Policy Priority Area: Affirming the Profession and Dignity of Teachers


As we continue to highlight this year’s policy priority areas, we want to focus our attention on teachers. We firmly support ALL policies that affirm the profession of teaching and the dignity of teachers.

When it comes to the classroom, teachers are well-suited to offer students what they need for nurture and development – and to do so in the most ideal and strategic ways. That is because teachers are skilled and trained through hard work and dedication both in academic spaces (where they are taught pedagogy and method) and in their classrooms (where they gain a breadth of experience through teaching year after year).

Teaching is a craft and an art form that the best teachers are most apt to wield for the benefit of our children and a future that impacts us all.

Here are three policy approaches to pursue that will affirm the profession and dignity of teachers to ensure that their students can thrive.

  • It isn’t complicated. Pay the teachers. Teachers are highly educated and trained professionals who work long hours with and for their students. Pay them like it.
  • Trust teachers as subject matter experts. Empower educators to teach material and leave over-zealous parents and right-wing politicians out of the classroom.
  • Plan ahead for emergencies. When there’s a crisis, overburdened teachers are too often called on to do more with less.

Last year, we had the privilege and pleasure of sitting down for a conversation with Renee Moore – an amazing, award-winning teacher (now retired) – as she discussed the impacts of the anti-truth moment on teachers and students, reflected on organizing as an educator, and offered a few words of wisdom and encouragement to teachers and those who wish to affirm and support them. If you missed the interview, we hope you’ll take a moment to read it here.

If you have something to add on the importance of teachers or a teacher who influenced you, we encourage you to let us know in the comments!

September 12, 2023
The Expectations Project

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