SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Inspiring high school students choosing education as a career path, that’s what Educators Rising South Dakota is all about. On Monday, the organization is holding its first-ever state conference at Southeast Tech in Sioux Falls.
Miriam Bart is only a freshman at Harrisburg High School, but she’s already made up her mind that she wants to teach when she grows up.
“I started to watch my parents teach. I started to really get into it. As I grew up I was like, I love little kids. So I started babysitting and now I actually work with kids. I work part-time at a daycare after school,” Bart said.
Bart is joining other students from 11 school districts at the Educators Rising South Dakota State Conference.
Audra Shelton is studying early childhood education at Southeast Tech right now. She and a few other college students are here to give the high schoolers a boost.
“I think that high schoolers should know that they can grow in education. Education is always changing. It’s not the same,” Shelton said.
Travis Lape with Educators Rising and the Harrisburg School District says getting to kids early on to tell them about teaching is important.
“60-percent of our teachers work live 20 miles from where they grew up. So when we think of our classrooms and we think of our schools, especially in our rural settings, when you’re only having 1-2 openings a year or every five years. The future is sitting in our rooms. They’re sitting in our desks right now. How do we get them excited about that? That at a young age they either know this is what they want to do or hey, you know what, maybe this isn’t what I want to do and I can do something different. That’s ok as well,” Lape said.
Erica Boomsma from Huron, the 2018 South Dakota Teacher of the Year, is the event’s keynote speaker.