Skip to main content

Time to Vote! Help Send TFA to SXSW EDU

SXSW EDU is a space to share innovative ideas and learn from top educational leaders. Here's how to vote for TFA's panels to be featured.    

August 10, 2023

SXSW EDU  (pronounced South-by-Southwest E-D-U) is an annual event bringing together educators, students, administrators, systems leaders, and others passionate about improving education. It’s a place to grapple with the big issues facing our education system and celebrate innovation and learning. SXSW EDU is a collaborative effort: Anyone can submit proposals for panels to be held at the conference–and public voting plays a strong role in which ones are ultimately selected.

This year, Teach For America staff members submitted 14 proposals for SXSW EDU panels. This provides a unique opportunity for the issues most important to our students and educators to be featured at the conference, with leaders from TFA staff and our network shaping those conversations. 

So now it’s time to vote!  The voting system, PanelPicker, will be open until Sunday, August 20 at 11:59 PT. Please vote to help bring to the SXSW EDU stage these essential conversations to help shape a brighter future for our country’s students. (See specific instructions on how to vote.)

Here are the panels created by, or featuring, TFA staff members. Click on any of the names to learn more and vote for it.

Building a Sustainable Pipeline to Educators

A unique collaboration between Teach For America-Alabama and Breakthrough Birmingham is catching the attention of local school districts and policymakers. This session will share the wins, learnings, and opportunities to grow a coalition of organizations and school districts focused on educator recruitment, training, and retention.

Beyond Pay: Teacher Housing as Pathway to Sustainability

Creative solutions like affordable teacher housing have a role to play in sustainability & wealth creation. This session spotlights projects in Baltimore, Newark, and Tulsa where creative housing solutions for educators have impacted sustainability and community building.

Career Killer: Eliminating Barriers for Principals of Color

Panelists will discuss the ways they are breaking down the barriers and creating pathways for leadership while diversifying the school leader pipeline from recruitment to development to retention.

A+ Advocacy: Advancing Ed Policy with Community Coalitions

How did a grassroots coalition in Arizona successfully persuade voters and politicians to provide in-state tuition and financial aid for over 65,000 undocumented students so they could attend college? Learn how this community of teens, neighbors, organizers, and others orchestrated a multifaceted campaign that helped pass Proposition 308. 

Increasing Latinx Representation in the Educator Pipeline 

How can we collectively develop the conditions to recruit and retain Latinx educators in our schools? Panelists for this session will explore the topic and share exciting new strategies for increasing Latinx representation in the Bay Area’s educator pipeline.

FutureShock! Career Exploration Through Interest Projects

FutureShock is a 10-day immersive program empowering high school students to explore career paths through hands-on projects. During this session, we'll engage participants in a series of exercises used in FutureShock! to launch their own interest-based projects.

Yes You CAN build with AI Too

By using a hackathon model that we've tested around the country, alongside one of the coolest AI tools out there, Playlab Ai, we're going to take any teacher, parent or student from fear/mild curiosity to actively building AI tools to solve real problems.

Scarcity to Abundance: A Fresh Look at the Teacher Shortage

There is an incredible opportunity to reframe this moment. What if we challenged ourselves to design for an expanded definition of learning first— and what if that led to abundant staffing?

30 Years & Beyond: AmeriCorps’ Impact on Education

Michael D. Smith, CEO of AmeriCorps, the only federal agency focused on national service and volunteerism, will lead a discussion with TFA’s CEO, Elisa Villanueva Beard, and other key national partners who have made a lasting impact on education over the last 30 years to highlight the vast impact and unlimited potential of national service.  

A Texas-Sized Solution to a Thriving Teacher Workforce

From a teacher in Dallas to a nonprofit in Houston to the nation’s largest pipeline program for diverse teachers, you’ll hear a variety of perspectives on what it will take to ensure all students can have excellent teachers—and all teachers can thrive in their careers.

Revolutionizing Teacher Prep

In this session, leaders from three different teacher prep programs will speak to the ways they are finding success recruiting and retaining tomorrow’s teachers.

Collaborating with Educators to Change the World 

This panel will spark your thinking with current approaches to student learning that are positively disrupting the educational system, building student agency and optimism, and reconnecting teachers with the reason they entered the profession, which was to make the world a better place.

How Youth Add Value to Professional Work & Workplaces

How do we deliver the experiential, career connected learning our students need? This cross-sector, multi-generational session will share details, insights, and work products to help unlock sustainable student-employer engagement. 

What Young People Wish Adults Knew About School: An “Unpanel"

What do young people wish that adult innovators and decision makers knew about what it means to be a student today? This workshop will offer insights and perspective about what is really on the hearts and minds of students as well as a chance to connect with young people.


Panels Proposed by TFA Alums 

These panels, organized by Teach For America alums, were brought to our attention. To have other alum-organized panels added, send us the details..

Conversations Count: Innovating Early in the Deep South

Parents and early childhood educators across Birmingham are leveraging “talk pedometers” to close literacy gaps for thousands of children. Learn more about the science of early brain development, the importance of interactive talk, and how one community is working together to ensure every child shows up to kindergarten ready to learn.

One Mayor’s College Promise in the Heart of the Deep South

In 2018, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin campaigned on the success of children in a city that once defined racism in America. Once elected, he created Birmingham Promise, which provides students with not just reduced-cost college but success coaching and work experience -and galvanized investment from national philanthropy, local stakeholders, and higher education institutions. 

Interrupting Dehumanizing Practices in Education

This interactive workshop explores how the education system has been built and sustained as a place of dehumanization for all stakeholders, especially the adults. Through inquiry and leveraging our personal experiences, we will explore what are dehumanizing practices, how we can individually and collectively interrupt them and begin to re-center humanity.

Vote before the PanelPicker closes on Aug. 20! SXSW EDU will take place March 4-7, 2024.