While lawmakers on Capitol Hill continue to debate teacher evaluation and preparedness, several potential educators are hitting the road — instead of books — as part of a month-long road trip to find inspiration.
The TEACH Roadtrip, which is sponsored by Participant Media and Roadtrip Nation, follows three twenty-something students as they travel from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., stopping along the way to interview teachers, activists, lawmakers and entrepreneurs who are shaping the education field.
Over the next 10 years, America will need to replace the 1.6 million teachers expected to enter retirement, according to the U.S. Department of Education. But in order to do that, future educators need to see past the exhaustive debates that plague the education space. And that’s exactly why Rafael Silva, Nadia Bercovich, and Grace Worm are looking for affirmation as they contemplate heading into education.
Inspired by Davis Guggenheim’s documentary, TEACH (which airs on Pivot TV this fall), the group will travel 4,000 miles to spotlight influential leaders like Robert Florio, a veteran and special education teacher with Troops to Teachers; Kelly Meyer, creator of American Heart Association’s Teaching Gardens; and Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago.
Along the way, Bercovich, Silva and Grace hope to glean insight to inspire themselves, as well as the next generation of teachers.
“Every person has a responsibility to teach,” Worm says, “by being part of a world that kids can look to and learn from and, with our help, make it better.”
Worm graduated from the University of Texas at Austin this past summer and is hoping the journey will bridge her transition into a teaching role. Bercovich, who was born in Argentina, has spent the past year backpacking South America and teaching a combination of English, yoga and art therapy. She hopes to meet education innovators to inspire her goal to teach creatively.
University of California at Los Angeles junior Silva has been working toward a career in medicine. But he’s more interested in teaching and is looking to the road trip to convince him.
“I care about education because I have received such a great one, and it has made me who I am today,” Silva says. “I want to make sure other people have the opportunity to go through the same experience I did.”
Their journey may end on September 6 in the nation’s capital, but their potential to shape education is just starting.