Newswise — As the end of the school year draws near, we want to acknowledge the incredible creativity, resilience, and hard work of educators this year. It has been a time like no other. Educators have experienced enormous stress and strain to adapt to constantly changing contexts amid concerns about their own health and the health of their students. Educators have also been challenged by the existing and ever increasing inequities between privileged and historically marginalized students in U.S. schools that the pandemic has underscored. These long-standing inequities have exacerbated the challenges teachers have had to manage this year, and have impacted the resources available to them in pivoting to pandemic teaching, as well as the conditions that their students and families are navigating.
Educators have been our first responders, offering support to students and their families, finding ways to create opportunities for teaching and learning virtually, managing complex hybrid schedules, even as many themselves were teaching their own children, caretaking for parents and others, and trying to manage the uncertainty and stress of pandemic life. Many educators have faced the realities of unequal schooling resources with determination, advocating for students and families in the face of great challenge.
As a community of education researchers, we recognize the weight and importance of this hard work and sacrifice. This coming week is Teacher Appreciation Week, an opportune moment to offer thanks for the tough work of teaching in these unprecedented times and to redouble our commitment to utilizing our work and voice as an education research community to gathering evidence that informs how education does and should function in a democratic society.
As education scholars, we commit to continuing to study the work of K-12 educators and those who work with them – district administrators, principals, counselors, teacher educators – throughout the pandemic and beyond. This includes scholarship that is committed to understanding and bringing evidence to bear on the critical issues of educational inequality to support optimal professional contexts for teachers, and transformative teaching and learning for all students. We commit to sharing empirical evidence, as well as working in partnership with teachers, schools, and districts to help create the conditions that enable educators and children and youth to flourish now and for the future.
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Find AERA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.