The TeachStrong campaign brings together teachers unions, teacher voice organizations, and education reform, civil rights, and education policy leaders to make modernizing and elevating the teaching profession the top education policy issue of 2016.
Chicago, New Hampshire, and Indianapolis educators tell their stories in the first installment of the TeachStrong Story Project.
Washington, D.C. — TeachStrong ambassadors are discussing their experiences inside and outside of the classroom in videos and over social media as part of the TeachStrong Story Project. The TeachStrong campaign is a coalition of 59 leading education groups aimed at making modernizing and elevating the teaching profession the top education policy priority in 2016. Today, the coalition launched its story project, a new social media series featuring exceptional educators from around the country.
The TeachStrong Story Project will include a collection of short videos, longer compilations, and shareable content featuring the TeachStrong ambassadors, a group of nearly 100 educators from 27 states and Washington, D.C. As ambassadors, these exceptional educators advise the TeachStrong coalition on teacher pipeline policies and serve as activists and spokespeople for TeachStrong in their local communities.
The program ranges from first-year teachers to 30-year veterans of the profession, as well as principals, deans, school librarians, union chapter leaders, innovators, school founders, and curriculum and instruction experts. Ambassadors were nominated by TeachStrong partner organizations and were selected to participate in the program based on their demonstrated commitment to the campaign’s principles and goals.
“At the heart of the TeachStrong initiative, there are exceptional teachers with incredible stories about how they came to the classroom, what motivates them to work so hard each and every day, and why the nation needs a conversation about how to better support teachers,” said Catherine Brown, Vice President of Education Policy for the Center for American Progress. “As policymakers hear these stories, we will build the momentum we need to create the types of systemic changes necessary to improve the teaching profession.”
The first installment of the TeachStrong Story Project features Chicago Public Schools Principal Rob Croston; Heidi Welch, a high school music teacher and the 2013 New Hampshire teacher of the year; and Thomas Hakim, an eighth-grade math teacher and math department chair from Indianapolis. These ambassadors explain their support for the TeachStrong campaign and the need to invest in and develop the nine principles, which aim to better recruit, prepare, support, and compensate teachers through all stages of their careers. The TeachStrong Story Project will be featured across various media platforms of the TeachStrong campaign and members of the TeachStrong coalition.
About the TeachStrong Ambassador Program
The TeachStrong initiative was launched based on a shared understanding among its partners that the expectations on students, teachers, and schools have never been higher, but the systems to prepare, support, and compensate teachers have not been elevated commensurately. The coalition aims to elevate the prominence of this issue among thought leaders, the public, and especially parents and teachers to offer concrete policy solutions about how to elevate and modernize the teaching profession. This effort will not be successful without educators. They know firsthand the challenges that they face every day in their classrooms, and they have unique insight into the likely efficacy of potential solutions.
The TeachStrong Ambassador Program is an opportunity for educators from across the United States to enrich this important effort with their experiences and expertise. Ultimately, ambassadors will have a critical role in shaping TeachStrong’s policy positions, engaging others in this effort through traditional and social media, and calling on political leaders to take up this agenda.
Launched in November 2015, the TeachStrong campaign has quickly grown from 40 organizations to 59. These groups have coalesced around nine key principles that aim to make modernizing and elevating the teaching profession the top education priority of 2016 and beyond.
More information about the campaign can be found at teachstrong.org.
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