Can Young Teachers be Leaders/Advocates?

 

One obstacle I feel that I keep having to face in my education classes is how I can make any sort of difference in education, when I have no experience. I have no professional teaching to draw my authority from or even a complete education myself. It seems that professors are always asking me how I will change education and make it better, when I haven’t the slightest idea. It was just two years ago that I was experiencing the public education system for myself. So my limited experience and narrow scope of understanding certainly begs the question, can young teachers be teacher leaders and advocates in the profession right off the bat?

 

My inhibitions beckon me to say no. Of course not. We have no experience, no wisdom, no personal anecdotes to include in our grand impetuses for action. We are children in an adult’s world attempting to walk in shoes much too big for our feet, clunking around awkwardly through a profession we barely know.

 

My pride, however, along with a fierce belief in ingenuity and change implore me to say the opposite. My belief in my own generation and my own convictions surrounding the role and value of education as one of the sole apparatuses enabling us to have any hope of amending the bleak outlook of our future, beseech me to say that if young teachers cannot be teacher leaders or advocates then all is lost.

 

We “young” teachers, whom veteran teachers scoff at as a reckless generation reliant upon technology, self-absorption, and idleness, are the only force to stand against the onslaught of widespread ignorance and failure. For this reason we “young” teachers have no choice in the matter. The movement must start promptly as we gain entrance to the field. We must be leaders for change and dissemination of information. We must be advocates for the infinite spectrum of identity that runs through our classroom in a continuum of diverse and changing situations.

 

Education is no stationary target. It’s not a fish in a barrel, or a black and white picture. It is an ever-evolving amorphous entity to which we must adapt every single day. So to be a leader or an advocate as a “young” teacher, we need only ask ourselves, what needs to be different today? With a severe lack of experience our only hope is to hold fast to our beliefs in the abilities of education to shape the future, and to approach this capacity humbly and with receptiveness to the needs of the generations to come. And of course to ask the professors imparting their experience and wisdom upon us, to do the same.

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One thought on “Can Young Teachers be Leaders/Advocates?

  1. “We “young” teachers, whom veteran teachers scoff at as a reckless generation reliant upon technology, self-absorption, and idleness, are the only force to stand against the onslaught of widespread ignorance and failure.

    Wow, you tell it like it is, sister! I love that. You know, I think you’ve already proven that you can be an advocate for the profession through your blog posts. You’re an articulate soon-to-be educator with passionate, well-founded opinions. All of us professors (and the general public for that matter!) need the reminders that you provide.

    In the meantime, two simple ways to engage in advocacy at this stage in your career are as follows:

    1. Check out this website that Kaitlyn found–The Young Teachers Collective: https://youngteacherscollective.org/

    2. Join NCTE@CSU next semester! I’m the sponsor, and I’d like to make teacher advocacy a part of the program. Your experience would help!

    Like

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