A YouTube Campaign Aims to Empower Teachers

Through a new social media campaign, Use Your Teacher Voice, educator Adam Heenan wants his peers to speak up and be heard.

Can a smart social campaign convince America's educators to stand up against teacher-bashing and assert themselves in the education reform arena? That's the goal of Adam Heenan, a public school teacher from Chicago and the brains behind " Use Your Teacher Voice ," a new YouTube-based viral video campaign that launched on Monday.

"Teachers are terrible at self-advocating, and that eats away at our internal dignity," says Heenan. Since the last thing students need is a "demoralized, under-valued adult" standing in front of the classroom, Heenan wants each of the nation's 3.6 million educators to make a 30-second video using their "teacher voice"—the voice they use when they "need the attention of the class, when we claim our authority in the classroom"—and upload it to YouTube.

Heenan believes that when teachers go through the process of making their own video and watch their peers' submissions, they'll "see that there are many ways to advocate for their students, their schools, and themselves." And instead of getting the attention of an individual group of students, he hopes the nation's teachers can get the average American to think about "how many of us there are that really care about what we do, and that we know your children better than any test score can ever show."

Teachers are invited to make a video on the topic of their choosing, and the campaign "does not have a political stance" beyond encouraging educators to speak up and be heard. You can watch Heenan's inaugural video above.

photo via Use Your Teacher Voice