16 Jun Who’s Got Next?
Educators are in the profession of providing a service to others, which is an act of humanity that has a tremendous impact on the next generation. It takes a special person willing to dedicate time, share their passion, selflessly to ensure that children are equipped with the skills they need to navigate within society. For many of us it took one teacher who genuinely love teaching children and created a safe space that taught us to love learning and take risks. It was those wonderful memories that inspired me to become a educator, despite having a nursing degree and experience working in corporate america. After I applied to the New York City Teaching Fellows program, which was an alternative program that offers the opportunity to pursue a Master’s in Education, I started working with students who lived in low income neighborhoods with the highest needs both academically and social emotionally. My work was extremely difficult and often made me question whether I was in the right career. But my colleagues were some of the most passionate teachers who always saw hope and believed in the potential of all children despite the many challenges they faced on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, the narrative associated with education reflects the stories of hardship, exhaustion, and the pressure of test scores, which can be unappealing to possible candidates who may be the best and brightest. But within the most challenging schools there are educators whose love for what they do can be infectious because they see value of impacting the lives of children. This was evident during the Teacher Ambassador Programme hosted by the Varkey Foundation for the Top 50 Finalist of the 2016 Global Teacher Prize at the 2016. Despite the various countries and languages represented, the commonality that we all shared was our love for teaching and creating amazing spaces, regardless of the challenges, for every child to learn.
For the first time the spotlight was to highlight all the great things being done by educators around the world and creating a narrative that was in contrast to the negative perception in the media.Thanks to the popular blog ‘Humans of New York’ my story was highlighted not only to show the challenges that I have faced as principal but also the fantastic work that is being done by my staff at Mott Hall Bridges Academy. As a result there are thousands of people who follow my story and contact me on a daily basis inspired to get into education or feeling renewed to continue their work in this profession. I understand that there are dynamic people with great potential of extraordinary educators, which is why I would like to leave you some quick tips that can attract best and brightest to consider education as a future career:
- Use social media to share share the stories the journey of passionate teachers and the impact of the work.
- Outreach to colleges an universities to recruit individuals into the education profession and offer school visits that will allow these potential candidate the opportunity to experience a school community through classroom visits, teacher workshops/team meetings, and parent discussions.
- Create and share spaces where educators are celebrated, have voice, and are honored for their work.
- Identify model teachers who will be able to offer guidance and support to potential candidates.
- Let the children speak about what they need, what they have learned, and how teachers influence their lives.