Aspiring & Early Career Educators

Aspiring & Early Career Educators

MEA has two groups dedicated to supporting educators as they enter the profession: Aspiring Educators of Michigan (AEM) and Michigan New Educators (MiNE).

2022-2023 AEM Elections


About AEM

The Aspiring Educators of Michigan (AEM) is a preprofessional organization for people preparing for the teaching profession in any of the higher education institutions in Michigan and who are not regularly employed as educators by an educational institution or agency. Local chapters at Michigan campuses improve networking amongst aspiring educators and expose members to professional learning opportunities and service projects that help prepare college students for fulfilling careers in education.  Learn more at www.mea.org/aem.

About MiNE

Early career educators need connection and support to thrive in the job—which is the basis of a new MEA initiative starting a three-year rollout. The Michigan New Educators program, known as MiNE, aims to build community around new educators across the state to reduce attrition and empower the next generation of union leaders.  The group facilitates networking among early career educators, including a podcast, a series of “2 Minute Teacher Tips, and more.  Learn more at www.mea.org/mine.

Aspiring & Early Career Educators News

Applications to open for brand new Fellowships for Future Educators, Stipends for Student Teachers

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced today that applications for $10,000 scholarships for up to 2,500 future Michigan educators and $9,600 payments for student teachers will open on Monday, Oct. 31. The innovative programs, included in the state education budget signed by Whitmer in July, aim to lower the cost of higher education so the state can train and hire more qualified…

Learn more about new Future Educator Fellowship

The MI Future Educator Fellowship — a groundbreaking new program to provide $10,000 scholarships to 2,500 future educators in Michigan every year — is not open for applications yet. But the state has put out a new FAQ and a sign-up form to be notified when the application opens. To be eligible, students must file a Free Application for Federal…

More districts start programs enticing students to teach

School districts are taking advantage of state grants, creating new high school courses, and developing partnerships with colleges and universities to address the educator shortage by exposing students to career opportunities in the profession before they reach college. The growth of courses and programs for high schoolers reflects heightened concerns around far fewer young people pursuing education careers as active…

A True Grow-Your-Own Success Story

Kristin Crane is a busy wife, mom of four, AEM member, and brand new teacher. She also exemplifies resilience and dedication to public education. She knows the difference that educators make for their students and communities every day. Crane has worked in Gibraltar School District as a paraprofessional and long‑term substitute teacher. Often teachers leave very simple plans for substitute teachers. This…

A Lesson on the Educator Shortage

Katie Hillyard tried not to be an educator. As a teen, the MEA member didn’t want to be just like her parents – both music teachers in the Grand Rapids area who are now retired. But when it became clear in college she was drawn to the profession, Hillyard followed her calling and today is finishing her ninth year in…

Aspiring Educators of Michigan Promote Advocacy and Literacy

A group from MEA’s Aspiring Educators of Michigan (AEM) designed a multi-layered project for March is Reading Month that gave children from several elementary classrooms across the state a window into another culture, which in turn helped them look more closely at their own communities. Aryana Jharia Members of the AEM Social Justice Committee designed the project to value children’s…

State Super to Aspiring Educators: ‘Make Your Voices Heard’

Next January 8 will mark 20 years since President George W. Bush signed No Child Left Behind (NCLB) – federal legislation that ushered in a destructive era of high-stakes standardized testing and so-called “accountability” for educators and public schools. Michigan State Superintendent Michael Rice noted the upcoming anniversary during a wide-ranging, hour-long virtual chat last week with Aspiring Educators of…

The Future is Now: Weathering the Political Storm

From granting collective bargaining rights to deciding how much money is spent for students, public education is an inherently political profession, but educators are often missing from policy discussions and decisions.  Research has shown this lack of respect for educators’ expertise and professionalism is a big factor driving the educator shortage. Our next generation of leaders refuses to let that…

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