Pitt State education majors had an opportunity to get some inspirational, real-world advice from some of the best teachers in Kansas this past spring. The 2015 Kansas Teacher of the Year Team visited the campus in March. After their formal presentations, the teachers took questions from students who soon will be leading classrooms of their own.
The students’ questions were practical.
“Is there really as much paperwork as we have heard about?” “How does a teacher get lesson plans done in the plan time allotted?” “How much support do you get from paras, administrators and others?”
Lisa Holt, special education teacher and a member of the 2015 Kansas Teacher of the Year team, said she and the other regional Kansas Teachers of the Year were on campus to both inspire a new generation of Kansas teachers, but also to answer practical questions.
Holt, who teaches children with autism at Country View Elementary School in Winfield, and the other seven members of the team presented a fast-paced program that mixed practical advice with inspiration before breaking into small groups for individual questions from the students. It’s a program the group repeats at universities across the state throughout the year.
“It’s all about reaching as many students as possible,” Holt said. “We hear that enrollments in teacher education programs are down. At the same time, we hear that record numbers of Kansas teachers will be retiring in the near future.”
Holt said she hopes the group is able to inspire a new generation of teachers.
“We want the students to feel excited about being teachers,” Holt said. “We want them to understand how important their profession is.”
Holt said the campus visits give her some new energy.
“The students and teachers we’ve met seem very excited and well prepared,” Holt said. “We’re supposed to be inspiring them, but sometimes it seems they inspire us. It leaves me very hopeful for the future.”