Growing a Community of Learners
ECET2 and its Convenings ECET2 is a project of the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It was borne out of the Foundation’s desire to improve and enhance teachers’ professional growth and development; to reduce their sense of isolation from their peers; and to enhance their voices as leaders and advocates in their classrooms, schools, districts, and communities. ECET2 offers teachers the opportunity to learn from one another and celebrate their profession through a series of national and regional convenings that are led by teachers, for teachers.
The first ECET2 convening was held in 2012 in Scottsdale, Arizona. After that meeting, energized teachers began organizing regional ECET2 convenings to inform, inspire, and empower colleagues in their own communities. Teachers took the lead in organizing these regional events, from identifying venues and supportive partners to developing agendas and content. Nearly 20,000 teachers have since participated in ECET2 through six national convenings and 111 regional convenings in 27 states nationwide.
At their core, ECET2 convenings harness the power of teacher-leader networks to deepen learning and empower teachers to better serve students through improved teaching practices. ECET2 is built on the belief that nobody knows teaching like teachers, and that teachers hold the keys to ensuring that policy is well informed; instructional shifts are made with fidelity; and educators are equipped with the right professional development supports to be effective in the classroom. The best way to elevate teachers and the teaching profession is to recognize that teachers are the experts in their field.