Supporting Innovation in the Teacher Pipeline with AAEE
Collaborating for change can be a powerful force in driving innovation and progress, two important factors at the core of BenchK12’s mission. This is why we have forged strategic partnerships with a variety of companies since our inception who share our mission to solve educator shortages and ensure that we do a better job of retaining educators by valuing them meaningfully.
Working together towards a common goal, while leveraging and supporting the strengths of individuals or organizations, helps us all to achieve more timely and sustainable change that may not have been possible otherwise. Too often, especially, in the private sector going-it-alone is often seen as a requirement to keep your competitive edge.
However, at BenchK12, we can only be successful as a company if we are successful in transforming the future of work for the K12 educators we seek to serve and that mission takes a village.
We are, therefore, excited to highlight our partnerships in our “Collaborating for Change” Blog Series, with the goal to raise awareness about the work we are doing with some amazing partners in education and technology.
American Association for Employment in Education
Our first featured partner, the American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE), is also one of our newest. BenchK12 joined forces with AAEE to sponsor their 2022-2023 Pipeline Mini-Grant Program. The program supports innovative projects aimed at addressing the K12 teacher pipeline and launched in November 2022. In February 2023, six awardees were selected — four school districts and two non-profit organizations:
The mini-grant program was open to school districts, and for the first time, non-profit organizations in the United States implementing or expanding initiatives focused on attracting and supporting more individuals into teaching careers. Each awardee received $300 to fund their submitted project along with a one-year AAEE membership valued at $220.
As the teacher shortage continues to disrupt learning nationwide, we knew this program was a worthwhile investment that aligned perfectly with BenchK12’s commitment to change the future of work for K12 educators. While times are increasingly challenging in the education sector, there are still many bright spots and working with AAEE allowed us to help shine a light on a few of them.
These funds provide a much-needed morale, publicity, and focus to the work of the grantees. Lucy Sanchez, Career and Technical Education (CTE) Specialist and Lead Program Developer for Round Rock ISD’s project, stated “While gaining $300 more towards materials is greatly appreciated, that isn’t the true benefit of this mini grant. Getting the funds is the easiest part. The benefit of any grant is that it requires documentation and accountability. This grant, and attention we may get as a result, keeps us on track, determined, with no option to fail.”
The Pipeline Mini-Grant Program demonstrates the importance of investing in education and providing opportunities for new ideas to shine — even at smaller dollar amounts, educators appreciate the support and know how to make a dollar go a long way to drive impact.
The projects supported by this partnership have the potential to make a real difference in the lives of students and educators, while increasing awareness about the importance of recruiting and supporting diverse, high-quality teachers, and ultimately strengthening our education system for future generations.
Do you want to join BenchK12 in leveraging the power of collaboration to ensure every classroom has a great teacher who feels supported and valued? You can start by investing as little as $100 in our community round live on WeFunder now!