Arizona Education Association

Winter 2013

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IN DEPTH LOOK IN DEPTH LOOK IN DEPTH Eden Lewkowitz and LOOK Amber Gould knock on doors and engage IN DEPTH members as part of an LOOK organizing conference in New Orleans. IN DEPTH LOOK Engaging and Empowering Young Educators IN DEPTH LOOK IN DEPTH LOOK IN DEPTH members of their professional association – This past summer, Eden Lewkowitz and LOOK Millennials. In this article, you will meet some Amber Gould walked and knocked on doors in IN DEPTH of the faces of this new generation of educators the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, an area and learn about their expectations and hit hard by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that went LOOK challenges. from 17 schools to just one overnight. IN DEPTH "We approached community members to ask how they could support their local schools," LOOK Who Are the Millennials? said Gould, an English teacher at Greenway Millennials are the generation of Americans IN DEPTH High School in Glendale. "In a community born after 1980 and in many ways they are not where such devastation had occurred, it was LOOK much different from other generations, but if amazing to see the positive response and you ask any of them what sets them apart, they IN DEPTH support for public education. So many people all have one answer: Technology. were more than willing to offer support and all LOOK "We're the first generation to grow up in it took was a conversation." the computer age, always connected to the IN DEPTH During their neighborhood canvass, the two Internet," says Lewkowitz, who is in his second Arizona educators asked potential members LOOK year teaching at Magnet Traditional School in to join the Association, current members to be Phoenix. "I think it is our nature to use new IN DEPTH more involved, and community members to technology and incorporate that support their public schools, as part of a threeLOOK into learning." week NEA organizing conference focused on According to the Pew Research "We're theIN DEPTH first generation membership engagement. Center, Millennials are the first to grow up in the "It was an excellent experience and I'm so LOOK "always connected" generation, Meet the New Generation of Educators glad I went," said Lewkowitz, a 7th- and 8thgrade science teacher. "I learned about putting into practice the concepts of organizing and engaging people about issues. I also learned about other locals across the nation and that we all share the same problems and concerns about our evaluations, Common Core, and the future of public education." As vice president of Phoenix Elementary CTA, he is excited to bring back the lessons from his experience in New Orleans to help his local association engage with current and potential members. Lewkowitz and Gould represent a growing segment of educators in the classroom and Winter.13advo.indd 19 computer age, always with more than eight-in-ten saying they sleep with a cell phone by connected to the Internet." their bed, ready to respond to —Eden Lewkowitz texts, emails, pokes, or even phone calls. Over 75 percent of those under the age of 30 have created a profile on a social networking site and one-in-five have posted a video of themselves online. While this is the first generation that has experienced both aspects of Smart Board technology in the classroom, as the student and as the teacher, they are also the legacy of Continued on next page AEA Advocate x Winter 2013/14 19 11/4/13 3:23 PM

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