Skip to Content

Research & Tools

Beginning Teacher Salaries
Here are state-by-state statistics for survival.

Core Values
The NEA Aspiring Educators Foundations – Teacher Quality, Community Outreach, and Political Action – are the underlying areas of focus that direct Aspiring Educator activities.  It is in these areas that our members and affiliates sponsor programs, educate on issues, and affect change.

Aspiring Educators Handbook for Local Leaders
You'll find recruitment strategies, project ideas, and tips for conducting effective meetings. Additionally, you'll find sample agendas, letters, and even a sample constitution.

Seven Steps to an Effective Chapter Web Site
Today's college students are technology savvy and turn to the Internet first for information. States with a strong Internet presence for their Aspiring Educators are well positioned to attract new members.

Make It Happen: A Student's Guide
Here at NEA we get thousands of letters asking about teaching as a career. We get letters from eighth-graders as well as college graduates. We have developed a brochure to answer most of the common questions people have about preparing to become a teacher.

State Association Resources for New Teachers:

New Teacher Tips

Works4Me: Whether you’re looking for strategies to keep your students on task or just get yourself organized, NEA’s Works4Me program has the answer. The online library includes more than 400 tips, submitted by fellow educators, offering practical solutions to just about any classroom issue. Be sure to join the mailing list to receive new tips by e-mail each week.

Teachers Network: Teachers Network is a nationwide, nonprofit education organization that identifies and connects innovative teachers exemplifying professionalism and creativity within the public schools. The Web site includes lesson plans, online professional development courses, and information about grants and videos available to teachers. Don’t miss the “Daily Classroom Specials,” which feature project ideas, tips for working with parents, and special advice for new and substitute teachers.

Survival Guide for New Teachers:The U.S. Department of Education brings together the reflections of award-winning first-year teachers in this handy online guide for beginning educators. The guide focuses on teachers’ relationships with their colleagues, university professors, and students’ parents, all of which play crucial roles in their success on the job.

First Years: This Web site, started and maintained by two veteran educators, offers classroom activities, sample letters to parents, tips for classroom management, subject-specific lesson plans, and free classroom posters and school clip art. Visitors can join an e-mail listserv for student and beginning teachers as well.

Yes I Teach: This site, maintained by the Florida Education Association, offers lesson plans, articles on students with special needs, classroom management tips, message boards, and even a little bit of humor for teachers of all levels. Users can submit stories and ideas of their own to the site and link to other useful Web resources.

Education World: Tips for interviews, lesson plans, technology integration,professional development, and educator issues are just some of the topics covered on the Education World Web site. You’ll also find information on communicating with parents,managing your finances, and even handling holidays in the classroom. Don’t miss the icebreaker suggestions and sample worksheets and handouts. is all about peer support and there are plenty of offerings for new teachers. Have a burning question you need answered? Go to the Beginning Teachers chatboard. Need inspiration on how to engage kids with a particular topic? Browse the database of more than 3,500 free lesson plans, collected since the Web site’s inception 11 years ago. You can connect with other new teachers in your subject area or grade level and get in on live chats.

Community Outreach

NEA’s Read Across America: Celebrate literacy all yearlong with NEA’s Read Across America Web site. You’ll find tips and project ideas for the annual event, free posters and bookmarks to download and print, lists of popular books, and information and resources from NEA’s partners. Be sure to sign up for the monthly e-mail newsletter to receive the latest updates on literacy issues and special discounts on members-only merchandise.

Learn and Serve: Learn and Serve America provides grants to community-oriented school projects. The program helps nearly one million students, from kindergarten through college, meet community needs, while they improve their academic skills and learn the habits of good citizenship. Recipients use the grants to create new programs or replicate existing ones and to train staff, faculty, and volunteers. For more, call 202-606-5000 or visit the Web site.

