Tommy Chang shares his story as a six-year-old immigrant student in America, catalyzing a lifelong relationship with public education. As a teacher, a principal, a district leader, and now CEO of New Teacher Center, Tommy is driven by his personal journey and deep understanding that authentic relationships rooted in equity are critical to enable everyone in the school community, and beyond, to thrive.
It’s easy to take for granted the things that make our NTC community special.
Thanksgiving can be that gentle reminder: to pause and reflect on the extraordinary efforts and resilience of our staff, our partners, our funders, our educators, and our students. Every day, we’re coming together to disrupt the status quo of inequity facing millions of systematically underserved young people. We’re digging deep to plant sustainable roots — a teaching and learning experience that humanizes every student, educator, and American.
True to our mission, we recognize that Thanksgiving is a National Day of Mourning for indigenous communities. We lift up their identity and truth and stories, reflecting on what our intentions for a “day of gratitude” could and should be when we’re inclusive and respectful of our Native American friends, neighbors, family, and colleagues.
In our work, we know a thriving school is one where we deeply know our students and ourselves as educators. The same is true of every community we belong to. Let’s carry our work into everyday life. Pause and remember that everywhere we stand is on indigenous land — learn more about yours. Acknowledge that millions of Americans are experiencing poverty and are food insecure. Seek and privilege the stories of our underserved communities so that we might build a better, more beautiful present.
We’re grateful that our community is working to do this every day. Despite the many obstacles and rollercoaster of challenges, courage and curiosity are leading the way. We’ve been fortunate to work in tandem with each other — staff, partners, funders, educators, thought leaders, and more — to take on the systemic barriers facing our schools and students. In our commitment to build an equitable future, we experience profound appreciation for being a part of a movement. It is a tireless effort; our positive impact is only possible because of this coalition of changemakers. We honor and value you.
Our work matters. Together, we’re supporting school communities to be places of safety, learning, exploration, and limitless potential.
May your Thanksgiving be restorative, reflective, and fulfilling.
Interested in learning more? Send us a line and we'll be sure to help.
This week, NTC staff will take a much-needed pause. The journey to meet our mission requires time away to collect ourselves, and connect with gratitude for the ordinary and extraordinary. Our work is fulfilling and demanding, and along the way, that tug of urgency often pulls us away from the other things that give us light, love, joy, and life.
The board is confident in Tommy’s abilities to stand on the shoulders of those who have stood before him and continue to advance the organization’s work to disrupt the predictability of educational inequities for systemically underserved students by accelerating educator effectiveness.