Aligned and coherent approaches to teacher preparation, support and development are key levers to preparing all California children to succeed in and strengthen our global society. Through our grantmaking, Silver Giving aims to build stronger, intentional and data-rich partnerships between institutions that prepare teachers (e.g., colleges and universities) and those that hire, induct and support them (e.g., traditional school districts) so that teachers are engaging with aligned supports throughout their careers, from pre-service to in-service. We believe teachers should experience a coherent pathway that intentionally links what teachers need to know and be able to do at each stage of their professional growth trajectory – before they enter the classroom, in their first years of teaching, and as they stay inspired, progress and grow in their careers. In order for every teacher to clearly understand and be supported along this trajectory, teacher preparation providers and districts need aligned approaches to teacher development that draw on mutually agreed upon visions, content and processes for teacher support. Just as every student should be experiencing an individualized learning plan, every teacher should also be experiencing a professional learning plan customized to his/her needs.
In 2016, the Silver Giving Foundation launched the first round of grantmaking to support early-stage (in operation less than 3 years) organizations and established organizations with early-stage programs that promote cross institutional solutions (e.g., partnerships between public school districts and institutes of higher education) that build aligned teacher preparation and development pathways and supports in California.