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Schools throughout the country continue to struggle with the national teacher shortage, but the new teachers schools are hiring need support to become successful educators.

That’s why alternative teacher certification path American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence is improving and expanding its program to include a year-long clinical experience for its Idaho and South Carolina candidates.

A clinical experience allows first-year teachers to receive feedback on their teaching skills and style from a school-appointed coach who does periodic in-classroom observations throughout the school year.

American Board candidates currently enter the classroom after successfully passing the program’s Professional Teaching Knowledge exam, to demonstrate their competency in pedagogy skills and knowledge, and a subject area exam to prove their competency in the subject they wish to teach. Effective September 1, any candidate who enrolls to pursue teacher certification for Idaho or South Carolina will be required to complete the clinical experience program.

Lisa Howell, executive director of American Board, believes the clinical experience will help new teachers adjust and build their confidence in leading the classroom.

“Everyone hears about how difficult being a teacher is, and it can be. That’s why we are expanding the toolbox we offer our candidates to prepare them to be the best educator they can be. Today’s students deserve the very best so they are prepared to enter the world on their own upon graduation,” said Howell.

New teachers sometimes feel they are not prepared to handle the wide variety of situations that occur in a classroom, Howell said.

“New teachers can have a difficult time navigating challenges ranging from keeping rowdy students under control to a student getting stuck in a desk. Having consistent, constructive feedback during that first year is crucial,” Howell said.

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