Give your career a head start

The Student Washington Education Association (SWEA) and the Aspiring Educator of the National Education Association (AspiringEd) are the combined programs for student pre-service educators of the largest union in the United States, the NEA/WEA. This membership gives students the benefit of strength in numbers and a connection with other educators who believe in the promise of public education. Together, we stand strong for our students and for our profession. We represent employees in nearly every public school district in Washington. We are the state’s largest public employee association and the most powerful voice and advocate for public education. Joining means students in education programs have access to: 

  • Quality Professional Development

    We support one another in becoming better educators. Pre-Service educators can prepare for the WA evaluation and certification rules, figure out inclusive practices and culturally competent classroom management techniques, learn about becoming nationally board certified, or improve your leadership skills. WEA offers relevant professional development, accessible all over our state, and online, too.

    Our WEA Professional Development Network provides trainings for certificated and classified staff on a variety of topics reflecting our members’ interests. Our classes are developed, reviewed and led by member educators (including student members) and staff who know and understand what works in the classroom. 

    Classes and workshops are offered at discounted prices or no cost to members. We offer state approved clock hours and credit to help educators stay up-to-date in their skills and knowledge. Members can access WEA professional development opportunities now, even before they enter the classroom. 

    Learn more about the Professional Development Network

  • Impact on Social Justice and Policy

    Education is not a partisan issue. WEA supports people and social justice actions that are good for public education and public educators. We are active in supporting levies, issues and candidates at the local, state and national levels to promote pro-education outcomes that improve your life and work.

    Members are leading movements around racial equity, accessibility, and ending the "school to prison pipeline". Using one voice is powerful. Collectively, our voices are nearly unstoppable. Together, we create a strong and credible voice in debates to advance social justice issues, legislation and policies that benefit our students, and public schools and school employees. WEA members led the way on reducing class sizes, ensuring full funding for public education and improving compensation and benefits for the entire community. 

    Our members were the driving force behind the McCleary case, which resulted in billions of dollars in new education funding, including $2 billion for educator pay. Those funds, and the hard work of our members to bargain historic pay raises, would not have happened without the efforts of WEA and our local unions. To build on this progress, we need to maintain a strong, united membership.

    Learn more at OurVoice.  

  • Stretching Your Dollars

    Membership includes access to NEA Member Benefits, which offers a variety of ways to help you save money, whether on daily purchases, insurance or supplemental retirement savings. You can save real money immediately on things like cell phone bills and other monthly expenses. The NEA Member Benefits program works with highly trusted vendors who provide high-quality customer services and products. 

    Learn more at NEA Member Benefits

    The SWEA State President and V.P. receive full tuition scholarships to their WA institute of higher leaning each year they are elected to hold those offices. The officer must be a dues paying member of the organization and run and get elected to the office of SWEA president and/or VP in accordance to the bylaws of the union.  

  • Our Voice - Our Priorities

    As members of WEA, we have a voice in running our Association. We engage in decision making in our buildings, local, state and national associations. Together, we decide the issues our union champions, such as working conditions in our schools and improving the quality of education for all of our students. Pre-service teachers are an important voice in our Association.

    Join today

  • What if...?

    Most of us don’t want to think about what happens if things go wrong. Joining WEA enables us to have peace of mind. If the need arises, we provide a variety of services to help navigate difficult times: 

    • NEA Liability Insurance for student teaching (includes $1,000,000 of employment liability insurance protection).
    • Attorney Referral Program – two free attorney consultations and discounts on personal legal services. 
    • WEA Legal Defense Program – pays the attorney fees to defend you if your school placement takes action (e.g. discharge, non-renewal) not covered by a collective bargaining agreement. 

    These are a few of the benefits student members receive once they join this amazing organization. WEA will help pre-service educators build relationships that ensure their continued success in the field of Education.