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UNC’s Future Teacher Conference Continues to Grow

future teacher conference classroom

February 12, 2018

The state’s leader in preparing educators, the University of Northern Colorado will host the fourth annual Future Teacher Conference on Feb. 23.

A capacity crowd is expected once again this year, with more than 500 high school and community college students registered. This is an increase of nearly 450 students since the annual conference began. 

This year’s capacity crowd of future teachers is a promising sign, noted Suzette Youngs, co-organizer of the conference, as the state and nation contend with teacher shortages — especially in rural areas.

The conference offers the opportunity for students to learn more about teaching in specific areas, including early childhood and secondary education, special education, urban education, rural education and educational psychology. UNC faculty and current K-12 teachers in the region will lead sessions on a variety of educational topics.

Participants, many of whom are already teaching in classrooms as part of their high school’s teacher cadet program, represent 70 high schools throughout Colorado. UNC works closely with teacher-cadet programs and provides professional support. In addition to cadet programs UNC is committed to reaching out to all interested high school and community college student interested in becoming a teacher.

The conference is just one of the ways UNC, the state’s leader in preparing educators, is responding to support prospective and current teachers. UNC has also spearheaded an Early Career Network, with members composed of college teacher candidates and teachers with 1-5 years of experience throughout the region.

New This Year

On Feb. 22, the Future Rural Teaching Scholars Summit (FRTSS) will be held by the Colorado Center for Rural Education at UNC. In conjunction with Future Teacher Conference, the summit focuses on the recruitment of future teachers (now in high school) who will be prepared to serve diverse groups of students in rural settings across Colorado. At the Summit, participants will begin to discover what it is like to be a teacher in a rural school, network with other future Rural Teaching Scholars, and connect with staff members from Colorado Center for Rural Education, Colorado Department of Education, and faculty members from UNC.

“We know that new teachers and teacher candidates persist when they feel a sense of belonging,” said Suzette Youngs, co-organizer with Chris Kyser and James Erekson, of the Future Teacher Conference and the Early Career Network. “The goal is to bring groups of aspiring and current teachers together, creating a bridge from high school through college to the first years of teaching. The first years are a critical time in teaching and we hope our conference and network will provide the support teachers need to succeed.”

“We want to build a community of teachers.” 

For more information about the conference, visit  www.unco.edu/cebs/future-teacher  

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