In January 2017, Vanessa Jencks realized she was connected with a large portion of Beijing’s International and Private School educators through her work as managing editor of beijingkids Magazine. Before working in the media industry, she was a professional educator and had a passion for innovative and collaborative work among her peers.
She decided on a whim to pull the educators in her network together into one social media group in order to foster and promote community collaboration. Together the group had an in-person community meeting and later a job fair. A jobs group grew from the main group, and Emerson April volunteered to manage this aspect of Innovative Educators.
Pulling off such a community group in a competitive education market seemed to be a risky initiative, but within a year, the group grew to over 500 members. At the heart of all education is the student, and Innovative Educators has proved that teachers genuinely want to see their students thrive.
In 2018, Innovative Educators was ready to go to the next level of growth, and 20 members stepped up for the first call for a semester-long volunteer opportunity. These volunteers plan to help take Innovative Educators beyond Beijing, throughout the rest of China, and into other education markets where innovation and collaboration will be welcome.