National Youth Leadership Council : The NYLC promotes service-learning through youth camps, conferences, exchanges, forums, and awards. The Council supports projects that integrate community service with academic curricula and oversees the National Service-Learning Exchange, which connects community service student organizations with 450 volunteer peer mentors with experience on service-learning projects. Visit the NYLC Web site or go directly to the National Service-Learning Exchange.

Special Education

NEA’s IDEA Web site: Stop by NEA’s site on special education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act for current research, updates on IDEA legislation, and resources for educators working with students with disabilities.

Council for Exceptional Children: The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) works with students with disabilities and the gifted. The organization advocates for sound government policies and offers opportunities for professional development to special education teachers.

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services:The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) supports special education programs for children, youth, and adults. OSERS also conducts research and publishes information on issues related to special education.

National Clearinghouse for Professions in Special Education:NCPS gathers, organizes, and disseminates information for recruiting, preparing, and retaining individuals interested in serving children with disabilities. The Web site includes information on financial aid available to aspiring special educators, research and statistics on students with special needs, and resources for job seekers.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities : The center provides a variety of resources on disabilities and disability-related issues for families, educators, and other professionals. The Web site includes information on programs and services for infants, children, and youth with disabilities; IDEA; the No Child Left Behind law; effective practices for children with disabilities; materials for  parents; and links to professional associations.

The National Association of Special Education Teachers: (NASET) supports those preparing for or teaching in the field of special education.  Members have access to comprehensive databases containing thousands of resources and materials; topics include exceptional students and disability information, special education and the law and practical resources for special education teachers. The Special Educator e-Journal keeps members informed and a career center offers current job openings, career advice, career fact sheets, and state licensure information.

Political Action

NEA’s Legislative Action Center: Keep up with news from Capitol Hill at NEA’s Legislative Action Center. You’ll find updates on bills designed to improve the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as well as information about other legislation before Congress. You can track your state senator’s or representative’s voting record and even send an e-mail message to your state and federal legislators. Don’t forget to sign up for the e-mail action alerts!

Center on Education Policy: As a national, independent advocate for public education and for more effective public schools, the Center helps Americans better understand the role of public education in a democracy and the need to improve the academic quality of public schools. The Center on Education Policy conducts research and informs the public about topics such as testing, vouchers, and school improvement.

National Association for the Education of Young Children: NAEYC is an organization of early childhood educators and others dedicated to improving the quality of programs for children from birth through third grade. NAEYC works to improve professional practice and working conditions in early childhood education and to build public support for high quality early childhood programs.

American Association of University Women: Since 1881, AAUW has focused on expanding women’s rights in academia and other areas. Many projects focus on increasing girls’ interest and achievement in math, science, and technology. AAUW staunchly defends civil rights, gender equity, and women’s health and reproductive choices.

American Civil Liberties Union: The ACLU defends the civil rights guaranteed by the U.S Constitution. Some of the ACLU’s focus areas include civil rights in schools, the separation of church and state, and the rights of minorities.

Close Up Foundation: The Close Up Foundation’s programs encourage teachers, students, and young adults to participate in the American democratic process through trips to Washington, D.C., and activities with local and state governments. Close Up uses a hands-on approach to educate people about how the government functions.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People: For the past 93 years the NAACP has worked for equity and democracy by opposing discriminatory and unjust policies. The primary focus of the NAACP remains the protection and enhancement of the civil rights of African Americans and other minorities. The NAACP works at the national, regional, and local level to secure civil rights through advocacy for supportive legislation.

National Coalition Against Censorship: The National Coalition Against Censorship works to educate its members and the public about the dangers of censorship. Functioning as an alliance of 50 nonprofit organizations, NCAC denounces the suppression of intellectual, artistic, social, and political activities protected by the First Amendment. The group believes that freedom of speech, movement, thought, and expression are fundamental in a democratic society.

