Hamilton Southeastern High School student Lauren Wallace had attended performances at Clowes Memorial Hall, but she’d never seen most of the Butler University campus. So when her school’s Cadet Teaching class came to Butler on October 1 for Future Educators Day, she was happy to make the trip.
“I want to be a child therapist,” she said. “So I figured that learning about the teaching program and being in Cadet Teaching could really aid me in that. But I also want to go to Butler, because I find that small classes and individualized instruction are really important to me.”
Wallace was one of 96 students from six school districts who came to campus for a College of Education-sponsored day of learning about the teaching profession and Butler. They met an Admission representative, toured the campus, talked with professors and students, and heard a bit about both the teaching shortage in Indiana and the joys and meaningful nature of teaching.
They also had their questions answered about job placement rates (100 percent for the College of Education), class size (typically no more than 20, and usually less), and how much time Butler elementary-education students spend student-teaching before they graduate (1,500 hours).
In addition, they got a taste of the College of Education’s teaching philosophy: “The College of Education believes we must prepare our students for schools as they should be, not simply perpetuating schools as they currently exist.”
Toward that end, they participated in a class taught by Professors Arthur Hochman and Cathy Hartman. Using the book 50 Myths and Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools: The Real Crisis in Education, Butler students, the visiting high school students, and the professors discussed issues such as merit pay for teachers and whether American education has been dumbed down.
“It’s been a great experience for the kids,” said Hamilton Southeastern teacher Liz Trinkle, who brought 29 students to Butler. “I’ve always had Angela (Lupton, Assistant Dean of the College of Education) come to my cadet class, but this has been a great opportunity for the kids to see the school, hear about how critical the teacher shortage is, and see that there are people who are so totally passionate about the field.”
The high school students—who came from the Crawfordsville, Hamilton Southeastern, Rossville, Charlestown, Twin Lakes, and Western Boone school districts—said they liked touring the campus, participating in the class, and meeting Butler professors, students, and the live mascot, Trip.
College of Education representatives said they were happy with this first Future Educators Day. They expect next year’s event to double in size.
“Nothing makes me happier than to be in a roomful of people interested in teaching or working with young people in some capacity,” Lupton told the group. “You are our future.”