Weber State University’s Moyes College of Education is promoting a positive view of the teaching profession through videos and hashtags, all in an effort to recruit more students who want to become teachers.
Teaching isn’t a profession that modern-day America promotes adamantly. When many think of teachers, they often focus on the negative aspects of teaching, like the low salary and intense workload. This year, WSU’s College of Education is working hard to change this dismal perception by celebrating teachers and recruiting more students into Weber State’s education programs.
“There is, with the press and with politicians, quite a bit of negative things out there about education,” said Professor Jack L. Rasmussen, Dean of the Moyes College of Education. Although this is the image of teaching that many people are seeing, an image that factors into the shortage of teachers in Utah, this is an inaccurate representation of the profession. The College of Education is shining a positive light on teaching, focusing on the rewards of being a teacher.
Utah is in the midst of a teacher shortage. “There is a teacher shortage, and it is likely to get worse,” said Rasmussen. The Utah State Board of Education is doing their part to attract more teachers through the Alternative Pathway to Teaching, a program which allows people without an education degree to teach. Weber State is also doing their part by highlighting the positive aspects and rewards that being a teacher has to offer.
On Sept. 15, WSU’s College of Education shared a video through Facebook captioned “One surefire way to be remembered: Be a teacher.” In the video, students were given a pop quiz about popular celebrities over the last three years. None of the students knew the answers to the celebrity questions, but they did know the answer to the next question: Who were the three teachers that had a positive impact on you? Students answered this question in great detail. The personal impact that teachers have on students is one of the rewards of being a teacher that the College of Education is focusing on.
Rasmussen encouraged students who are thinking about becoming a teacher to remember how rewarding of a profession in teaching is. “There were students that I had a positive influence on and helped develop a positive attitude,” he said, recalling his own experience as a teacher, “ not just toward school, but about life and their ability to succeed.” Much is required from teachers, but they also get to see firsthand the success of those with whom they work.
Another recruiting technique that the College of Education has started using are the hashtags #celebratelearning #celebrateteachers, which are on the newest shirts that faculty in the college are wearing. These hashtags embody the positive parts of teaching that the college wants students to focus on and what the college is doing to uplift educators.
Moyes College of Education has also been celebrating people who are already teachers. “We’re looking for ways to do a shoutout to teachers and say we appreciate what you do,” said Rasmussen. Most recently, they have honored teachers at a showing of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and at WSU’s football game against Montana State.