As future and young teachers, we are constantly advised not to go into teaching. We are painted as apathetic and unaware of “what we’re getting ourselves into.” This idea completely ignores the fact that the next generation of teachers are the same students who experienced the faults of oppressive reforms. From No Child Left Behind (NCLB), to de facto segregation of schools, we know that education can and should be so much more. The Young Teachers Collective, a group of future and young teachers from across the country, are ready to make our voices heard.
The current climate of the education system is not inviting. We constantly see poor reforms implemented by people the most distant from the classroom. We constantly hear “don’t go into teaching.” Regardless, we see the profession as something worth fighting for. In order to win this struggle, we understand the importance of coming together to support each other and lift each other up–even if it’s only through an online community. By creating this collective, we hope to:
- Develop political consciousness among our peers that will be entering the education profession.
- Develop the tools/skills necessary for young people to organize themselves.
- Create a network of support while in college and during the first years of teaching
- Provide young teachers with both a sense of hope and tools on how to fight for a better education system.
- Advocate and work towards a common vision for the future of education
- Strengthen our presence in discussions about education
- Create a space to share\suggest resources to build consciousness as well as materials to use in the classroom
In order to do this we plan to engage in the following:
- Weekly blog posts by members of YTC discussing an issue of their choice
- Host monthly Twitter Chats. Our past chat includes improving teacher education.
- Host monthly Google Hangouts
- Host webinar workshops
- Host workshops and\or discussions on our campuses\in community when possible
IMPORTANCE OF YOUNG AND FUTURE TEACHERS’ VOICES
While many of us have been inspired by teacher-activists currently in the field, we have come to recognize the importance of creating our own collective voice. The voices of young and future teachers are largely ignored in the education movement. We are often dismissed because we are viewed as not having the experience to truly understand the issues facing public education. However, there is no doubt that our voices are valuable and even necessary in this struggle. We are in the unique position of simultaneously facing issues affecting both students and teachers. At the same time, this position presents different challenges that students and experienced teachers are not aware of. Young and future teachers are the only ones who can really speak to these challenges, which is why it is so important that we speak out and have our voices amplified.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
If you are a future or new teacher in the field looking to learn more about and\or get involved, please complete our interest form here: Young Teachers Collective Interest Form.