Joint Statement on the Profession of Teaching
Teachers are agents of change. With an uncertain future, where there will be more people and fewer resources and where governing equitably will be even more challenging, will today’s students be ready and able to meet those challenges as literate, creative, and critical thinkers; as wise, compassionate, and knowledgeable citizens; as workers with the skills and ability to resolve challenges within their professions? The answer to this question lies with teachers and the teaching profession. Teachers have the ability to fill our communities with informed, caring, and engaged citizens. Teachers have the capacity to inspire lifelong learning and a passion for knowledge, understanding, and innovation.
Yet, educators are struggling under the weight of increasing—and sometimes unrealistic—expectations about their role. They are expected to balance numerous national educational reform efforts such as high-stakes testing and other accountability measures, a reduction in teacher autonomy, constriction of the curriculum, and reliance on the opinions of people outside the profession. Seen in this light, interest in teaching as a career has been waning. With several years of significant decline in enrollment in teacher preparation programs and an increasing exit rate by newer teachers, teacher shortages are appearing across the country.
To fulfill our shared goal of preparing and sustaining a robust workforce of educators, the undersigned leaders of educational organizations affirm our support of preservice and practicing educators and the teaching profession. Through the collaboration and partnering of our various organizations, we are positioning ourselves to inform decisions and reinforce the value of the teaching profession as one worthy of respect and equal status among all other professions.
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