Welcome to the Fall 2016/Winter 2017 issue of Kaleidoscope: Educator Voices and Perspectives.

Welcome to the new issue of Kaleidoscope: Educator Voices and Perspectives. We’ve spent the past few months newly at the helm of this incredible venture, steadied by KSTF’s shared vision to make public the work of teaching and learning that happens in our nation’s educational institutions every day.

Our new editorial staff has worked relentlessly to encourage teachers to write. Members of the staff shared our own reflections on the importance of teacher voice on the Knowles blog. We revisited the Kaleidoscope mission of giving teachers’ voices a megaphone and opened the journal to more varied and colorful stories, ideas, reflections, and information.

As this process continues, we find ourselves contemplating the immensity and variety of pressures teachers face, both individually and as a profession. In this issue alone, our authors grapple with how to

  • process “great teacher” stereotypes,
  • reach students of differing languages and cultures,
  • address disparity between the training that is provided to teachers and the training they need and deserve,
  • overcome the often-crushing feelings of inadequacy and isolation teachers experience,
  • prepare students for complex information both in and out of the classroom, and
  • prepare themselves financially for the future.

These pressures create a heavy load, especially when experienced alone.

The narratives of this issue of Kaleidoscope will leave you in awe of the bravery, compassion, and wisdom of those in our profession and help us shape our nation’s discourse about education. Equally important, we hope our authors’ voices show you that they—and you—are not alone. In the act of collecting and publishing stories of teaching, we hope to overcome the isolation and frustration we can often feel in our profession.

The experiences in this issue compel empathy; if we ourselves have not been in an author’s shoes, we certainly can imagine it. In turn, these experiences become another piece of our practice. They inform, they shape. Then these stories can be shared with other educators to inform, to shape. And we are all no longer struggling alone.

Lastly, we would like to thank Dina Portnoy, who started this grand idea for a journal written and edited by KSTF Fellows. We hope to continue to carry on her vision of a safe and welcoming place for teachers to share their voices.

Kate Blaske

Kirstin Milks