Why Today’s Educators Are So Much More Than #JustaTeacher

Personal Learning Networks

Why Today’s Educators Are So Much More Than #JustaTeacher

By Emma Scripps     May 7, 2018

Why Today’s Educators Are So Much More Than #JustaTeacher

“Oh, I’m just a teacher,” I heard Jazmin say when it was her turn to introduce herself. In fact, she was the only teacher in the room amongst a group of nonprofit leaders, principals and investors who had convened that day to discuss how to create change in schools.

Jazmin had one of the most valuable perspectives in the room, but still she was more than modest when presenting her profession. This disparaging remark is something I often hear in my work at The Teachers Guild, a professional learning community for teachers to create change for and from their classrooms, incubated within IDEO. And yet we know firsthand that teachers are never #justateacher.

The fact that teachers can change the course of a student’s life is something that many of us understand on a personal level. Most of us have memories of teachers who we love, ones who have helped us see a path forward, believe in ourselves, and achieve new things. Anecdotes aside, there is also a lot of research on the transformative power of effective teaching. In fact, studies suggest that teachers matter more to student achievement than any other aspect of schooling. That’s why an investment in teachers is an outsized investment on student learning.

At The Teachers Guild, we have the privilege of working side-by-side with teachers, witnessing this impact firsthand. We see them expand what is possible for students today—integrating new technologies, leading the shift to personalized learning, and navigating the divisiveness of today’s time by creating welcoming, equity-driven classrooms. We watch as they dip into their own pockets to pay for supplies so that their students don’t have to go without, and we marvel at the change they enact for their communities and the country at large. In a time of both great innovation and also deep social and political divides, teachers are the frontlines, helping students manage enormous complexity.

So on this Teacher Appreciation Day, we’re shining a light on all that teachers do to build a better future for our youth by flipping #JustaTeacher on its head. From being our students’ first responders, to creating future makers, to teaching sex-ed, all in the same breath they use to deconstruct the structure of a sonnet, our teachers are unsung heroes.

Join this movement by sharing the real roles and impact of teachers with the hashtag #JustaTeacher. And learn more about why this campaign matters to us at The Teachers Guild here. Help us celebrate all that teachers do, everyday.

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