‘Educators Rising’ Program Aims to Address the Teacher Shortage in Pennsylvania Schools

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In several public schools in Pennsylvania, the lack of teachers and school personnel has become a crisis. This has led to the creation of the “Educators Rising” program, which seeks to hire prospective teachers from nearby high schools.

Students from ten participating schools attend the Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center to hone their teaching abilities.

The center’s workforce education coordinator, Donna Rain-O’Dell, stated that students in Mount Pleasant High School’s “Grow Your Own” program obtain practical experience by helping and observing teachers in the classroom a few days a week.

“We actually have some of our students going into classrooms that are teaching small group or mini-lessons,” Rain-O’Dell explained. “Like, one student is teaching Spanish I, when she’s a Spanish III student; and then we have a student, that’s in AP Bio that’s helping with the biology class. So it’s kind of cool, and it’s definitely a unique situation.”

She mentioned that their first “college in high school” course will begin at the University of Pittsburgh Greensburg campus the following year. Over 5,500 teaching posts are unfilled in Keystone State schools, and recruitment is difficult.

The center’s vocational rehabilitation counsellor, Rena Enterline, stated that students can earn nine credits toward higher education through their partnership with Shippensburg University and The Learning Lamp.

Enterline observed, “That is more of a dual-enrolment type class.” “They will enrol in classes at Shippensburg University, and it is they who will provide them with a transcript. When students decide to attend college, they can then use those credits at any university that will accept them.”

Enterline noted that although current seniors will not have been in the program for two years, they are still able to use the dual enrolment option to apply the credits they have earned this year.

The only high school in Lancaster County with an internal career and technology program is McCaskey High School, according to Amanda Funk, a CTE instructor there. It draws a broad range of students who eventually volunteer in middle schools after serving as juniors and seniors in elementary schools.

“The goal is to bring them back and they get a guaranteed interview after college in our district and then they’ll have that added support,” Funk stated. As part of our duties, we actually serve as their mentors while they are in college. And to mentor them there as well if they return and land a job in our district.”

Funk included a lesson on anti-bias education to the Educators Rising curriculum. She saw that students had personally thanked her for bringing up the matter in class discussions.

Read More: https://theeducationview.com/

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