by Adam Lord
LSUA’s School of Education, in partnership with the Rapides Parish School Board, hosted more than 300 junior and high school students at the 5th Annual Educators Rising Regional Conference.
Educators Rising is a career and technical student organization with intra-curricular learning opportunities integrated into existing education and training programs. Clubs at area junior and high schools help students embrace the calling to become educators, a career experiencing critical shortages nationwide.
The conferences kicked off with opening remarks by Judge David Michael Williams who challenged students to think about how teachers serve the critical need of encouraging, instructing, and enriching the lives of students. Over the course of the morning, students had the opportunity to compete in a variety of teacher-skill competitions like creative lecturing, impromptu speaking, job interviews, and lesson planning. Another competition showcased original children’s literature written and illustrated by students attending the conference. The top three winners in each competition category received an LSUA scholarship to attend the School of Education.
Director of the LSUA School of Education Arlene Duos, Ph.D., said, “Educators Rising is a school-based program that helps young people to explore a career in teaching and is a powerful way to help communities grow the next generation of well-prepared teachers. Middle school and high school students had the opportunity to come to the LSUA campus to compete in education-based competitions, attend professional development sessions, meet and interact with LSUA teacher candidates, tour the campus, and feel the true vibe of a college campus.”
In addition to the activities for students, attending teachers engaged in professional development seminars focused on developing a PreEducator pathway at their school, health and wellness curriculum, and classroom engagement strategies. Closing remarks were offered by the always-inspiring Julia Letlow, U.S. Congresswoman for Louisiana’s 5th District.