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Will today’s students be ready and able to meet the challenges of society’s uncertain future 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.
In December 2015 the Association for Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired partnered with 14 other leading educational organizations to release a joint statement that seeks to reinforce the value and importance of the profession of teaching. With more than 200,000 educators represented, the statement expresses the belief that teachers, as change agents, have the ability to fill our communities with informed, caring and engaged citizens.
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 power to create a healthy, just and peaceful world. 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 full support of preservice and practicing educators and the teaching profession. Through the collaboration and partnering of our various organizations, we are positioned to inform decisions and reinforce the value of the teaching profession as one worthy of respect and equal status among all other professions.
Alpha Delta Kappa
American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences
The American Association of School Personnel Administrators
American Association of Teachers of German
Association for Career and Technical Education
Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired
Association of Teacher Educators
Christian Educators Association International
International Literacy Association
Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education
Music Teachers National Association
National Association of Agricultural Educators
National Business Education Association
National Council for Geographic Education
Organization of American Historians