#WhyTeach: Our Chance to Push Back


Over the past several years the narrative around public education has grown increasingly negative, and young people are often discouraged from going into the profession at all. One of the main goals of the Young Teachers Collective is to amplify the voices of new and future teachers. We started the #WhyTeach campaign to provide new and future teachers with the opportunity to share their reasons for becoming a teacher despite all of the negative rhetoric. It is a way to reassert our place in the conversation around education and the teaching profession by allowing us the chance to share our thoughts, experiences and visions for the future of education. Because quite frankly we are the future of education.

So are you a new or future teacher that has decided to go into teaching regardless of all of the voices telling us to find another profession? We would love for you to join our campaign! First, write down your reasons for going into the profession and tag it with #WhyTeach. Next, take a photo of yourself with your reason. And lastly, send it to us along with your name to youngteacherscollective@gmail.com. We’ll be sharing images on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram all day and will continue sharing throughout the following week. And don’t forget to follow the #WhyTeach hashtag. We can’t wait to hear from you.

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#WhyTeach - Alicia Johal

Alicia Johal – 2nd year teacher: 8th grade science, STEAM science, AVID (middle school)



Daniel Bergerson, sophomore at Barnard Ed Program at Columbia University, future Secondary Social Studies Teacher

“I teach to grow students’ creative power. We need both imagination and skepticism to transform our world.

When students are treated solely as objects to be tested, assimilated, and subjugated, schooling not only serves the interests of oppressors but destroys the creative power of children. We can ultimately transcend such a system when young teachers collectively take radical action to ensure the only function of a classroom is to liberate everyone. #WhyTeach

— Daniel Bergerson, 20 – Secondary Social Studies Teacher
Barnard Education Program – New York, NY


#WhyTeach - Conor Pierson

Conor Pierson – Bucknell University Senior


#WhyTeach - Meg King

Meg King – Rutgers Graduate School of Ed Student



Hajra Syed – Rutgers University Senior



Mel Katz – The College of New Jersey Sophomore

“”I teach because I have a vision for the future of public education and a voice to fight for the change I want to see. My students deserve no less.

As future teachers, it is our duty to use our voices and fight to create policies, inside and outside of the classroom, that are in the best interests of our students. We must collectively fight the system that is oppressive to so many and advocate towards our common vision for the future of education.”

~ Mel Katz, 19, Sophomore, The College of New Jersey


#WhyTeach - Sam Scarborough

Sam Scarborough – Auburn University Sophomore



Mckinsi Martin – Rutgers University


#WhyTeach Edwin T Minguela

Edwin Thomas Minguela – Millersville University Junior



Katie Russell – Indiana University – Bloomington



Jenny Marrazo – Rutgers University



Stephanie Rivera – Rutgers GSE



Gennine Damanski – Rutgers University




Valdes, Yeimi - WhyTeach

Yeimi Valdez – Urban Teacher Education Program, University of Chicago



Mike McGowen – Rutgers University



Reba Oduro – Rutgers University







Liz Schultz – Westfield High School, NJ

“Why do I teach? Because the children almost broken by the world become the adults most likely to change it.”



Jacob Chaffin – Ohio University Grad Student and 5th Grade Teacher


Molly Tansey, U.Va. alum & future English teacher

Molly Tansey, U.Va. alum & future English teacher


Haley Gray

Haley Gray, Miami University (OH)

“Because young children are the future. They deserve everything we can provide. Positive experiences, nurturing, and encouragement should make up their experiences. Regardless of their background or where they come from, they deserve the best. We must focus on not telling them what to think and instead focus on teaching them how to think for themselves. Teach to Reach!”

– Haley Gray, Miami University Senior, Miami University (OH)


Brianna Dioses, The College of New Jersey

Brianna Dioses, The College of New Jersey


Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 10.57.04 AM

               Rose Pompey, Regis University

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” – Angela Davis


Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 10.59.09 AM

Ali Baker, SUNY Geneseo, Ella Cline School of Education

“Knowledge is POWER! Education has the power to inspire, to open doors, and to change the future for the better.” #WhyTeach

2 thoughts on “#WhyTeach: Our Chance to Push Back

  1. I love what you have started here. I began teaching in 2004 at the age of 21, and even then there was so much negativity towards going into teaching. For me, though, it was all I had ever wanted to do. Anyone trying to talk me out of it or disparage the process of teaching and learning held no place in my discourse. But I think it was partially for this reason that I began connecting with others on the web, initially through blogs, but then with Twitter and later Google+. These were the tools that I used to fight back against the anti-teachers and reform efforts that were targeting the de-professionalization of teaching.

    It is my sincere hope that this movement of yours continues to grow and becomes the dominant narrative for young teachers. I will do anything I can to help, but more than anything I will continue to encourage those passionate and driven children from our schools to go into teaching and to prize learning and inquiry. Again, thank you for your direction and your vision.

    P.S. This comment is a part of the #C4C15 project. Find out more here: http://learningischange.com/blog/2014/12/27/c4c15/


  2. Pingback: #C4C15: #WhyTeach: Our Chance to Push Back | Young Teachers Collective | Learning is Change

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