Education and Science in Bulgaria, representatives of the education and civic sector, and other stakeholders.
Evgenia Peeva-Kirova presented the project NEWTT – “A New Way for New Talents in Teaching” at the summit. NEWTT is an Erasmus + project which involves collaboration between the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science, Plovdiv University, and Teach For Bulgaria. The project consortium includes partners from four other EU member countries – the Basque region in Spain, Austria, Romania, and Latvia. The Erasmus + projects sets out to find solutions to EU-wide education challenges such as teacher shortages, social exclusion of vulnerable communities, and the discrepancy between education curricula and labor market requirements. NEWTT involves two pilot master’s programs for teacher certification which allow for professionals from different sectors to be recruited and trained to become teachers. The pilots require all applicants to go through a rigorous selection process and involve practical school-based training, new university courses such as teaching 21st-century skills, working with parents, teaching with the help of modern technology, project management, etc.
More about NEWTT
NEWTT’s impact is assessed by a team from the University of Duisburg-Essen. They compare NEWTT trainees’ initial skills, competencies and mindsets to those of beginner teachers trained in a traditional four-year university program. The interim report results indicate that NEWTT trainees and beginner teachers enter the profession with different job motivators – the main ones being social responsibility and working with children for NEWTT trainees and job security and subject-specific motivation for the control group.
“We have clear evidence that alternative pathways to teaching bring motivated professionals with the skills to contribute to their students’ success, their schools, and the education system,” stated Evgenia Peeva-Kirova at the summit.
She also pointed out that a rigorous selection process is key if we want highly motivated professionals to serve students in need and contribute to society. In order for the rigorously selected professionals to be effective teachers, they need continuous training based on identified needs, as well as coaching and mentorship. Allowing for autonomy in teaching and celebrating students’ success is also important.
“Tomorrow’s investments in good education start with today’s investment in Bulgarian teachers,” Krasimir Valchev
“The greatest challenge that the system of education is facing in Bulgaria at the moment is teacher shortages and the necessity to meet the needs of children from the most vulnerable communities. Tomorrow’s investments in good education start with today’s investment in Bulgarian teachers.”
This is what Krasimir Valchev, Minister of Education and Science, stated at a special work meeting with members of the European Parliament on January 24. He added that the ministry is going to work in partnership with the teacher unions, the universities, and Teach For Bulgaria to recruit highly-motivated and well-trained teachers who will teach in regions of Bulgaria where they are most needed.
“The average age of teachers in Bulgaria is 50 years which increases teacher shortages every year. That is why we need to prioritize taking measures for the recruitment of young teachers,” Eva Maydell, the host of the work meeting and Bulgarian MEP (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria/European People’s Party), commented.
Maydell added that NEWTT is a step in that direction and that it is a project supported by MEPs active in education policy from Belgium, Ireland, Romania, and the Czech Republic.
Members of the European Parliament – actively involved in education and youth policy attended the meeting: Asim Ademov (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria/European People’s Party), Filiz Hyusmenova (Bulgaria, Movement for Rights and Freedoms/Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe), Svetoslav Malinov (Democrats for Strong Bulgaria/European People’s Party), Georgi Pirinski (Bulgarian Socialist Party/Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats), Sean Kelly (Ireland, European People’s Party), Tom Vandenkendelaere (Belgium, European People’s Party), Emilian Pavel (Romania, Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats), Tomáš Zdechovský (Czech Republic, European People’s Party).