Handshake was built to democratize access to opportunity—to help people not be missed or looked over because of who they are, where they are from, or where they received their education or built their skills.
Since our last update, we’ve been heads-down collaborating with educators and content creators beyond our network to amplify our upcoming Class Act event, and elevate our commitments to drive awareness to address the school staffing shortage. Here’s a look at what we have planned:
To kick off our full day of exploring careers in education, we’re joining Rhode Island College (RIC) to present Class Act: your path to a career in education, an in-person “speed networking” event highlighting opportunities of a fulfilling career in K-12 education. Our very own Chief Education Strategy Officer, Christine Cruzvergara will co-host the event, which will include a special in-person visit from the First Lady Jill Biden, Rhode Island Governor, Daniel McKee, and First Lady, Susan McKee, an educator and alumna of Rhode Island College.
Later that afternoon, we’ll kick off our virtual event, Class Act, Why a career in education might just be right for you, moderated by Jules Terpak, and featuring a handful of influential educators, creators and leaders such as; Lauran Wolley, Travyon Thompson, Amber Shields, amd Dr. Amy Murilloto to inspire current students to see education as a potential career path by:
- Showing that K-12 education is a fun, stable and mission driven job
- Elevating the profiles and impact of real teachers
- Demonstrating the range of career paths and opportunity within K-12 education
- Tapping into the social consciousness of this generation
Our conversations with the First Lady, Ambassador Rice, Secretaries Cardona and Walsh, has helped to fuel this initiative’s mission to inspire students to explore a career in education. These efforts will help us further identify immediate and effective actions we can take to support teachers and schools this year, and beyond.
Mobilizing the next generation of Educators
The teacher labor shortage is a critical issue facing our country that impacts every sector of society. Failing to capitalize on innovation in this field puts students, our education systems, and institutions at risk of being left behind.
Today, most employers are going out to only a small subset of institutions to find candidates. For them, budget and awareness limit their access to the wider candidate pool.
“I’m from an area where we need more Black teachers, we need more teachers of color,” says Joshua Redd, a 2021 graduate of Bates College, where he secured a K-4 Summer Teaching Fellowship at Uncommon Schools. “And so for me I knew that I wanted to be in an area where I could see students that look like me and also students could have a teacher that looks like them–especially at a younger age. I wanted to be really intentional about teaching in a community that is in dire need of teachers who look like them as well.”
Aspiring teachers, like Joshua, represent the next generation of educators we need in our schools.
Economic uncertainty is motivating the class of 2023 to shift their job search strategy by not only applying to more jobs, but also a more diverse range of jobs. More importantly, they’re looking for job stability. In a recent survey of the incoming class of 2023, Handshake found that 74% of respondents said job stability would make them more likely to apply to a job, and 82% believe they can find a personally fulfilling job with their college education.
Teaching is a stable profession that allows individuals to grow, nurture, and continuously impact new cohorts of students and generations on an ongoing basis.
But investing in our education system can’t be done alone.
That’s where Handshake comes in.
Our Commitments– Evolved
In addition to our event, Class Act, Handshake is working with DonorsChose to set up donation opportunities for registrants and provide resources for early talent looking to break into education:
- DonorsChoose Donation: For each person that registers to attend the event, Handshake will donate $5 to DonorsChoose, a nonprofit organization that allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom projects, to help support students and teachers around the country.
- Resource Hub: Handshake will debut its Resource Hub, a custom portal created to connect Handshake’s community of over 10 million students and alumni—280K of which are currently majoring in education—with the thousands of K-12 school districts actively hiring on the platform.
Registration for the event is currently open and available to students via their Handshake or email accounts.