Anti-Defamation League: The Anti-Defamation League combats anti-Semitism, bigotry, and intolerance on various fronts. The organization helps the victims of hate crimes, works to protect individual civil rights, lobbies legislators, and educates people about the dangerpresented by hate groups. The Web site includes programs and resources to help teachers challenge prejudice and discrimination.

Labornet: Labornet compiles online information about labor unions in the United States and abroad. The site highlights workers’ grievances and labor campaigns and offers news to keep workers informed about union activities. Visitors to the Web site will find links to labor news publications; labor, employment, and government statistics; and relevant legislation.

Human Rights Campaign: The Human Rights Campaign defends the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered citizens. HRC effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support to candidates for federal office, and works to educate the public on a wide array of topics, including workplace, family, and discrimination issues, that affect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Americans.

Teaching Tolerance: Founded in 1991 by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance provides educators with free educational materials that promote respect for differences and appreciation of diversity in the classroom and beyond. The Web site offers information on classroom activities, tools, grants, and a link to Teaching Tolerance magazine. Visitors to the site also can register for a monthly e-newsletter.

National Dropout Prevention Center: The NDPC provides information for researchers, educators, and policy makers about at-risk students. The NDPC also serves as a clearinghouse on issues related to dropout prevention and offers strategies designed to increase the graduation rate in America ’s schools.


NEA Foundation: The NEA Foundation awards grants to educators who propose innovative and promising ways to help all students experience academic success and reach their full potential, especially those who have been historically underserved by society’s institutions. NEA Aspiring Educator members can partner with eligible teachers, education support professionals, and higher education faculty who submit grant applications. Examples of grant-funded work include study groups, action research, lesson study, and innovative project-based learning that helps close the achievement gap. Grant amounts range from $1,000 to $3,000.

The Foundation Center: The Foundation Center collects and organizes the names of hundreds of people and organizations that provide funding for socially significant projects. Visitors to the Web site can search an online database for corporate and foundation funding or request a free CD-ROM full of sources. The Center also provides information and research about grant seeking and philanthropic efforts.

Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE): More than 30 federal agencies joined together in 1997 to create the FREE Web site. The site includes information on hundreds of federally supported teaching and learning resources in a variety of subject areas, from the arts to vocational education, and adds new resources monthly.

The National Science Foundation: With an annual budget of about $5.5 billion, the NSF represents the primary funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America ’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science, and the social sciences, the NSF is the major source of federal backing. The NSF also offers special funding programs specifically for undergraduate and graduate students.

Education News

NEA Today: Stay up to date on education issues and Association news with NEA Today. The magazine is published eight times a year and is available online.

Education Week: This weekly publication includes local, state, and national education news and covers issues from preschool through grade 12. Education Week also publishes periodic special reports on topics ranging from technology to textbooks. The Web site also includes links to education stories from daily newspapers.

ERIC: The Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) is a national information system designed to provide ready access to an extensive body of education-related literature. The searchable database contains more than one million documents about education issues.

Job Market This Web site maintains information on thousands of available positions in schools in the United States and overseas. Job seekers can receive newsletters and updates by e-mail about the most recent job openings. This free service allows applicants to post their résumés and cover letters online, search for jobs by location, receive news about available teaching positions, view school Web sites, and send application materials electronically. This Web site offers a free service that allows applicants to search for teaching openings by geographical location. Each ad includes a job description and contact information. Applicants also can post their résumés online at the site.

American Association for Employment in Education: AAEE provides information to college career centers, school districts, and teacher candidates about the education job market. On its Web site, preservice teachers will find helpful job hunt publications, links to online job databases, and information on teacher certification. Check out the annual supply and demand report for information about the need for teachers in your field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a branch of the U.S. Department of Labor, collects and distributes data about the current job market. In the Bureau’s Occupational Outlook Handbook you’ll find detailed job descriptions, information on working conditions, training and education required, wage estimates, and future job prospects for a variety of occupations. You can search the handbook online for statistical information about education employment.

