Hello, everyone! With school starting back up, it’s time for students and teachers alike to return to the classroom. As most of you already know, the last couple of years have been especially hard on our teachers out there. The COVID epidemic has presented them with tremendous challenges and economic stresses are pressing down on teachers more than ever. So much so that we’ve been seeing record numbers of teachers leaving the field for other opportunities. Now more than ever, teachers are an indispensable resource for our children and communities.
Last month I had the opportunity to attend and present at the 2022 IGNITE Lafayette Regional eLearning Conference, hosted locally, at Lafayette Sunnyside Intermediate School. I had a terrific time hearing from a lot of great speakers (including Indiana’s 2022 Teacher of the Year, Sharita Ware!), and even got to see some of my old teachers from middle and high school. Perhaps most importantly, for the first time, I really got to connect with the teachers in our area.
Most of the conferences I’ve attended so far during my time with STEM Education Works have been on the larger side. By all means, the more the merrier, but sometimes it’s hard to connect, both individually and as a group, with other attendees at these larger conferences. The IGNITE conference, on the other hand, was one of the smaller conferences I’ve been to, and with it came a much cozier, more personal atmosphere. During the couple of days I spent at the conference, I learned about the successes and struggles, the triumphs and the tragedies, that teachers are currently facing. Let me tell you, these are some of the hardest-working, most courageous individuals out there.
So what can the rest of us do to help the teachers around us, especially in this back-to-school season? Here are a few ways to start:
Until next time.
– Dr. Jake Roark