Previous Educator Voice Opportunity: Ambassador Program
The TeachStrong initiative was launched based on a shared understanding among its more than 60 partner organizations 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. TeachStrong 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 modernize and elevate the teaching profession.
In 2016, TeachStrong launched the Ambassador Program, which engaged exceptional educators in shaping TeachStrong’s policy positions, promoting TeachStrong in the media, and encouraging political leaders to take up this agenda. The ambassador program was a one-time, year-long program consisting of nearly 100 educators from 28 states and Washington, D.C.
What have been your organization’s biggest accomplishments while exploring educator voice work?
The TeachStrong ambassadors supported the campaign’s efforts by providing input and feedback on the drafts of eight substantive policy papers, moderating and participating in monthly Twitter chats that coincided with the publication of each policy paper, and lending their voices to this effort through the Story Project and through written word. In fact, by September of 2016, TeachStrong ambassadors and partners had helped change the conversation at the state and national level by writing 100 blogs and op-eds, placed in publications across the country, such as the Denver Post, Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel, The Hill, and the Huffington Post.
What advice do you have for other advocacy organizations thinking about engaging educators?
Our nation’s educators know firsthand what changes are needed in order to improve the systems designed to support teachers. From the beginning of the TeachStrong Ambassador Program, the ambassadors were provided examples of actionable steps for advancing the TeachStrong agenda, such as sharing the policy proposals with elected and appointed officials, participating in Twitter chats on substantive policy issues, and writing blogs and op-eds that simultaneously elevated their voices and our key messages. By cultivating and maintaining support from current classroom educators from across the United States, TeachStrong was able to grow its grassroots base and spread its message across the country. Advocacy organizations should be thinking about how to meaningfully engage educators in their work early and often, providing a wide range of options for engagement and a clear roadmap for how to advocate for the issues about which they are most passionate.
- ESSA Guidance for State Actors
- Policy Proposal: Recruitment and Diversity
- Policy Proposal: Teacher Preparation
- Policy Proposal: Licensure
- Policy Proposal: Residency and Induction
The topics below represent this member’s recent priorities, as they’ve reported through the annual PIE Network legislative and policy survey. If no priorities are listed, this member is new to the Network and/or has not yet participated in this survey. For much greater detail about all PIE Network members’ recent campaigns, members can access the PIE Network Policy Map here. If you have questions on the PIE Network legislative and policy survey or the Policy Map, contact Lukas.