NJEA, NJCU host joint event on future of education

On Monday, March 11, NJEA President Sean M. Spiller and New Jersey City University (NJCU) Interim President Andrés Acebo jointly hosted a roundtable discussion in NJCU’s Gilligan Student Union Building. Titled Teachers Rise Up: Propelling Our Profession Forward, the conversation was a result of NJEA and NJCU’s collaboration and shared goal of uplifting educators and strengthening the teaching profession.

After opening remarks from the hosts, participants took part in a lively discussion about the future of the teaching profession in New Jersey. Present at the roundtable discussion were NJCU students, faculty, and alumni who are currently teachers. Senator Angela McKnight was also present and discussed the legislative efforts to support future educators, those already in the profession, and students.

Acebo lauded the event:

“At New Jersey City University, we are proud to partner with NJEA to address the statewide teacher shortage by focusing on innovative and impactful programs with proven outcomes — of placing motivated, qualified teachers in New Jersey’s classrooms,” said Acebo. “We are moving the needle through our commitment to our Teacher Intern Program (TIP), which creates paid internships for those seeking teacher certification and hence provides experience in classrooms and additional support for students in the Hudson County community while providing a financial lifeline to many of our students. Additionally, NJCU’s Center for Teacher Preparation and Partnerships continues to offer diverse and equitable urban internship opportunities for teacher candidates within our partner school districts. Preparing future educators to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges is at the core of NJCU’s mission for nearly 100 years, and working together with NJEA, will be a focal point in driving New Jersey forward by elevating the promise of every child in every community as we mold a noble profession to finally break down historical systemic barriers to the equalizing promise of a thorough and efficient education.”

Spiller was equally upbeat about the discussion and the future of the collaboration.

“We recognize the challenges facing our profession and the urgent need for meaningful change,” said Spiller. “From reducing red-tape in the certification process to lightening the paperwork load on overworked educators to making the profession more economically sustainable, we need to act decisively to attract new educators to our public schools and to retain the talented professionals we already have. We are proud to partner with NJCU and President Acebo on our shared goal of attracting not just a larger workforce but also a more diverse workforce that better represents our state and the students we educate. Efforts like the Teacher Intern Program and the Center for Teacher Preparation and Partnerships promise to address current challenges and build a stronger foundation for the future of our New Jersey public schools.”

Photos of the event can be viewed here.