Briar Cliff will hold its third annual Future Educators Summit Thursday, sponsored by the Briar Cliff University Education department. The event invites local high school and college students the opportunity to talk with current education majors, hear from Iowa’s Teacher of the Year Sara Russell, and learn how educators impact children.
The event has grown over the years, a small session was held in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the event last year hosted 93 high school students from the Siouxland area. This year, over 100 students from all three public schools in Sioux City, Bishop Heelan, Siouxland Christian, Lawton-Bronson, and high schools from South Sioux City, Nebraska. College students from Buena Vista University and Western Iowa Tech will also be in attendance.
“Nationwide there is an extreme teacher shortage,” says Theresa Engle, Briar Cliff University Education Department Chair. “This event is to inspire young people who are thinking about teaching and show them that it is an incredibly rewarding profession.”
The Iowa Department of Education has set high expectations for Teacher Education programs. “At Briar Cliff, we also have high expectations,” adds Engle. “We provide many more hours out in various classroom settings and teaching experiences than the state requires.”
Young children are heavily impacted by the educators they meet during their time. “In most cases, teachers spend nine months with their students, and they have a tremendous impact on the education and citizenship of their students,” shares Engle. “This brings great responsibility on the part of the teacher.”