The partnership between Baylor School of Education and Midway Independent School District to prepare future teachers has earned the “Exemplary Professional Development School Achievement Award” from the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS).
The collaboration began in 2009 with the establishment of the first Baylor Professional Development School (PDS) campus in Midway, with purposeful commitment from both Baylor and Midway to foster student growth through best practices in the classroom, placing undergraduate teacher candidates in classrooms with outstanding mentor teachers. Two more PDS campuses followed.
The NAPDS selection committee noted, “This partnership is an excellent example of a strong school-university partnership. Its many exciting PDS programs enhance teaching and learning and support the community.”
The award, given to only three partnerships nationally this year, recognizes collaborations that “shape educator leadership and practice.” The award was presented at the NAPDS annual conference in Washington, D.C., on March 10.
“We cannot adequately express how much Baylor values our partnership with such an outstanding district in helping to produce the best new teachers in the nation,” said Dr. Michael McLendon, Dean of the Baylor School of Education.
“It takes a great deal of involvement to coordinate two educational institutions in a PDS endeavor,” said Dr. George Kazanas, Midway ISD Superintendent, MSEd ’94. “We are blessed to have a productive, cooperative relationship in which we all put students at the forefront of our collaborative efforts. I am proud of the commitment to excellence the faculty and staffs of the Baylor SOE and Midway PDS campuses exhibit in our partnership.”
In the fall of 2016, Midway ISD hosted 97 Baylor teacher candidates. Of those, 58 were senior-level Baylor students serving as teaching interns and co-teaching in classrooms for the full day Monday-Thursday during the entire academic year. Midway also hosted 39 junior-level Baylor students, who are “Teaching Associates.” These juniors conduct small-group and full-class instruction in the schools each morning Monday-Thursday. All PDS campuses have a Baylor SOE faculty member assigned as liaison, as well as a site coordinator, who are on the school campus to instruct future teachers.
The National Association of Professional Development Schools serves as an advocate for the educational community that is dedicated to promoting the continuous development of collaborative school/higher education/community relationships and to creating and sustaining genuine collaborative partnerships between PK-12 and higher education. NAPDS membership includes both higher-education faculty and PK-12 educators, with leadership elected from both groups. Also at the March conference, Dr. Doug Rogers, associate professor in the Baylor School of Education, was installed as president of the organization.