Home > Press Releases & Statements > AACTE Celebrates Educators During National Teacher Appreciation Week
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On behalf of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), President and CEO Lynn M. Gangone issued the following statement to celebrate educators during National Teacher Appreciation Week:
“One of the most pervasive truths in American public education is that great teachers transform lives. COVID-19 illuminated the vital role teachers play in our communities. As parents struggled to balance work, supervise virtual classrooms, and co-educate their children, a new awareness and appreciation arose for the influence, importance, and value of teachers. Educators across America have learned new technologies, created innovative ways to reach students online, and, above all, kept education moving forward. As we celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week, AACTE thanks these critical front-line workers for their adaptability, ingenuity, and dedication and recognizes the difficult circumstances they face in returning to the classroom.
Teachers are essential in shaping and ensuring the future of our democracy. The shift from in-person instruction to online learning exacerbated complicated issues and inequities, including a widening digital divide and equitable access to high quality teachers. We know that highly effective and qualified teachers change the trajectory of their students, regardless of their backgrounds. In fact, data shows that teachers with content and pedagogical expertise are better prepared to successfully engage students in the learning process. We must work to transform educational systems and practices to better serve all learners, ensuring social justice and equity for all students—especially students of color, those with disabilities, immigrant students, and LGBTQIA+ students.
As schools across the country face teacher shortages, this week’s celebration conveys an important message that teachers matter. Prior to the pandemic, American schools needed an estimated 100,000 additional certified teachers. Additionally, teachers without full qualifications disproportionately serve students of color and students with disabilities, posing a significant equity challenge. With so much at stake, we must maintain high expectations for quality teaching—and that begins with the preparation of educators. AACTE and its members remain committed to advancing educator preparation and working to revolutionize U.S. educational systems and practices to better serve all learners across America.”
AACTE: The Leading Voice on Educator Preparation
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education is a national alliance of educator preparation programs and partners dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures educators are profession-ready as they enter the classroom. Nearly 700 members include public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Through advocacy and capacity building, AACTE promotes innovation and effective practices that strengthen educator preparation. Learn more at www.aacte.org.