MUW School of Education takes on challenge to recruit future teachers

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – The National Education Association estimates there’s a shortage of roughly 300,000 teachers and staff across the U.S.

Mississippi needs more than 3,000 certified teachers. And Mississippi University for Women’s school of education is ready to take on the challenge of recruiting and training them.

Mississippi University for Women’s School of Education hosted its inaugural Teacher Academy Conference.

Its goal is to recruit and retain students for the education department, turn them into quality teachers and help alleviate the National Teacher Shortage.

Dr. Martin Hatton, Dean of the School of Education, sees the conference as an opportunity to reach potential students and get them thinking about a direction they may not have considered before.

“But we have an opportunity to have a conversation with high schoolers. They can continue that conversation with us so that in the next year or two and so they can ask us lots of questions, and that gives them a chance to be reflexive about how this matches with what they think their career goals may be moving forward,” said Hatton.

High School students from around the Golden Triangle were able to tour the campus, speak with faculty, and get a hands-on learning experience of some professional skills.

“Today they are going to be attending three different conferences sessions one is on early childhood learners, so learning how to appropriately work with young learners, one is on math manipulatives in the classroom, and the third is my session on virtual reality in the classroom, and how virtual reality gargles are being used to teach students complex, creative, and innovative ways,” said Hatton.

Not only is there a need for more classroom teachers, but there is also a need for those who will determine what future classrooms will look like and what will be taught.

“The Pandemic affected us all so much, and research is still ongoing on how it is going to affect our young students. For some of their lives, all they have known was the Pandemic. We are doing research on that right now,” said Dr. Hope Durst, Assistant Professor for the School of Education.

And while some people believe that they have a passion for teaching, retaining lifelong educators is one of MUW’s goals.

“In general, we are experiencing a shortage of students that are choosing education as a profession, but through some recruitment, we are working to support the students that are currently enrolled to help them feel prepared and therefore retain them because as much we want to retain them in the program we also want them to go into the classroom and stay committed the profession of education,” said Durst.

If you are in high school or someone that is interested in the School of Education and want more information click here.

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