Recruiting New Teachers, Inc. RNT works to bolster the teaching profession, expand the pool of qualified teachers, and promote strategies for effective teacher recruitment, development, and retention. At the Web site, prospective teachers can access a national job bank (searchable by state), links to financial aid programs, and information about state requirements for licensure and certification.

EduTech offers search engines that sort jobs by location,category, and job title. You'll also find information on job fairs, the latest job postings, and frequently asked questions about issues prospective teachers face.

State Departments of Education 

NEA Professional Library Featured Selections

The Best of Writing Bug

For use in grades 2-8, these 44 writing prompts spark students’ imaginations, tickle their funny bones, and motivate their pencils.  The helpful, light-hearted “bug in your ear” suggestions (delivered personally by the Writing Bug) address young writers’ most common challenges in positive “you can do it” terms. 

Available for $7.95.

The Best of Learning Games

Collected from Education World’s vast lesson plan library, these “learning games” won’t provide teachers with a magic wand, but they can help make learning fun.  Covering all major subject areas, you can find something for teachers in all grades—K-12.  These lesson plans inject a healthy dose of fun into the serious business of teaching and learning. 

Collected from Education World’s vast lesson plan library, these “learning games” won’t provide teachers with a magic wand, but they can help make learning fun.  Covering all major subject areas, you can find something for teachers in all grades—K-12.  These lesson plans inject a healthy dose of fun into the serious business of teaching and learning.

Available for $7.95.

The Best of Vocab-u-lous!

How do you expand your students’ vocabularies? By making it fun, of course!  These 36 Cloze-style exercises help students become familiar with these challenging words, then take the next step toward “owning” each one by bringing them into their common usage.  Whether you assign these exercises as class work, homework, or extra credit, your students are sure to end up with a fabulous vocabulary! 

How do you expand your students’ vocabularies? By making it fun, of course!  These 36 Cloze-style exercises help students become familiar with these challenging words, then take the next step toward “owning” each one by bringing them into their common usage.  Whether you assign these exercises as class work, homework, or extra credit, your students are sure to end up with a fabulous vocabulary!

Available for $7.95.

The Inspiring Teacher

Making a Positive Difference in Students’ Lives
Inspiring teachers teach more than just facts and figures. They teach a way of “being” in this changing world.

 The Inspiring Teacher is a valuable resource for teachers new to the profession who want to learn how to create a vibrant and lively learning environment. 

You’ll learn about brain-based learning, along with information on forming alliances with colleagues and parents.  Learn how to inspire your students by drawing forth their potential and living up to your own! 

Available for  $14.95.

Q & A: The Most Provocative Questions Asked of Education Professionals Today and How to Answer Them

You’ve selected a major, and you’re excited about your decision to become a teacher—until the first time you get asked that dreaded question.  “Why?”  Chances are, you will be asked to defend public education, and your decision to join the Association.  Now, you can have the answers to these “tough” questions right at your fingertips.  Understand why it’s important for every educator to join the Association, and what you can do to support your noble profession. 
Available for $9.95

NEA Professional Library : NEA has hundreds of book and video titles available on a wide variety of education topics. Be sure to get your career off to a good start with our  Graduation Gift Pack, a collection of three great handbooks for teaching rookies, each one full of classroom-tested tips from veterans who know what works—and what doesn't. NEA Aspiring Educator members are eligible for member discounts on NEA Professional Library purchases.

Q & A: The Most Provocative Questions Asked of Education Professionals Today and How to Answer Them
David L. Smith and Lynn Coffin
Are you wondering why it’s important for educators to join the Association? Have you had to defend your career choice or public education in general? If so, you’re not alone. Thousands of teachers and support professionals struggle to overcome the misinformation that surrounds public education today. Written in a straight-forward, easy-to-read format, Q & A helps you answer those tough questions. Available to Aspiring Educator members for $9.95.

