Middleton creates Educators Rising Club in midst of nationwide teacher shortage

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Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Middleton

Join the Educators Rising Club to learn more about a future career in education.

Clare Kirwan, Page Editor

Around 270,000 teachers in the U.S. public school system have been estimated to leave their teaching position between 2016 and 2026; with one in three saying they are more likely to resign due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to NBC News. The Educators Rising Club works to tackle this crisis by getting students to further develop passions for teaching and education. Jonathan Middleton is the assistant athletics and activities director and runs the Educators Rising Club.

I think Educators Rising is a great club for kids who want to be educators or go into the field of education. Educators Rising provides kids with the opportunity to grow, create and implement their own lesson plans, interview current teachers and academic professionals and just know the nuts and bolts of what it’s like to be a teacher,” Middleton said. 

Middleton recognizes that many kids already know that they have a passion for teaching and learning, similar to how he was as a kid.

“Ever since I was a kid, [it] was always my dream [to] become a teacher. I wanted to coach and I wanted to make a difference with kids, [specifically the] next generation of kids,” Middleton said. “[I became an athletic director because] I always loved athletics. When I was in high school I was a three sport athlete, [and] I’ve done clubs and recreation activities ever since I graduated from high school. It’s just been a big part of my life.”

One of Middleton’s biggest motivators for creating the club was the fact that the U.S. is suffering from a major shortage of teachers, yet there is no class that navigates future educators through the career. 

“We teach a lot in public schools; however, the one thing that we don’t teach is the biggest shortage in the world, and that’s teachers. Educators Rising allows kids to pursue that passion of education and give them an outlet where they can learn the ins and outs of what it’s like to be a teacher. [It also teaches] what our teachers here, [and] around the country in general, the challenges they face as well as the goals they have to meet daily, monthly and yearly,” Middleton said.

One of the main things the club will focus on is creating lesson plans, as that is one of the main roles of an educator.

“We’ll go through a daily lesson plan starting with the objective, your descriptions, your vocabulary, [getting] into multicultural education, the differentiation [and] inclusion. [It’s really important to be] able to make sure that you are creating a lesson that is adequate for every single student in the classroom,” Middleton said. 

The club will not only focus on lesson planning, but will also provide the opportunity for students to learn from professionals in the field. 

“[We will be] interviewing professionals, depending on what avenue [of] teaching you want to go [into]. For example, if you want to be a high school teacher, we’ll look at the different things and credentials [you need] to be a high school teacher, and we’ll interview current professionals. If you want to go on to be a professor at a college, I will cater to that and we can maybe do a Zoom session. If we can [also take the students on a] field trip at some point, I think it’d be really cool to take the kids to [local college] campuses,” Middleton said.

While the club offers many educational opportunities, Middleton believes that Educators Rising will be an overall beneficial experience for many students.

“Teachers have a lot on their plates right now, and showing kids what some of these teachers go through and what they have experienced not only with COVID but just in general, [is important],” Middleton said.

Middleton hopes that anyone who joins the club is excited about the opportunity to learn about a career in education.

The biggest thing [I want kids to go into the club with] and the biggest thing for any teacher, is passion. [I want students] to want to work with kids and to want to pursue that field of education. It’s just a great experience for kids to go out and pursue their passion,” Middleton said.

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