We Need Diversified Educators

Legislation, Teachers & Principals | 03/09/2022

Asia Zanders
U.S. Government and Social Studies Teacher

On March 2, 2022, the House Education Committee heard House Bill 22-1220, which will remove barriers to support teacher candidates entering the workforce. The bill passed on a 8-1 vote and now will be heard in the Appropriations Committee. During the hearing educators shared their passion removing educator barriers to increase teacher diversity. We are excited to share their testimony in support of increased teacher diversity and House Bill 22-1220.

Thank you, Madam Chair and Madam Vice Chair and members of the committee. 

My name is Asia Zanders. I am a high school government and history teacher, and I am working on my master’s degree in Transformative Learning Communities. While I am speaking on behalf of Stand for Children, I am also representing all future educators in Colorado. 

Today, I am testifying in favor of House Bill 1220 because of the need to, not only, fill teaching positions necessary to enrich and prepare our children for their futures, but to fill positions with high quality and diversified educators, as well. 

Every year there have been bills created to reduce teacher shortages and recruit educators and counselors, yet every time there seems to be a failure in fulfilling what is truly needed to support that mission. While there are many factors that contribute to the shortage, we must approach the problem from various perspectives.  

Consider the positive impact financial assistance could have on educators in prep programs.  

Reducing the financial barriers to initial licensure like: paying for teacher competency exams and paying student teachers reduces the time they may take in training and possibly dropping out because they are too overwhelmed with working multiple jobs and teaching, among other life impacts. 

We are talking about removing barriers to accessing a job that requires passion and consideration of the student. Therefore, we must remove the arbitrary rules that prevent diversifying the educator workforce. 

Why aren’t we allowing teachers to show their competency in another manner? Some of my students have ADHD and other learning differences, so I allow my students to present their knowledge of the subject in the manner they choose because we all learn and portray our learning in different ways- and it works! It encourages deeper engagement with the subject and a different way of presenting it. 

This generation of educators are bound to be dedicated to their profession due to their experiences with the uncertainties of COVID. Show them your support with House Bill 1220 in removing barriers to educator preparation. 

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