Leveraging the Momentum of Online Learning to Build the Educator Pipeline
Abstract: From teaching internationally, online, to living a remote-first lifestyle while providing instruction, the field of K-12 education is changing and presenting opportunities for more people to be interested in joining the workforce. This is our opportunity as a profession to move beyond brick-and-mortar thinking and begin examining new pathways that better align with the interests of our rising professional educators. The presenter will share diverse experiences of working with students and teachers in communities from rural Alaskan villages, to New York City, to Tanzania, and the opportunity online learning provided to engage more fully in a variety of meaningful settings as a remote educator. In the crisis that is our educator shortage, especially in areas such as special education, we must reexamine the way we have looked at traditional employment and the structures that prepare educators for those settings and give our aspiring educators the skills they need to be successful no matter how or where instruction happens. We must also be prepared to deploy, through online instruction, our talent to areas where the educator shortage crisis is most critical. In sharing our non-traditional journeys as educators and supporting diverse instructional settings in teacher training, the profession may appeal to more individuals than ever before. This is our opportunity to examine how to leverage the momentum of online learning to build the educator pipeline.