Skip Navigation
We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, provide ads, analyze site traffic, and personalize content. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.
NEA Today for Aspiring Educators 2024 Cover

NEA Today for Aspiring Educators, 2024

In this issue, find out how NEA Aspiring Educators are taking action to end gun violence on college campuses and how you can join their efforts. Plus, learn how you can take a stand against book bans, use your talents to advocate for students and public schools, and help get out the vote for this year's pivotal 2024 presidential election.
NEA Today for Aspiring Educators 2024 Cover

Result List

Reagan Williams stands in front a building on campus
Cover Story

Are You Safe on Campus?

by: Madelaine Vikse February 14, 2024
Aspiring Educators share their harrowing experiences of gun violence on campus. Find out how they're taking action to stop the bloodshed.
Illustration of changemakers in a school breakroom, performing various activities.
Feature Article

A Field Guide to Union Advocacy

by: Summer Fitzgerald and Jelinda Montes January 25, 2024
Aspiring educators are some of our brightest change-makers, using their talents and drive to make better education ecosystems for our educators and students. What kind of change-maker are you?
Delegates to the 2023 NEA RA hold up signs saying Education Votes
Feature Article

5 Reasons Your Vote Matters

by: Aniya Greene-Santos and Amanda Litvinov January 27, 2024
Elected officials will have a hand in determining your salary, the curriculum you teach, and the books your students can read. If this matters to you, then get ready to vote!

Special Sections


From the Chair

A message from NEA’s Aspiring Educators Program Chair Sabreena Shaller

Aspiring Educators Champion Equity and Education Justice

I am honored to serve as your NEA Aspiring Educators (AE) chair and to connect with members across the country. Together, we are demanding high-quality teacher preparation programs and advocating for a safe and just education system. 

This year, AE members have organized around the need for paid student teaching, the elimination of EdTPA, and the importance of educator safety. You have used your voices and experiences to demand change and to demand that our profession become more equitable and just. As Aspiring Educators, we have made it clear to politicians, union leaders, and education stakeholders that we will continue to advocate for our students, educators, and communities until education justice is achieved for every student.  

Sabreena Shaller
NEA Aspiring Educators Chair, Sabreena Shaller Credit: NEA

‘As we gear up for a pivotal election season—at a time when educators do not receive the respect or resources they deserve—I am grounded in my values and purpose as an educator to continue seeking progress.' 

Our nation is experiencing one of the largest teacher shortages in recent history. We are also impacted by politicians who want to privatize education. This harmful strategy undermines the promise of public education—that all students, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, or ZIP code have the right to a quality education. In addition, we continue to see book bans and state laws that prevent us from teaching the truth of our nation’s history. 

As educators, our purpose is to ensure that all students have access to an accurate and complete education—one that allows them to reflect on our country’s mistakes so they can become informed and engaged citizens. 

The reality is that when educators do not receive the professional and emotional support they need to serve students, then highly qualified educators will leave the profession they love. As Aspiring Educators, it is our responsibility to stand in unity with active and retired educators to ensure that our profession is protected and respected.  

I am eager to do this work alongside the tens of thousands of Aspiring Educators who embody the values of our union. 

Together, we can transform our profession and continue to strengthen the labor movement in our pursuit of educational justice.

Becky's Journal

Dear NEA Aspiring Ed members,

I am honored to serve as your president. United, we will reclaim public education as a common good and transform it into a racially and socially just system that actually prepares every student—not one, not some, but every single student—to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world. Onward!

Becky Pringle
NEA President

“Aspiring Educators, hold on to what you must do, knowing you have with you the collective power of 3 million strong. If we hold [on], … our hearts will be filled, our souls replenished. Our resistance will be renewed, and our resolve will never be broken.” 

—Becky Pringle, at the 2023 Aspiring Educators Conference, in Orlando, Florida

Face to Face with NEA Aspiring Educators

Becky Pringle
(Left to right) Ryan Saunders, Learning Policy Institute; Demetrius Dove, NEA Aspiring Educator; Becky Pringle, NEA President; U.S. Rep Bobby Scott; U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes; Christina Grant, D.C. State Superintendent of Education; Ivory Toldson, NAACP; and Derrick Johnson, NAACP President and CEO. Credit: NEA

In September, I invited NEA Aspiring Educator Demetrius Dove, of Georgia, to join me on a special panel at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 52nd Annual Legislative Conference (right), in Washington, D.C. There, we discussed the adverse effects of the Black teacher shortage across the country. Demetrius shared how unpaid student teaching placements and attacks on the freedom to learn are barriers to the profession. 

“Students are not able to afford tuition and bills while working eight hours a day for no pay,” he said, adding that in some cases, colleges prohibit future educators from working a second job. 

Another reason: Book bans and censored history. He noted: “In Florida, where the new history standards teach that enslaved people ‘benefited from slavery,’ we have a responsibility to teach the truth that slavery was not an internship. It was an atrocity.” Well said, Demetrius!


Three Things to Do For Yourself and Your Union

  1. Plan to vote in November! The best way to make sure students have the freedom to read and learn is to make our voices heard at the ballot box. See our recommended candidates for office in your state, check your voter registration, preview your local ballot, find nearby events, and more at
  2. Looking for a banned book to read? Text BANNED to 48744 and receive a book recommendation from NEA!
  3. Sign the pledge. Commit your support for free and open access to books. Ensure that all students can find age-appropriate materials that reflect and respect their identities in their school libraries. Take action at

Find more NEA Today Stories

2023 NEA Today - Aspiring Educators cover

NEA Today for Aspiring Educators, 2023

In this issue, learn how Aspiring Educators across the country are working with their union to preserve democracy and prevent further setbacks, organizing to end unpaid student teaching placements, and growing union membership on campus chapters. Plus, find practical advice on how to go from student life to the professional world!
NEA Today January 2024 Cover

NEA Today, January 2024

On Nov. 30, 2021, Michigan high school teacher Melissa Gibbons became part of a group she never wanted to join: school shooting survivors. Melissa shares her story in the latest issue of NEA Today, as we explore the complex issue of gun violence and meet educators who are making a difference in their schools. Together, we can change this.
NEA Today Retired, January 2024

NEA Today for NEA-Retired Members, January 2024

Does your fitness routine need a makeover this year? Find your workout inspiration in this issue and meet retired educators who are taking a stand against systemic racism.

Get more from

We're here to help you succeed in your career, advocate for public school students, and stay up to date on the latest education news. Sign up to stay informed.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.