Want the demographics of teachers (and administrators) in your schools to reflect the demographics of your student body? Consider these steps to develop your students into your future generation of teachers:
- Ensure you are highlighting your model teachers. Identify, support, celebrate, reward, and honor them!
- Discuss the initiative with staff and seek buy-in. Answer questions, request suggestions, generate excitement and minimize resistance.
- Collect and communicate financial supports such as scholarship, grant, and loan forgiveness. Opportunities and incentives abound!
- Share and discuss effort with parents. If they resist the idea of their child becoming a teacher, don't assume the reason why. Ask them.
- Market teaching careers to your students. What a powerful and rewarding way to impact the future!
- Share the variety of teaching subjects and roles...but be sure to highlight areas of greatest need, such as special education, science, math, and languages.
- Establish and support a co-curricular program, either developed in-house or through a pre-built program, such as Educators Rising.
- Offer job shadowing opportunities...at all schools, all grade levels, and in all subjects. Support formal student-mentor relationships.
- Recognize and regularly celebrate students' interest in (and progress toward) teaching careers.
- Support and stay in touch with former students in teacher preparation programs. Think "alumni relations"!
- Ensure strong systems for retention. Implement or improve districtwide mentorship programs, pathways to leadership, fair and equitable compensation, and identity-based literacy.
By, Tim Neubert
Tim Neubert is the Executive Director of the American Association for Employment of Education, a national non-profit based in Sycamore, Illinois. AAEE is focused on positively impacting education through professional connections, providing resources and activities for institutions and individuals involved in teacher preparation, recruitment, and retention.