About a dozen Wisconsin high school students visited University of Wisconsin-Stout on Nov. 15 to learn how they could impact future generations.
The students came to explore teaching as a career during Teach Day, a university pilot program.
Students from Eau Claire, Prescott, Cameron, Brookfield, Holmen, Slinger, Jefferson and Merrill took part in the daylong event.
“There is a shortage of career and technical education teachers in the country,” said Debbie Stanislawski, professor and program director of marketing and business education. “We wanted junior and senior high school leaders to think about the teaching profession. We wanted to get them on campus, see the programs UW-Stout offers and get them excited about a career in teaching.”
UW-Stout students shared why they chose the university and their plan to enter the teaching profession in technology education, marketing and business education and family and consumer sciences education.
During Teach Day, high school students created storyboards for a public service announcement about the need for CTE teachers and wrote the announcement. They also learned how to write a lesson plan that they could take back to their schools and use to teach a class.
They also had an opportunity to tour campus and learn more about programs at UW-Stout.
Teaching: ‘Every day is different’
Riley Seifert, a UW-Stout senior technology education major from Cottage Grove, loved being a part of Teach Day. “It’s something I wish I would have had,” he said. “I think it was a good opportunity to learn.”
Seifert chose teaching as a career because he envisions that every day will be different. “I found education to be a really rewarding field,” he said. “No day is the same and there are new challenges every day.”
Monica Miranda, a UW-Stout sophomore majoring in marketing and business education, was excited to be part of Teach Day because she wanted to help answer high school students’ questions about college.
“I love the flexibility of the marketing and business education program,” she said. “You have the opportunity to be a teacher, or if you decide you want to go into business and marketing you have that option. Teaching encourages kids to be the best they can be. You can help shape their future.”
Miranda chose UW-Stout because she graduated from Boyceville High School, a smaller school. UW-Stout offers a similar atmosphere and many opportunities to get involved in activities.
Faith Leisgang, a first-year marketing and business education major from Black River Falls, felt Teach Day introduced CTE to high school students.
“I think it is important for students to be able to come into the classroom and explore what they will be doing as teachers,” she said.
Leisgang was an assistant dance teacher in her hometown. She fell in love with teaching and helping others grow and progress.
High-demand occupations, with opportunities
Stanislawski attended a conference last year focused on expanding the supply of teachers in high demand areas. There is a shortage of marketing and business, family and consumer sciences, and technology education teachers — the programs that were highlighted during Teach Day.
Stanislawski along with Barbara Bauer, program director and instructor of technology education, and Diane Klemme, professor and program director of family and consumer sciences education, decided to host Teach Day.
“This is a high-demand occupation with a lot of opportunities,” Stanislawski said of teaching.
Bauer said the goal was to give high school students a reason to come on campus and learn more about UW-Stout and teaching.
“Our students are our greatest advocates,” Klemme said. “The high school students got a chance to talk to our students and see what life is like on campus.”
Megan Schatz, a Brookfield High School junior, attended Teach Day to help explore a teaching career.
“I have always liked working with my hands, and teaching is something I would love to do,” Schatz said. “Technology education just seems like a natural fit. I thought I would come to learn about what you have to do to get started and the opportunities there are.”
The plan is to hold future Teach Days to help encourage more high school students to consider the career.
Grace Koehler, a senior at Merrill High School, was encouraged to attend Teach Day by her technology education teacher, Jordan Kratz, a UW-Stout alum.
Koehler has taken part in a past SkillsUSA competition and toured UW-Stout. “I loved it,” she said, noting she enjoyed hearing from UW-Stout students about the campus and the programs available.