The Best of Works4Me-2
NEA Checklist Series
You loved the first edition of The Best of Works4Me, so we went back to the source—experienced classroom teachers—to bring you more “tried and true” tips on organizing your classroom, managing school relationships, using new technology and much, much more! Available to Aspiring Educator members for $4.50.

How to Develop a Professional Portfolio: A Manual for Teachers Third Edition
Dorothy M. Campbell, Pamela Bondi Cignetti, Beverly J. Melnyzer, Diane H. Nettles, Richard M. Wyman Jr.
This versatile and practical book helps pre-service and in-service teachers create a teaching portfolio to use in interviews and throughout their teaching careers. This manual provides clear, manageable, step-by-step guidelines and tips for developing professional portfolios. Available to Aspiring Educator members for $24.95.

The Discipline Checklist: Advice from 60 Successful Teachers
Revised Edition, NEA Checklist Series, Ken Kosier
How would you like to consult with dozens of your colleagues without leaving your desk? This checklist lets you do just that! Sixty teachers—each highly successful at maintaining discipline—share their secrets of classroom management and motivating students. This practical checklist will help you prepare for beginning the school year, coach you on modeling positive interactions, and remind you to maintain flexibility in your discipline strategies. Available to Aspiring Educator members for $4.50.

Countdown to the First Day of School
Revised Edition, NEA Checklist Series
Leo M. Schell and Paul Burden

Does the thought of the first day of school give you that sinking feeling because you’re not as prepared as you could be? Help is at hand! This bestseller’s time-saving checklist format features tips that can help the beginning, transfer, or student teacher prepare for the first day of school—and the entire year. You’ll find practical advice for getting acquainted, determining procedures and rules, and organizing your classroom and materials. Available to Aspiring Educator members for $5.50.

Classroom Management
This kit is designed to sharpen your skills in managing student behavior both inside and outside the K-12 classroom. You'll get tips on how to creat a good classroom floor plan, establish and reinforce rules, communicate with parents, write behavior contracts, and creat effective time-out strategies. Available to Aspiring Educator members for $14.95.

The First-Year Teacher: Teaching with Confidence (K-8)  
Revised Edition
Karen A. Bosch and Katharine C. Kersey
This popular book, which features 24 new pages of information, offers beginning teachers a step-by-step plan for their first four weeks on the job. The guide also includes tips for communicating with parents, scripts for parent-teacher conferences, timesaving strategies for handling paperwork, solutions to common discipline problems, and activities to acclimate elementary and middle school students to a new classroom. Available for $16.95.

But High School Teaching is Different! Success Strategies for New Secondary Teachers
Mary C. Clement
This book addresses the specific needs of preservice and beginning secondary teachers. Preservice teachers will find useful strategies and practical advice on getting the most from their education programs and starting the job search. New teachers will benefit from the tips on classroom management, effective communication, and professional growth. Available for $5.50.

Meeting the Challenge: Special Education Tools That Work for All Kids
Patty Ralabate
This toolkit offers general and special educators effective strategies to help struggling students overcome academic or behavior difficulties. It includes useful ideas and time-saving tips as well as sample checklists, lesson plans, rubrics, and conference planning sheets that teachers can copy or customize to meet their needs. Available for $15.95.

Pitfalls and Potholes: A Checklist for Avoiding Common Mistakes of Beginning Teachers
Revised Edition,Barbara A. Murray and Kenneth T. Murray
This handy guide will help you avoid many of the mistakes new teachers say they wish someone had warned them about in college. You’ll find tips for landing a job, managing student behavior, getting along with administrators, avoiding lawsuits, and more. Available for $4.50.

Bright Ideas: A Pocket Mentor for Beginning Teachers
Revised Edition, Mary C. Clement
Providing practical advice in a handy checklist format, this book offers helpful tips on getting your first job, establishing communication with parents and colleagues, managing your classroom, and preparing lessons—perfect for beginning educators looking for a bit of wisdom and guidance. Available for $4.50.

Organizations and Issues