No Greater Calling

kidsno greater calling

UNC-TV’s new education series, Models of Teaching, celebrates the dedication, creativity, knowledge and commitment of public school teachers and provides an avenue for professional development. The series touts two principles: teachers are the foundation of our system of education, and excellence in education requires excellence in teaching.

Written for a general audience, the series’ premiere program, No Greater Calling focused on why models of teaching should drive the education process. In the one-hour program, six outstanding teachers discuss their methods and principles that have earned them recognition for best practice in the teaching profession. These profiles show why professional development, high standards, and the use of “best practices” are important to teachers and our system of public education.

Following No Greater Calling are three professional development programs focusing specifically on national standards for teachers and principals. These 30-minute programs define and exemplify classroom practice of established and widely accepted national standards. The first of these programs, Every Student’s Right, demonstrates for aspiring and new teachers how the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) standards provide guidance and support for them as new educators. The second program, Becoming the Best, follows the journey to developing into an accomplished teacher based on the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). Leading Together, the last program in the series, examines how the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ILLSC) standards cultivate and enrich leadership in our nation’s school leaders and principals.

Extensive research went into the selection of the teachers appearing in the program. The producer selected the candidates after reviewing lists of teachers from the NBPTS, the U.S. Department of Education’s “National Teacher of the Year” program and referrals from NBPTS staff members, other NBPTS board-certified teachers, staff members from the Governor's Education Office and other contacts.

The final selection was made after conducting phone interviews with potential candidates. Selection was based on the teachers’ willingness to participate in the program, their ability to demonstrate the NBPTS’ five core principles of teaching and their location in one of the partner states in the “Models of Teaching Project.” Special attention was also paid to finding a diverse group of teachers in terms of grade level, subject matter, gender, race, community/ demographics and geographic location. All of the teachers except for Susan Armenta in San Diego are NBPTS certified.

Models of Teaching is a partnership between UNC-TV, the National Humanities Center, the Center for Creative Leadership, and the Kenan Best Practices Center, part of the UNC Center for School Leadership Development. The alliance strives to focus attention on improving education and teacher quality through national certification. Models of Teaching is funded by a generous grant from the Kenan Charitable Trust Foundation.