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NEA Today for Aspiring Educators 2020

In this issue, discover the ways your union can serve as a support system and meet aspiring educators who are organizing on college campuses. Plus, find short-and-sweet explainers to help you navigate your transition from student life to the professional world.
NEA Today for Aspiring Educators
Published: January 1, 2020

COVER: Together, We Can

From student teaching to your first full-time job as an educator, and beyond, NEA is a support system, professional network, and go-to place for career advice and growth. Discover the many ways your union is advocating for you and your students.


Who’s Going to Rock the 2020 Elections?
Aspiring educators are organizing on college campuses nationwide to elect pro-public education candidates in 2020. Meet four future educators who are making their voices heard—loud and clear!

Five NEA Explainers
Want to know how to pass your edTPA, improve your teaching practice, or tackle your student debt? These short- and-sweet explainers will help you navigate your transition from student life to the professional world.

  1. Advice on how to strengthen your campus chapter
  2. Quick tips on relationship-building to recruit fellow future educators
  3. Your road map to edTPA success
  4. How to support students with trauma
  5. A tool to help reduce your student loan debt and a national look at this topic, by the numbers

Why Are So Many Aspiring Educators Wearing Red Shirts?
These aspiring educators are #RedForEd—they have joined thousands of educators in protesting for better pay and more funding for public schools. Find out how you can join them!

When a Bake Sale Isn’t Enough
An industrious teacher in a crumbling classroom crowdfunds money for an extreme classroom makeover. Learn how you can raise funds for your school, too.

Special Sections

(Life) Lessons Learned in the Classroom
Retired Oregon educator Susie Garrison learned a few things in her 30 years as a teacher. Here she shares tips for new educators—for life inside and outside the classroom.

Don’t Junk Your Old School Bus, Repurpose It!
“Shorty” the school bus got a high-tech face-lift— complete with LED lighting, flat-screen video monitors, and hardwood floors— thanks to the ingenuity of the Birmingham City Schools Transportation Shop and career technology students.

Twenty Years of Giving Back
Winners of the Jack Kinnaman Memorial Scholarship share how the award has advanced their education.

The Cancer of Institutionalized Racism
Aspiring educators are digging deep to build a future that rejects our nation’s legacy of inequality.


From the Chair
When we see a chance to speak out, we take it.

Lily's Blackboard: The Union Makes Us Stronger
Every member’s story is unique and deeply personal, but our shared calling connects us to each other and makes our union strong.

Are you an affiliate?

Jump to updates, opportunities, and resources for NEA state and local affiliates.
students participate in Black Lives Matter demonstration

Protecting Democracy

Check out the 2023 issue of the Aspiring Educator magazine to learn how future educators 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!
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.