Changing the Conversation About Teaching
Audience/setting: Faculty and staff at your University or within your district, reached through various activities.
Times: Variable dependent upon the nature of the activity.
Synopsis: Share facts about the teaching profession by using a suite of approaches to address the range of audiences found on college campuses and within school districts.
To change the conversation around STEM teaching, it is important to reach in-service teachers, faculty and staff. Using our tested messaging is the best way to ensure that misconceptions are directly addressed, and accurate information will be shared with other.
University Faculty & Staff
Consider some of the following ways to identify and directly reach out to individuals who might engage in a conversation about teaching:
- One-On-One Conversation: The best (and easiest) place to start having conversations with other teachers or faculty is within your department, or with your closest work friends.
- Having small, one-on-once conversations is a great way to practice using the facts. Try our conversation starters!
- Departments: Once you’re comfortable, using a department or group meeting to do a small presentation (such as the Teaching: The Best kept Secret! – 15 minute presentation, or even using our Did You Knows to discuss specific misconceptions).
- Admissions: Admissions engages in a range of activities to recruit students to the institution. Work with admissions to identify opportunities to educate their staff and advisors on the positives of the teaching profession. Possible interactions with admissions could include
- Teaching: The best kept secret! presentation for admissions recruiters
- Busting Myths About the Teaching Profession presentation for campus tour guides and/or university student ambassadors.
- Sharing of flyers, brochures, or posters to be used at events for both prospective and accepted students.
- 1-2 minute video about your program to be included with virtual materials
- Teaching centers: Many institutions have centers specifically dedicated to helping students enrolled in standard math or science majors while earning their teaching credential. These centers can help build a sense of community among those intending to be teachers, so the staff are great people to educate on the facts about teaching as a profession. Possible interactions include:
- Teaching: The best kept secret! presentation for faculty or staff
- Busting Myths About the Teaching Profession presentations or sharing of flyers, brochures, or posters with advisors (for them to use and share with students).
- Training of advisors with student-facing presentations.
- Student life events: Coordinate with the Office of Student Life to conduct:
- Teaching: the best kept secret! presentation with staff
- Busting Myths About the Teaching Profession presentation with Student Ambassadors.
- Provide posters, brochures, and flyers for distribution at their events or within their offices.
- Office of residence life: Residential Assistants (RAs) frequently support students as they are in the midst of making career-changing decisions. Sharing positive, accurate information about the teaching profession with RAs through a Busting Myths About the Teaching Profession presentation can go a long way toward changing the conversation on campus. Provide posters, brochures, and flyers for them to post in dormitory hallways.
- Career center: Conduct a Teaching: The best kept secret! presentation with Career Center staff. Provide Career Centers with posters, brochures, and flyers, and coordinate with them to send out information to students via newsletters, e-mails, events, etc.
School District Teachers & Staff
- Add a teaching strand to specialty programs/schools: This could include programs like Educators Rising or PTeach, both of which are programs built to empower the next generation of teachers.
- Put posters in your classroom: Having posters in the classroom is a great opportunity to show off GFO and makes it easy to point out. You can use pre-built ones from the Poster Page or you can make your own from the Program Template Page.
- Share facts with admins and teachers: You can talk to other admin and teachers using resources from our Presentations for Faculty Page.
- Share facts with students through a special event to celebrate the profession: Sharing with students is a great way to introduce students to the teaching profession. You can do this with help from resources on our Presentations for Students Page.
- Ask college faculty member to come share the facts: A college faculty member likely has a unique perspective on teaching and can help add to the conversation around the facts.
- Partner specifically with content teaching faculty in shortage areas like math, physics, chemistry, world languages: These faculty are often not in the college of ed so are unaware of the school district partnerships with colleges of Ed. These faculty are responsible for recruitment, advising, and retention efforts for future teachers in these subject areas.
- Share a list of your most effective teachers: This helps to encourage placements that will result in the best prepared prospective teachers and creates the most interest.
- Suggest having a local teacher share the facts with you: Having help is a great way to cover all of the facts.
Good to know
- Institutions have many ways to communicate with students. Broad-scope activities such as handing out flyers and bringing general awareness to teaching can be exhaustive but should always be balanced with smaller-scope activities to both share facts about the profession and to build relationships.
- We have found that no matter how well you advertise the existence of opportunities to become a teacher, if students, their peers, and others they look to for advice share misperceptions about the profession, most students will not pursue teaching as a career option. This is why either a Teaching: The best kept secret! presentation or a Busting Myths About the Teaching Profession presentation is critical to changing the conversation.
- Regardless of the mediums you choose to identify and invite students to the teaching profession, ensure that all activities are always focused on building a relationship with the prospective teacher.