Equity & Access

Sonia Nieto Explores What Sustains Teachers


Sonia Nieto, a leading authority in bilingual and multicultural education, delivered this moving address, at an NWP Spring Meeting, about the "What Keeps Teachers Going" Project and teaching in the current socio-political context in general. Exploring the question of what sustains teachers in challenging situations and discussing the implications for professional development, Nieto encourages us to move beyond the "how and what" in professional development in order to explore the our relationships with students and the  larger and more lasting question of "why." Listen. An inspirational speech that reminds teachers what brought them to the National Writing Project in the first place and what has kept them engaged since.

Listen to the Speech

Duration: 1 hour 9 minutes


Sonia Nieto on rethinking professional development:

I think we need to rethink professional development and change the culture of teacher preparation. We need to shift it from a focus on what and how to questions of why…. This means teaching prospective teachers and practicing teachers more about the students they teach. They need to know who their students are, and often they don’t know about them. We need to be serious about recruiting a more diverse teaching force, because the more diverse the teaching force, the more voices get heard in these conversations.


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