This Capacity Building proposal teams the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, UW-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County, CESAs #3 and #5, DPI. and the North Crawford School District, as it recognizes the urgent need for highly-qualified mathematics and science teachers in Southwest Wisconsin, and seeks to resolve this need. Administrators voice frustration with having STEM positions open and few to no applicants for those positions. UW-Platteville's project is grounded in research demonstrating that the path to choosing education as a career begins in high school, if not earlier. Several guiding E's will serve as guideposts along the way in this program: envision, engage, encourage, establish, enumerate, evaluate, empower.
To begin to address the issue of area STEM teacher shortages through a "grow your own" program, designed to recruit promising high school seniors, and to then provide innovative, continual support to them, as they travel on the path to becoming highly-qualified high school STEM educators.
Four top reasons to be a teacher
- Teachers in the United States rate their lives better than all other occupation groups. trailing only physicians.
- You can get a job almost anywhere in the U.S. or abroad as a science or math teacher: STEM teachers are in high demand.
- Behind every advance in technology or medicine is a teacher who left a lasting impression.
- Most teaching jobs have better retirement benefits than private industry.
I feel so thankful that each day I am able to make a difference in the community by making a positive difference in the lives of individual students.
-Mineral Point School District
I chose to teach as I felt that this is probably the best way I can give meaning to my (limited) life.
I enjoy those "light-bulb" moments and seeing a student succeed at something they didn't think was possible.
I became a teacher originally because I thought it would be interesting working with kids, but I was a little unsure in my choice to be a teacher at times? I also had a love for volleyball and was influenced by the coach I had in high school and the success we experienced, so that helped drive my decision.
I have never really questioned my choice after getting my first job. I feel my relationships with students only get stronger as I gain more experience and wisdom. We have a great opportunity to influence our students/players in a unique way and that's pretty powerful. The job also helps to keep me feeling young:)
I decided in second grade that I wanted to be a teacher. When I got to high school and found out I could teach just math, then I really knew what I wanted. When my Bloomington High School math teacher brought in a speaker from UW Platteville to talk about computer science my senior year, then I decided it would be a math major and a computer science minor. It was an excellent combination because many classes overlapped and counted for both my major and minor.
I enjoyed school and know the connections my teachers made with me were my incentive to pursue a career as a teacher. When I tutored in college I realized how much I was learning because I had to explain how math worked in ways for students to understand and build confidence.
I know I could have made a lot more money in a different math and computer science career, but I valued the difference I could make in a teenager's learning experience and that is priceless.
I always knew I wanted to be a teacher since I was little. I took home every free textbook, workbook, and worksheet from my grade school, and then I played school with my siblings and gave them homework. I tried out other majors upon entering college, but wasn't happy; when I finally decided to go the education route, it was like coming home.
I love teaching science to students, helping them understand difficult concepts and improving their critical thinking abilities. I especially enjoy working with higher-level students, because I know my classes provide a level of challenge that prepares them for college. I like knowing that I'm helping young adults become more prepared to live in today's world.
I became a teacher because I had great teachers. I want to give back and inspire young people to pursue their dreams. I want to share in students' successes and support them in their struggles.
-Platteville High School
I enjoyed helping students learn and inspiring them to pursue an interest in science.
Officially, I became a licensed teacher when I graduated from college in 1988, but I feel I was a teacher starting in middle school.
-Shullsburg High School
I have always loved helping people understand mathematics. I knew I wanted a career where I could use math, and this job is perfect for me because I get to solve math problems all the time. I also love working with and forming meaningful relationships with my students. There are so many kids that need someone to look up to and someone to show them that they care.
I also love being a mom, and this career is perfect as I have the same schedule as my children. I get to be home when they are home and we get to take family trips in the summer. This is something I would not be willing to give up for a different career.
-Prairie du Chien High School
I became a teacher because I thought I could do a good job of being a positive influence on students' lives. It sounds cliché, but I teach to make a better tomorrow. Mathematics is challenging and often gets a bad rap. I take pride in helping students appreciate and even enjoy the subject. This often comes from having a true understanding of the topic. This is not an easy feat—teachers must know their content well and know best ways to instruct and interact with children. There is much learning for teachers after getting that first teaching job. These children we impact can go on to lead fuller lives and further improve our society with our guidance and care.
I really enjoyed school. It's where you learn how to interact with others, make friends, challenge yourself, and hopefully find a career that you can pursue. I really enjoy being a part of this critical time when students are working on setting up the rest of their lives. Everyone is good at something, and it is our job to help students find that and set them up with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in whatever path they choose after high school.
-Lancaster High School
The E's 2 STEM Project is supported by the National Science Foundation under Award Number Noyce 2050265.