UW-Stout's School of Education hosts Teach Day event

Dec. 1—MENOMONIE — There is a huge need for teachers in Wisconsin and the School of Education at UW-Stout recently hosted a Teach Day event to inspire high school students to pursue a career in education.

According to a university news release, Nearly 150 high school students from 27 schools around the state attended the event at UW-Stout on Nov. 14. The SOE event served as an opportunity for high school students to learn from UW-Stout teacher education students and for university students to practice their skills as future teachers.

"The interest in teaching as a future career is exciting to see, and we hope these young people leave with information and the determination to continue on this career path," SOE Director Deanna Schultz said in a news release.

The release stated there is going to be an increased need for teachers across the state in the next few years. Wisconsin is projected to need nearly 2,400 additional qualified teachers; with a job growth of 3.5% over the next 10 years.

The Teach Day event was led mostly by university students in the SOE. Each student volunteer shared why they chose the university and why they plan to enter the teaching profession.

"I love this event because I get to share my passion for teaching, and I get to teach other people about my major and UW-Stout. This event gives people the opportunity to explore teaching in an interactive way," Sarah Korte, a junior in family and consumer sciences who volunteered during Teach Day, said.

The SOE student volunteers also led breakout sessions where high school students learned about their program of interest.

Isabelle Whited, a visiting student from Wausau West High School, joined the technology education group.

"I found technology was an area I excelled in. I wouldn't have explored it if it weren't for my teacher Mr. Peterson. I want to help other students explore and excel in technology," Whited said.

In addition, high school students also had the opportunity to learn how to write a lesson plan, which they could take back to their schools and use to teach a class. They also toured the campus and met with university students during lunch to talk more about their programs of interest.

Schultz said this year's Teach Day event was expanded to include even more programs than last year. It was expanded to include nearly all undergraduate SOE programs including art education; early childhood education; family and consumer sciences; marketing and business education; math education; special education and technology education.

"The expansion resulted in an increase in numbers, especially those interested in early childhood education. The event was also marketed to teachers at the UW-Stout Family and Consumer Education Conference in September, and many of them brought their students to Teach Day," she said.

Technology education majors Sam Konieczny and Ben Schmitt also volunteer during Teach Day. Konieczny said he believes education is one of the most rewarding fields to go into.

"It is the best thing to be working with someone and watch what they weren't understanding click and make sense," he said.

Teach Day is about giving potential future educators a chance to see what a teaching career might be like and how the UW-Stout SOE can help prepare them for that career.

"I hope my involvement with Teach Day gives high school students that opportunity to experience teaching for a day and gain clarity about a path to teaching through UW-Stout," Schmitt said.

UW-Stout's SOE, housed in Heritage Hall, offers seven undergraduate teaching degrees, as well as postgraduate degrees in career and technical education, education, school counseling and school psychology, along with eight education certificates and certifications.

"Teach Day gives high school students who are looking at a career in education a chance to see the other side of the desk and what Stout has to offer them," Konieczny said.