Labor Voices: Mentoring, professional support essential for educator retention

Michigan kids deserve the best and brightest educators. That seems like an uncontroversial statement, yet in the face of an educator shortage, some lawmakers have proposed significantly lowering our state’s teacher certification standards and making it easier for unqualified people to lead a classroom of young students. The last thing our state’s leaders should be […]

MI Educator talks with U.S. Ed Secretary, White House Advisors: ‘I am hopeful about public education’

Theresann Pyrett, president of the West Ottawa Education Association, traveled to Washington D.C. in late April to speak with the Biden Administration about the positive impact federal school rescue funds have had on her school district and ways in which Michigan educators need continued support. Pyrett is among a handful of educators from across the […]

Member Spotlight: Julie Tolfree

Every school should have a Julie Tolfree, a veteran teacher-turned-behavior-specialist who supports both students and staff at Bridgeport-Spaulding Middle School in Saginaw, her colleagues say. Tolfree extends a safe space to talk, help with physical needs – food or clothing, for example – and time to regroup from a difficult moment. She operates whole-school systems […]

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 […]

MEA Survey Points to Educator Concerns

In February, MEA released a statewide survey of nearly 2,600 educators, with the vast majority of those surveyed saying the state’s acute educator shortage and its impact on students is the most pressing issue facing Michigan schools. Ninety-one percent of respondents said they were extremely or very concerned about the educator shortage, followed by concerns […]